Atlanta’s Southern Belle’s and Hospitality

My next travel stop took me to Atlanta, GA where I visited my friends Lane and Josh and another friend, Barb from State College joined me for my next Southern adventure.

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Thankfully, I had a direct flight from Portland which brought me right into the evening commute traffic so I took the MARTA (similar to the subway in NYC) to meet Josh near his office so we could make it to dinner with Lane and Barb.

I was up for the traveling adventure and was welcomed by one woman on the train who shared (or scolded?) with me how I should learn to pack lighter…I thought I packed pretty light for a month of travels and variable temps and climates, but apparently not. I just agreed with her and smiled.

On my way to Atlanta with all my travel-belongings
On my way to Atlanta with all my travel-belongings

Then as I was departing, I got stuck in the exit gates – where I barely made it through the doors but they closed on my arm…which was still connected to my suitcase. I was on one side of the doors and my suitcase was on the other. As I laughed at myself and probably made some sort of shrieking noise of surprise…a tall man with a handlebar mustache protruding beyond the width of his face and wearing a cowboy hat, came to my rescue. (Really!) He tried to pull it up over the exit gates (but if I would have packed lighter it wouldn’t have been so difficult) at this point I’m embarrassed as I’m now causing a scene…then a nice woman came over and passed her card though so it would open the gates – and just like that, the drama was over…I humbly collected myself and the rogue suitcase and thanked both of them through muffled laughter at myself also while trying not to stare at the mans impressive mustache. I wish I would have gotten a photo…

Before I knew it, I was sitting in a fun and fancy restaurant eating crab legs with my friends…laughing at stories and catching up on life. What a crazy whirlwind day, I went from sitting on a plane to train to sitting in a restaurant eating crab legs with good friends…so surreal.

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The next day Barb and I ventured out while Josh and Lane were at work and we visited the Coca-Cola museum…did you know Coke was started in Atlanta, Georgia? I didn’t know that until now…and learned all about the history and story of Coke and was impressed with the marketing and brand that it has created over time.

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Who really knows what the secret ingredient is…but they certainly have created a world-wide marketing brand and identity that people have emotional connections with. At the end of the tour you can sample flavors of soda (or pop depending on who you are) from all over the world – my favorites were from Africa, and my least favorite was from Europe called the Beverly…have you tried it?

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Before tasting the Beverly
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After tasting the Beverly (yikes!)

After the Coke tour we met Lane and a friend of hers for lunch at a place near her work that she has been wanting to try called the Swan Coach House. This was the perfect place to see some Southern Belle’s and get a taste of southern food.

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We had a classic southern style lunch and tried the recommended favorite…chicken salad, frozen fruit, and cheese sticks (crackers) along with a glass of ice cold sweet tea…I liked it and loved how different it was since it was quite the all-around southern experience!

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After lunch, Lane went back to work while Barb and I explored the historic grounds and gardens since it was located at the Atlanta History Center. Apparently some of the scenes for Catching Fire from the Hunger Games was recorded at the Swan House which was right next to where we had lunch.

The Swan House built in 1928 was used in filming Catching Fire: Hunger Games
The Swan House built in 1928 was used in filming Catching Fire: Hunger Games

It was such a beautiful day to be outside as we enjoyed touring the gardens and some historic sites of Atlanta…and of course laughed and played a bit along the way.

Exploring some of the gardens at the Swan House
Exploring some of the gardens at the Swan House
A friendly sheep we met at the Smith Family Farm located at the Atlanta History Center - the farm dated back to the Civil War times
A friendly sheep we met at the Smith Family Farm located at the Atlanta History Center – the farm dated back to the Civil War times

Later that night we settled in for dinner and a movie…and celebrated our dear friends birthday with a sweet treat!

Happy Birthday Lane!
Happy Birthday Lane!
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