Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Tour de Atlanta
Back in May, we gave our oldest son, Chase, an Atlanta birthday package that included visiting the Aquarium, a Braves game and Six Flags. John’s call schedule, a seemingly endless little league baseball season, and the overall busyness of summer delayed this much-anticipated trip until this past weekend. Aunt JJ generously allowed us to use her condo in Virginia Highlands, old stomping grounds that laid the background for our dating years and early marriage.
This is the first time we have spent extensive amount of time in that area and the recollections poured all over us as we pointed out to our children the various places that contributed to our memories as a young couple. Here we were fifteen years later walking the same streets with three wide-eyed, curious children, wondering how in the world we travelled so quickly from those carefree days to the days of present where time may not be necessarily our own but the enrichment experienced so much more worthy than the time.
We substituted Fernbank Museum for the hot, black pavement of Six Flags, knowing that we will return with the children in the Fall when it is cooler and we are less likely to run into tube tops and ill-placed tattoos. However, we are hoping that air brushed t-shirts advertising “true love 4 ever” will remain a presence because of the joy it brings and the boredom it erases when we wait in long rollercoaster lines for the primary purpose of having our guts slung to the bottom of our throats.
The replaced activity, while educational, proved to be a wise and discerning choice particularly because the air condition was set mercifully on HIGH, providing shelter from the sweltering heat outside. My children are enthralled with science as a whole, much more than I was at that age or ever will be, but I was able to feign real “Bill Nye the Science Guy” interest especially since sweat would not be involved. Everyone walked away winners.
IMAX followed our museum tour. The documentary showcased the travel of South African sardines, which sounds like a big YAWN but really was quite fascinating. All of our eyes were glued to the gigantic screen as we watched dolphins, sharks, whales and other predators gobble up the all you can eat sardine buffet that somehow was portrayed in a non-violent, non threatening manner. It must have been the cheery, upbeat music in the background.
Later that evening, we met Mimi and Dude at the Braves game. (Not grandfather or papa or granddad, but DUDE. The first grandchild deemed him Dude 13 years ago even though he doesn’t ride a horse on a cowboy ranch or hang ten on California beaches. He’s just a DUDE.)
Although the Braves lost the game, my family thought the whole night was the BEST. The carnival-like atmosphere, the stadium wave and the tomahawk chop enlisted the enthusiastic participation and attention of the children throughout the game.
The next morning finished our tour de Hotlanta with a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. Sardines continued to be the theme of the weekend as we found ourselves packed into this attraction in the same manner those little fish are stuffed into tin cans. It was very crowded but we managed to see all the exhibits without being trampled or crushed by giant humans leaning over little children to snap photos of tropical fish with their cell phone cameras. I can’t imagine that the clarity was all that great but who am I to question the potential Ansel Adams that may emerge from behind a cell phone. Mercy.
A great time was had by all. And now we are very tired.