From the friendly MARTA ambassador who escorted us to our hotel, to the bus drivers, pedestrians, wait staff and Delta agent on MARTA going back, Atlanta's folks are the friendliest. Awesome food and sightseeing were heightened to exceptional levels. Iconic sights, mountains and more....but the people will bring us back.
by nmagann on June 23, 2013
We took MARTA east exiting at the Kensington Station. From here, we caught bus 121 as we were advised and asked the driver to let us know when to get off. She pointed the direction to gate entrance and we soon entered the park.The primary path was the one leading to the top of stone mountain. The smoothness of the rock was reminiscent of the kind depicted on Half Dome at Yosemite Park without the sheer vertical ascent. The graceful angle, while felt on the calves, belied the heights the top was reaching. In spite of the lightly colored granite rock, the temperature was cool with the wafting scent of evergreens.Most people seemed content to slowly walk up the path without too much wondering. However, should a bit of privacy be desired or wonder lust strike, it was easy enough to venture in a more horizontal direction. There were prohibited signs. A few squirrels and birds could be seen and heard, but for the most part the sound of the breeze was all that made sound.Just before the pinnacle, steep steps carved within the granite paralleled an oft needed hand rail. A few very quick stops to breath while taking a photo, and we arrived. The view of the river that nearly surrounded the peak was breathtaking. An island in the middle of the bulging section beckoned a retreat. Unfortunately, this time of the year, tour boats were not operating.We chose to take the tram down to a bird's eye view of the magnificent carvings. Recalling the picture I had seen where a person sat within the open mouth of the horse, I marveled at the size of this feat. And to hear that it was the same person that had created Mt. Rushmore heightened the experience. The stories were intriguing about the man and the work itself.Much quicker than desire, the ride terminated right in the middle of the park where entertainment was staged, souvenir shops and walking paths prevailed. After looking around we chose a path nearest to the river and the monolith to return to the entry point.The crisp fresh air atop the mountain and the incline walked prepared us for a nice meal upon our return.
by nmagann on February 24, 2013
I simply can’t say enough about the transportation in Atlanta. Directly from the airport we were able to board MARTA at 11:30pm to Peachtree Street. As we stood reading the directions at the machine, a MARTA representative told us we had to buy a card at a cost of $1 and then put in the number of trips we wanted at $2.50 each. We could continue to add to the card any time. We even discovered it could be used for the buses.At our stop where there was an underground mall as it was the transfer station for east-west lines and north-south lines. At the end of very long escalator ride to surface, we were greeted by an ambassador. He wound up walking us to the condo we had rented a mere 2 blocks away. He also gave us a thumbnail sketch of the general direction of the main attractions from where we were to get our bearings. Frequency of the trains is approximately 15-20 minutes depending on day of the week. The cars are exceptionally clean and quiet.While riding the MARTA, each stop is not only called out, but the nearby attractions listed. Maps with information are at every stop and most have restrooms as well. The buses parked near the terminals are clearly marked with the number and destination. As it was luck, accidentally repeatedly tapping my card, I had used extra trips and my card was empty. I sat down on the bus and returned with the proper amount in coins. Because that part of the machine was not working, she simply told me I could add to my card at my destination. How very nice, I thought. Clearly a tourist, she could have left me stranded.On the bus ride to Stone Mountain, after we asked the driver to let us off at the appropriate place she proceeded to tell us about her experience climbing the mountain with her much younger and spryer nephew. At the stop, she called out to some teens to verify the direction we would walk to the entry gate and told us where to exit the park for the return home.Making things this easy, we could easily return for a short duration and see plenty. I foresee another extended weekend.
The World of Coca-Cola turned out to be just right for our quest to find something else to explore before heading off to the airport for a late afternoon flight. It was only three blocks away from where we were staying which was only two blocks from the MARTA station. We arrived at 10:00am when it opened and along with others were whisked off to watch a video. It was short cartoon video that had some adorable character such as big pair of lips that kissed all the bottles of coke with the seal of approval coming off the line. Excerpts from commercials from long ago with people gathering on a mountain singing "I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke" along with "Things Go Better With Coke" slogan brought back memories. I had forgotten the impact of these advertisements as young as I was. Not unlike the famous hamburger jingle, the words quickly come back to mind.The large red logo in Atlanta where it all began makes one temporarily forget other products such as Sprite and Dr. Pepper. But from the original sprang diet and caffeine free versions as well. As a drinker, I recalled the uproar after changing the recipe which later resulted in the new flavor as well as the classic flavor. But the original recipe was still kept in a vault and the most prized possession of all.I was stunned to see how many countries around the world had Coca-Cola, from China to Egypt and tiny countries in between. A tasting station listing the five different continents offered a variety of products unique to that location to taste. Fruit infused offerings from peach to cherry were interesting. Again, I didn’t realize all these products existed. I tried my fair share of them thinking about the differences in what appeals to different cultures. Even the labels and styles of bottles were fascinating.The antique items from stem ware to bottles, trays and poster was a neat blast from the past worth the $15 entry price.
