The Flame Never Dies
It’s a magical time of the year for The Dane and me because it’s time to celebrate our anniversary.
During this time of year, we usually go on a small adventure. In the past, that has meant that we decide where we’re going, pack a suitcase and then hit the road.
Last year, this didn’t work out too well for us. We ended up leaving in the middle of a downpour that only got worse as we went. When we got about an hour away from our destination, we started noticing that there were lots of cars on the highway as traffic was nearly at a standstill. The rain didn’t let up and visibility was near zero. We prayed we could get to our exit without incident. As soon as we did, we hit the first hotel we could find.
As we entered the lobby, we noticed that there were a lot of people milling around looking very disagreeable. We got in line. It didn’t take long for us to realize that all these people had pulled off the highway to get out of the rain for the night. It looked like we weren’t going to get a room at that first place so we got back in the car and traveled a little further. Same thing. At the next and the next. You are started to see the pattern.
Finally, we decided to get on the phone and call around so we wouldn’t be driving in the deluge. Booked. Booked. Booked.
We ended up going a fairly good ways out of our way to keep from sleeping in the car overnight. The torrential rains never let up. By the time we got into our fairly crappy room, we were soaked and miserable. I promised myself then that a little more planning would be involved the next go round.
The first step for planning our anniversary trip was trying to figure out where we wanted to go. For this, we spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon on our porch talking about places we’d like to visit. We started off big…a Viking Cruise in Europe. Nope. Not enough time off to do that. Then we talked about New York, Las Vegas, D.C., and Disney World. We both felt that these destinations required more than just a few days off to explore.
Then The Dane said, “Being from Georgia, you’ve probably already seen all the sites in Atlanta…”
Um, nope. I’ve never been a tourist in my home capitol. I’ve been there, lived near there, but I’ve never been to any of the tourist places that out-of-towners would most likely visit. He said, “Then let’s do that.”
I started my planning on Pinterest. There were a number of articles about going to Atlanta for a vacation. Interesting that it had just never occurred to me to go there and see it this way. I started making a list of all the things that I thought might interest us. If you’re interested in seeing the things that I liked most from Pinterest, you can visit my page and find them under “Anniversary Trip 2017.”
Once we had decided on our destination, planning our vacation started to be a lot of fun.
We decided that we wanted to stay in the heart of Atlanta and walk to our destinations so that we could get in our steps. Next, we wanted to plot all the places on a map so we could group activities together to maximize our adventure. I started off with a regular map, but quickly got frustrated because I wanted to see things really close up. Finally getting fed up, I told The Dane, “there has to be an app for this.” This started me on my googlequest to find a better map.
I ended up finding something even better than what I thought I wanted. Enter ZeeMaps, an OCD planner’s best friend. This is an interactive source that allows you to plot points with different colored pins, put in addresses and any other information you might need. I added street addresses, hours of operation and ticket costs.
I started building my map by putting our hotel in blue. By doing this, I could see at a glance about how far it was going to be to walk to each destination. Next, I plotted all the things at the top of our list with red pins. The secondary things we sorta/kinda wanted to do, I plotted in yellow and then extras I put down in green. Once I completed the map, it was very easy to see what attractions we could walk to, which ones would be totally out of the question and which ones could be done together.
There is one other very important thing that I discovered while planning this trip. Friday and Saturday night stays are much more expensive than the rest of the week. If you are planning a visit and the first night in your hotel is on the weekend, be sure that you’re not getting charged that rate for the rest of the week. Some hotels automatically bring the rate down when quoting a price, but some don’t.
Thanks for dropping by to see me. Come back over the next week or so to find out all the really cool things there are to do in Atlanta.