The Big Peach – It’s the Real Thing
On the third day of our Atlanta trip, we decided to use the CityPASS to visit CNN and The World of Coca-Cola.
We started our day with a brisk walk the couple of blocks to CNN.
One of the girls I work with had told me that the CNN trip was her favorite. I couldn’t imagine what there was to see that would be so exciting at a news station but off we went.
When we first entered the building, we were in a rather huge lobby and there was no one around. Tucked off to the side was an escalator, so we decided to ride up. Not having any real expectations, I wasn’t exactly sure what we were even looking for. Was the entire building CNN? I was totally unprepared for what came next.
The one thing that grabbed my attention was the large globe at ceiling level with a large escalator attached to the bottom level. Turns out that this is the world’s largest freestanding escalator (eight stories tall and 205 feet long). This used to be the escalator that took you to The World of Sid and Marty Krofft’s indoor amusement park (1976).
As you can see from this photo, there is a ticket booth beside the escalator. Get tickets (or turn in your CityPASS) and then you wait for a few moments for the tour to start.
First stop is through security. Then the escalator ride to the large world begins. The tour then starts with a short film, then on to the weather screen, which the guide will show how it was used in the past vs how it is used now. Our guide stopped us off at several points, explaining techniques of producing a show and how breaking news occurs. She discussed the different divisions and types of shows produced. We were allowed to view a newsroom and watch several workers in action as they scoured for news. For the most part, the tour we saw was mostly “staged.” By that I mean that there was no “live action” going on anywhere near us.
A few things to note about this tour:
- There are a LOT of steps involved.
- It’s a very short tour. Only took us about an hour start to finish.
- Cameras are allowed at the first two stops and then you can’t take any more pictures – they mean it.
- There is a VIP tour which may include a more in-depth view of how news gets aired.
Our next stop was The World of Coca-Cola
I really enjoyed this tour. It was light-hearted and fun. (There is also a security screening in order to go on this tour)
We began in a big lobby where we were given our choice of a Coke Classic, Coke Zero, or Coke Life. They are cold and ready to drink.
Next, we went into an alcove with lots of Coca-Cola memorabilia. Our guide began to tell us what to expect on our tour and told us that we could take all the pictures that we wanted. While he talked, I looked around at all the memorabilia. It sort of hit me that Coca-Cola isn’t just a “Georgia” thing. It might have been invented there, but it has become so much more than just a soft drink. There were all sorts of Coca-Cola mascots that I’d never seen which sort of told me that somewhere out there in the world these weird thingies are as familiar as the Coca-Cola Polar Bear is to us.
After the guide told us what to expect, we were taken into a theater for about a five-minute film. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that there will be tears.
- The Loft – the place to find all the coca-cola memorabilia that you could ever imagine. According to the website there are more than 200 historical and international artifacts that cover Coke’s 124 year history.
- Coca-Cola Theater – view The Moments of Happiness film (it’s awesome)
- Coca-Cola 4D – this was a treat. I had never been to a 4D movie, so didn’t know what to expect. Very worth it!
- The Vault – “In Search of the Secret Formula” is a fun way to find out about the history.
- Milestones of Refreshment – in this area, you’ll find a replica soda fountain like the one where coke was first served. There is a 1939 Chevrolet delivery truck (bright yellow) and a display of coke machines through the years.
- Bottle Works – actual machinery that bottles Coca-Cola. The Dane loved this part!
- Art Gallery – this part was also very interesting, as we got to see a lot of art inspired by Coca-Cola.
- Taste Test – a “coke fountain” where you can try Coca-Cola products from all over the world. You must try “The Beverly” and let me know how you liked it.
After a long afternoon of bouncing around inside the coke museum from one part to another and then back again, we made our way up to Centennial Park. This time, we stopped for a moment and listening to a street performer playing drums. We chatted with a few others standing there listening and then all crossed to the park around the same time.
The weather was pleasant, though a tad bit on the humid side. We decided to explore the park a little more and made our way up to the interactive fountain. A few brave souls were running in and out of the sprays as we watched and laughed along with them. I believe this will be a very fun spot in just a few more months.
For our last night in Atlanta, we wanted to find somewhere mello to have dinner. After a little bit of looking around, we discovered Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint.
Juke Joints began in the South, mainly due to the Jim Crow laws that prevented African-Americans from entering white establishments. Juke Joints served the purpose of being a place where rural sharecroppers could kick back, relax, and mostly enjoy music.
When I was growing up, there were still a good number of juke joints (most have since died out). Though we weren’t allowed to go in after certain hours, I can tell you from experience that some of the best food ever made could be found at the juke joints.
Sweet Georgia’s was no exception. The Dane ordered the Fish and Chips and I had the Juke Cheeseburger. And while the food was definitely worth writing home about, it was Dave Scott, a jazz musician, that was most enjoyable. I’d go on and on about his set, but I think I’ll just show you. His music gave our dinner a very romantic vibe. Also, I have to mention that the waiters and waitresses were among the nicest, most friendly staff I have ever had the chance to meet. If you don’t do any of the other things on our list, definitely don’t miss out on Sweet Georgia’s.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by my blog.