I recently visited Atlanta to fulfill a couple of desires related to things I’ve seen on YouTube and Reddit, mostly for food and drinks. Atlanta is one of the few places with Trader VIc’s still in business. Trader Vic’s is known for their tropical tiki drinks. The various southern foods are also very enticing. I was going to go after I left my last job, but I was very sick with RSV when I was going to go in early October, so I went this month on Saturday to a Tuesday as a nice weekend trip. This is a record of everything I did out there, and the places I want to visit the next time down. It’s a city with more than just the busiest airport in North America.
We arrived early Saturday morning at roughly 10am. We took the public transit into the city center to our hotel. A Marriott since that was the chain I picked out when I started working and I want my reward points. There’s a bunch of reasonably priced hotels in the city center unlike most cities. Typically ranging from $125 to $175 a night during my research. I stayed in the Marriott Marquis, which is slightly upscale.
Saturday, we flew in from Philadelphia arriving at 9:30. We took MARTA to the Peachtree center for our hotel. I thought it was rather slow compared to other metros I’ve been on such as DC or NYC. From there we hopped a Lyft to Bantam+Biddy for brunch. It was incredibly good. There was so much southern food to choose from. I got the fried chicken and waffles. It was very filling. We also got fried green tomatoes which are surprisingly good. They were breaded. Pimento cheese was our other appetizer that came with all kinds of dipping choices. It was good, but not my favorite.
From there we checked out the various shops in the same center. There was some interesting stuff. It’s amazing how many businesses are supported here, especially weird and obscure stuff. We have seen so many cooking stores.
Afterwards we went to Ponce City Market, which is an open air market but highly gentrified. There’s a really nice food hall, and a couple local artists working there that weekend. Would definitely recommend it. We went to a biltong bar. They had some really good cocktails. I got one that had a nice numbing effect while I was drinking it. They also served the requisite air dried beef jerky, and various snacky things.
Trader Vics was worth the time though. The lamb and the veggies were so good there. The drinks were also worth the wait. It fulfills fantasies I’ve had from Venture Brothers (I can’t find the clip I want but the doc orders a tropical drink and is having a bad time per usual) and Archer, I’ve had for so long. Totally would go again. Might get a souvenir cup even the next time. I definitely want to try the other locations.
Today we started off eating some leftovers from yesterday then we went to “World of Coca Cola.” We paid to be advertised to. Remember Coke is about family. There was a 3d movie too, it was a parody on scientists about what makes Coca Cola special. All the expected cheesy 3d effects were included in the movie. The most interesting part was trying it compared to other soda brands sold around the world in the Coke family of products. I liked the italian aperitif soda. It tasted almost exactly like Fernet does. I also really liked some of the stuff sold in South America, but nothing else is coming to mind.
Next we went to the white oak restaurant for brunch. I had a really good hummus appetizer and that was it since I wasn’t that hungry. It was very pretty in it’s arrangement.
Next on the menu was the Georgia Aquarium. It’s a very big aquarium and was very crowded. The exhibits were very good. It was obviously well maintained, but honestly it needed a path to make sure you saw everything. We almost missed the gators. The gators were so cool and totally relaxed. I loved them so much. I should’ve done the behind the scenes tour, but didn’t see that until we were leaving as an option.
The next stop was over to the Little Five Points neighborhood. It was full of weird shops. The first shop was basically an independent hot topic. The rest of the neighborhood was highly walkable with a lot of bars. Definitely very busy and filled with options to cultivate the various subcultures in our modern world.
Today was a really educational day. We visited two major museums and a marketplace. Lunch was at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. It was incredibly good. The sides were amazing and the sandwich was fully loaded. We also ended up at Krog Street Market. I found it rather upscale and more of a place to eat rather than a place to shop. There was a local chocolate maker with some really good drinking chocolate. Not sure if I would visit that market again, but would definitely visit the first market I visited on Saturday again.
This was an absolutely enlightening experience on how public health is handled in America, and how much choice people have to take care of themselves (you can either listen to the statements and take action or you can suffer the disease). Their job is mostly public outreach and surveillance of outbreaks. They are a knowledge provider and logistics agency more than anything else.
The museum consisted of 3 levels and a rotating lobby exhibit. There was a lot on the founding and research capabilities of the CDC. Along with a lot of their public relation efforts. It was amazing how much I remember some of these campaigns growing up. They were responsible for an emergency preparedness campaign in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Same principles apply for just about any other outbreak or emergency: have fresh water and food on hand (keep a case of water in your car, you never know when it will come in handy).
They also cover more than just disease, all aspects of public health including nutrition and violence. They take not just police data, but also stuff from hospitals to identify parts of cities that need to change. They work with state and city officials to effect change in our societies to live a healthier tomorrow.
I would definitely recommend people to visit and actually understand the services of the CDC and how they protect us before people complain about government overreach. Government is there to provide for services that don’t work in a market environment or would be too costly to handle, and must be open to serve the public good. The outreach and relationships they cultivate are so important in our modern interconnected society for us to live longer healthier lives.
Cost to visit: $0
Delta Flight Museum
This was a random choice to visit as I couldn’t decide where to go next. I found a 747 experience listed on Atlas Obscura, where you could see the guts of a 747 and the various setups. I wanted to go, and it included a museum showing how airplanes used to be. They were comfortable and glamorous. I got to see how equipment was designed to be used on planes including how the beverage service items are stowed. There’s just a crazy amount of thought put into making sure things don’t slide around.
The 747 was really neat, as they’ve been retired for passenger service now, so nobody gets to fly on them anymore. It’s a 2 story plane and it’s so wide you can have the same view as the pilots at the very front.
There was this historical concept where you would have 6 people around a table at the back of the plane. A way to socialize and get to know people on flights would be so cool especially for leisure travel. It would be amazing to get to know somebody and hangout with people going the same place you are or even families could use it. Although I guess some people would be upset about the noise from people chatting, that’s what noise canceling headphones are for.
It is worth a visit to see if you have a layover, definitely cool to check out the history of the airline and has something for everyone. Passenger aviation is one of those industries that has evolved a lot over time and the history and experience is nice to see preserved.
Cost to visit: $15/per person. Half off for airline employees.
We got breakfast at Snooze A.M. It was incredibly good. They had a bacon flight with 4 kinds of bacon on it including slab pork belly (It’s inspiring me to get some pork belly). I got their pancakes of the week which were blueberry and lemon pistachios. They catered to gluten free needs really well. Their house pancakes were so good. I was absolutely stuffed, and it ruined my weight loss goals. In the same shopping center, there was a Trader Joe’s. The prices seemed good, so it didn’t seem like Atlanta has a high cost of living. I would even consider moving here.
We then set off to the airport via a Lyft. TSA was a breeze for a Tuesday afternoon, and got through way earlier than I was expecting to. Luckily there’s a neat civil rights and the history of Atlanta in the airport between terminals B and C. Definitely would recommend walking from the main terminal, as there were a lot of cool sites. More airports should put exhibits in their walkways.
I would definitely visit Atlanta again, the people were super friendly and the city seems super nice. There was a lot to do as a tourist. The Futurama episode was totally wrong about it being just an airport. It’s a living city with a lot of great food and opportunities to learn and do things.