There were lots of surprises waiting for us in Atlanta when I visited for a weekend with my brother. Some of the most enjoyable moments were spent in places I never even heard about from the guide book…
Like the Sweet Auburn Market aka Municipal Market I found by googling “farmers market” while we were driving around the city on Saturday afternoon. Supposedly the oldest public market in Atlanta, we filled on soul food and jerk chicken to fuel us for the rest of the afternoon.
On the other hand, some attractions were very touristy. And yet, sometimes touristy can be fun! Noramlly I stay away from places like this, but the World of Coca Cola was a pleasant surprise. The exhibits of Coke memorabilia from around the world were amusing, as was the story of how closely guarded the “secret recipe” of Coca Cola has been all these years. Of course, the best part was the tasting room where we got to sample dozens of Coke products from around the world. Our favorite was a cantaloupe-flavored drink sold in Asia.
Of course, we would have been remiss without going to visit the landmarks and museum devoted to Atlanta native, Martin Luther King Jr. Learning about his life growing up, his relatively well-to-do family, his education, and the influence of Gandhi on his life, is more than we ever learned about MLK in school. Seeing his childhood home and church brought all the history to life.
The most surprising moments of the trip actually happened away from the top tourist spots. We were able to listen to live music, drink local beers, and get a guided tour of the facility at the Red Brick Brewing Company, thanks to a groupon deal I bought before our trip.
Finally, the night before we had to come home, we decided to go see a movie. This is something I rarely do on vacation because I think, “I can always do that at home”. Ah, but seeing the movie “42” about Jackie Robinson, the first African American major league baseball player, was somehow more exciting in Atlanta… The mostly black crowd cheered and responded to the movie as though we were in a Baptist church service. What a way to end the weekend.