Trip to Atlanta – Centennial Olympic Park

Last week I went to Atlanta, GA with a good friend in order to watch the Atlanta Braves play a series of home games. My friend, Sarah, goes every May with her dad because the Braves are her favorite baseball team. She had asked me this past winter if I would go with her because her dad had just been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and more than likely wouldn’t be able to go on the trip. I agreed because I know how much she looks forward to attending the Braves games every year.

The only thing about the trip that I wasn’t looking forward to was the flight. Here I was almost 36 years old and I’d never flown on an airplane. Why? I prefer to drive because I feel like I’m in control of my own time table and schedule. Also, I can pack as much as I want without having to worry about suitcase constraints.

Ferris Wheel - Atlanta - May 2016One of the first things that we decided to do was to take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel near the CNN Center. Every time Sarah went to Atlanta she wanted to ride it, but her dad has a fear of heights and refused. I’m not a fan of heights, but I can handle Ferris wheels so I agreed to go with her.

 

 

Looking Across Centennial Park - 5-26-16Since Sarah knows the area pretty well (she’s been going to the Braves games in May since 1996) I didn’t do any research on where we were going or what was around there. I figured I would just follow her directions. Which is why I found myself crossing a giant park to head over to the Ferris wheel. The park looked a little sparse, but it was the middle of the week so I didn’t think anything of it.

Barricaded in Centennial Park - 5-26-16Until we got to the end of the path and found that it was barricaded. Nothing seemed to be going on so we weren’t sure why the barriers were up. Then we noticed that there were more people on the other side of these barricades.

 

 

More Barricades - Centennial Park - 5-26-16We looked over and saw that there were more barricades further down. We didn’t want to retrace our steps and walk all the way AROUND the park, so we followed the example of a couple in front of us; I moved a piece of the barricade enough for us to squeeze through and then put it back. It appeared that the area from which we had just come was blocked off for possible maintenance from the rest of the park. The only problem is that whoever had decided to block it off hadn’t blocked off all access points. Thus the reason why we were able to walk through part of it. It didn’t make sense as to why they did it like that, but they didn’t ask me so I guess that my opinion doesn’t matter.

Water Feature in Centennial Park - 5-26-16We continued through the area of the park where there were more people. I snapped this picture as we were walking by the water feature in this park. It was a nice little splash area for children to play in so that they could cool down. I was tempted to join!

Can you guess where we were? At this point I had no idea…

 

Centennial Park Sign - 5-26-16We were in Centennial Olympic Park! I hadn’t asked and Sarah hadn’t mentioned that we would be walking through it. To be fair, I had no idea that this park even existed. When the Olympics were in Atlanta I paid very little attention to them. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you already know that I’m not much for sports or most activities that make you sweat.

 

Centennial Park Gates - 5-26-16

As parks go, it was very pretty. It is well maintained and clean. The most impressive thing, though, is the water feature. After our ride on the Ferris wheel we were walking back through the park and it happened to be when they have performances at the water feature thing. They play music and through the magic of technology the water dances to it. I was gawking at it as we walked by, so Sarah stopped in the shade while I watched the music dance to the William Tell Overture. It’s such a simple thing, but it suckered me in!

Ferris Wheel Flower Planter - 5-26-16When we finally made it over to the Ferris wheel there didn’t seem to be anybody about. We looked for posted hours, but there was nothing. They had the ticket price posted, but nothing about when the dumb thing was actually open! I wondered if this was a special ride where you had to receive a cordial invitation and when you arrived at the appointed time that’s when you could get a ride on it.

Ferris Wheel Flower Planter 2 - 5-26-16Luckily I am the owner of a smartphone (it’s old, but it works for what I need) so I was able to do some internet searching. Now, I’m not exactly Amish but I feel that it’s a bit ridiculous that it’s just assumed that everybody has up-to-date technology where you can instantly look up things you might want to know such as hours of operation. When did that become something that you don’t automatically post??

Up the Street from Centennial Park - 5-26-16We had a half hour until the wheel would start turning, so we strolled up the street to the CNN Center where the Braves official store resides. Again, why you would have a baseball store in the CNN Center, I have no idea. I will reiterate that nobody asked me, so my opinion doesn’t matter. After much perusing and a little shopping we headed back to the wheel. At this point we could see that it was actually turning.

Sarah on the Ferris Wheel - 5-26-16And we actually got on it! Sarah was so excited. She called her dad while we were on it to tell him all about it.

The cars were quite nice! They had air conditioning and very sturdy-feeling floors. There was some recording that I think told you what you were looking at, but we couldn’t hear it very well and I couldn’t get the volume to go up any higher. So I just randomly took pictures and Sarah told me what I was looking at once she got off the phone (her dad was doing better that day).

Centennial Park from the Ferris Wheel - 5-26-16We could see all of Centennial Olympic Park, including the barren section that you can see in the back where the barricades were placed.

Also, the college football hall of fame is in this picture, but I don’t watch college football so I didn’t really pay much attention to it.

Oh, and can you tell that the water feature in the middle is the five olympic rings?

 

 

Ferris Wheel - Pic 4 - 5-26-16Past the park is the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke.

And tall buildings…

Oh, and at this intersection Sarah and I kept smelling horse poop yet there were no horses in sight. Why would you smell horse poop in the middle of the city? When we were leaving I saw one sign that said it was where you boarded the buggy to do a tour around town. At least we had an explanation!

 

The World of Coke from the Ferris Wheel - 5-26-16

Here is a slightly closer look at the World of Coke. The greenish square in the middle of the picture (right below the tall beige building) is an acrylic-looking structure at the World of Coke which has a Coke bottle in it.

It didn’t make any sense to me why they would display it like that, and I haven’t done any research, but I wanted to let you know just in case you wanted to know.

 

 

CNN Tower from the Ferris Wheel - 5-26-16To the right of Sarah’s shoulder is the CNN Center. We probably could have taken a tour, but they don’t like my kind around there. I do know, though, that they have the nastiest public restroom. It would rival some of the rest stop bathrooms that I’ve seen. It was icky and gross.

 

 

Ferris Wheel - Pic 3 - 5-26-16Here’s one more shot down the street. It looked like the parking lot down there had solar panels, but I wasn’t sure what they were hooked to. There weren’t any electric car chargers (that I could see) and all of the cars parked under it were the good ol’ gas-hogging kind.

 

 

Kerry on the Ferris Wheel - 5-26-16So that’s my Ferris wheel adventure in Atlanta. Not terribly exciting, I know, but it made for some interesting views. I have lots more pictures and stories from my trip so don’t worry… I’ll be back!

 

 

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