Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Version of Black Friday

What a wonderful day in Atlanta on Friday.  
We thought that most folks would be shopping since it is Black Friday, but they were all at the Georgia Aquarium and The CocaCola Center instead!  
Tony and I agreed that the  people watching was equally as fun as the paid attractions.
We thought LA was the most diverse place that we had ever been - our day in Atlanta proved that wrong. 
We saw every race and culture that we could think of and in large numbers too.
We saw saris and long flowing jilbab, head scarves of a dozen varieties, cowboy hats, baseball caps and even a yarmulke on a young boy.  
I think even better than the variety was the way that they were mixed up.  
Hardly any multigenerational large family group was "pure". 
The weather was just overcast enough to be cool and spirits were high. 

The Georgia Aquarium is located smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta and easy to get to.  It is the world's largest fresh water aquarium and was absolutely incredible.  There were a variety of different sections to explore and lots of places to sit and just watch the marine life on display.  We were captivated by the whale sharks (largest fish on earth!).  This aquarium has 4 and at 23', they are only half grown.  One of the coolest things they do at this park is have several places where the fish are swimming over your head - it is really cool to be underneath a giant catfish as it cruises along the bottom of the tank.  Lots of sharks and rays as well as a myriad of unbelievably brilliant tropical fish.
My favorites are always the otters and there were 2 different kinds here.  We were able to stand and watch them as long as we wanted.
The CocaCola Center was really interesting too.  Basically, it was a giant advertisement for Coke.  John Pemberton invented CocaCola in Columbia, Georgia and eventually the company moved headquarters to Atlanta.  Inside the center were lots of great Coke memorabilia, CocaCola art, fun facts about this giant beverage company and tastings of Coke products marketed around the world.
This is a beaded bottle that was probably 7' tall. 
The photo doesn't even come close to showing the brilliance of the beads, but you can get the idea.
 There were several of these done in different mediums as the entry piece to the Center.
Our favorite part was the tasting room where we got to try about some of the soda and juices that are marketed in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.  
My favorite was called Kinley Bitter Lemon (much drier than Sprite) and Tony's was Inca Kola which tasted like a banana soda.
After these 2 tourist attractions, it was definitely time for adult beverages and food
Several locals pointed us to Luckies.  
We were most assuredly "lucky" on this one!
We started off with some delicious Lump Crab Cakes with Green Apple-Mango Salsa.  and I had a glass of Menage A Trois Rose to go with it.  
Nice enough wine, so I had another!  
For an entree, it was a toss-up between the Fish Tacos (grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Jicama/Roasted Poblano Slaw) and the Crispy 1/2 Duck with Sweet Potato Hash, Medjool dates, and Asparagus.
As you can see, the Duck won.  Well, really. . .  we won cuz it was so good!  Tony thinks he doesn't like duck, but he loved this.  
I asked for the dessert menu and ordered the Berries-n-Cream Napoleon. 
The waiter came to tell me that they didn't have any.  
No one ever orders it (third item on the dessert menu and there isn't any?).  
Okay, I'll have the White Chocolate and Strawberry Panna Cotta.
(Second item on the dessert menu)
What?  None of that either ?
I finally ended up with a less than stellar piece of layered cake with strawberries and whipped cream.  
I can't really call it Strawberry Shortcake (even though they did), but it ended the meal on a sweet note

All in all, it was a wonderful day.
Today is a rare treat for us as well, another day spent puttering in the truck and napping.
Ahhhhhhh - what a nice weekend.


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