Pittypat’s Porch gets rave reviews for so many reasons. The location just off Peachtree Avenue makes it easily accessible. As the name implies the restaurant offers Southern food, but with such an elegant twist. The top floor with the veranda full of rocking chairs and images of Scarlet and Rhett in the corner transports you to that era. Visions of drinking cool lemonade or sweet tea on a sultry evening while watching the folks below entering the dining room came to mind.The hostess graciously seated us like we were old friends. Our waiter brought over a fresh selection from the bakery wherein I choose a chocolate chip muffin and a sweet potato muffin. He hadn’t any more of the sweet potato which my sister wanted so she took a blueberry muffin and biscuit. Moments later he returned with three potato muffins that were inhaled they were so delicious. He told us many people came in simply to get half a dozen of them to take home.This hostess appeared out of nowhere as soon as stood before the salad bar eyeing the prospects. She pointed to each item not only telling me the name of it, but what the overall taste was from sweet to sour to sweet and sour. I tried the rice and pinto beans, Cajun macaroni salad, the mix of vegetables with a sweet and sour taste, and the unusual watermelon rinds. All were very good along with an excellent Caesar salad with freshly shredded cheese. I had ordered the salmon with fried green tomatoes which simply melted in my mouth. My sister enjoyed her grits and collards as well.My first experience with Southern food in a superb atmosphere will not be forgotten anytime soon. Not only was the service, food, and atmosphere great, but the quiet and elegance transported me to less stressful place.
Located in eclectic Little Five Points, The Vortex sucks you in as soon as you eye the larger than life skull. People that indicate you can’t miss it when giving directions are actually spot on. Waiting to be seated wasn’t a problem considering all there was to see. Hanging from the ceiling, a skeleton rode a Harley. Maybe Ghost Rider toured here. Flags, patches, posters and other motorcycle memorabilia cover walls, ceilings and rafters. At the same time, a cornucopia of other worldly pieces adorns the restaurant. Solar systems and swirling illusions draw in your attention. Be aware, No One under 18 Years Old.Appetizers are huge and, with the no doubt calorie and cholesterol laden choices, are extremely filling. The Cheesy-Cheese Goo was a mound of French fries covered with melted cheese. Not easy to be lady-like when consuming them. You could also try Bad Ass Buffalo Wings with Atomic Death Sauce which is equally messy.Sandwich offerings combined corned beef with caraway sauerkraut for a Yankee Ruben or fried chicken with a fried egg and bacon for a Southern Fried Egg Head. Burgers with names like Fat Elvis, Hell’s Fury and Rebel Outlaw will have you dying to get over to Oakland Cemetery.This restaurant is what might be a cult classic or must-see. However, after reading the "rules" of the establishment, it seems to be a bit stuffy. Patrons are invited to down load menus in lieu of stealing them, with people eating please do not linger after your meal. If you order a take-out meal which incurs a 5% surcharge, take it and go. Check to see your order is correct before you leave because if you leave they are not responsible as they claim "errors or missing items….oldest scammer trick in the book." That being said I wouldn’t return. The skull entrance outside is sufficient to experience.
The Inman Park stop on the Marta blue line is a mere three blocks south of the Oakland Cemetery. Walking along the wall to the cemetery, I stopped to peer over. Much to my surprise I was eye to eye with the ground where the RIP plaques lay.Crossing the street, we entered the ground floor of Six Feet Under where people were dying to get in or at least have a wait of nearly an hour as we did. Even the bar area was full, so much so it was being used to seat diners. People laying six feet under across the street and stand room only waiting, the notoriety of this place is understatement.Six Feet Under seemed to be a place for groups. Although I doubted any had just attended a function across the street, there were celebrations. Children and adults enjoyed the atmosphere and food. Old memorabilia from neon beer signs and Coca-Cola trays nearly cover the walls. The overhead hanging light near the staircase was an adorable mermaid with angelic wings – so appropriate.Oysters Rockefeller was so good my sister insisted they be revisited the next day. Of course, the same was true of the fabulous peach margarita. Oysters were available in Po’ Boys, deep fried as was catfish, shrimp, crab and calamari. Side dishes included salads, okra, grits, greens, white beans and several other southern delights. Listed as an entrée ,was the option of choosing four different sides which I choose both days, selecting different items. Washed down with a Tombstone Tea, or Killer Margarita and you’ve got a winner.Souvenirs, when in stock include t-shirts, postcards and hats.
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