Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, our fall travel plans were derailed. We had planned to spend a few days in Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC before heading back home through North Carolina. On Monday, I started getting concerned about the weather – at that time the weather forecasters weren’t sure if the storm was going to hit the US or not but Charleston was predicted to get lots of rain and wind. I thought we’d be OK going to Savannah at that point but by Tuesday, the day before we were supposed to leave, that had started to change.
So I canceled all of our hotels in GA & SC and added an extra night in Atlanta and an extra night in the Smoky Mountain area. But going home through North Carolina and Virginia like I had originally planned just didn’t make sense anymore so I canceled EVERYTHING and started from scratch, deciding to stay three nights in Atlanta and come home a day earlier than planned.
Wednesday was pretty much spent driving all day – and we almost didn’t make it. Right before we got to Nashville, I ran over a ladder that was in the road. It was unavoidable – either hit the ladder, hit a wall or hit another car next to me. Thankfully it only trashed the plastic thing that hangs down under the front bumper of my car (which is already scheduled for repair this week due to a huge metal thing that flew off a truck and hit me a few months ago). I think the ladder hit the plastic guard and bounced away from the car – I didn’t run it over and I don’t think it passed underneath because of how low the plastic thing is. So that was fortunate – it could have done some real damage.
In Nashville I made a quick photo stop at the “I Believe in Nashville” wall mural that’s right next to Reese Witherspoon’s boutique, Draper James.
We also briefly detoured to get the Alabama state sign since I’m working on getting pictures with all the state signs. This trip was supposed to get me 5 more but due to our altered plans, I only ended up with two. Oh well! Traffic was really bad in Chattanooga, but we eventually made it to Atlanta right around 7:30.
Our first day in the city was spent touring the CNN studios, hanging out in the Centennial Olympic Park and walking part of the way to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site before deciding it wasn’t a very safe neighborhood to be walking in. The CNN tour was neat but would have been better if we could have sat in on a live broadcast. We got to observe the newsrooms from behind glass and see some of the studios where things on HLN are filmed. The Olympic Park was really nice too – there is a big fountain in the middle that’s in the shape of Olympic rings and every so often music plays and the water is timed to the beat in the song, so you get a show.
On our second day, we visited the World of Coca Cola. The city was packed full of people by now and we think a lot of them had evacuated from the coast inward. Atlanta traffic is always known for being heavy but it was especially bad on Friday and it took a lot of time to get anywhere. The Coke museum was probably the highlight of the trip for me – they gave us each two bottles of Coke and it was fun trying the different beverages from all over the world. I almost never drink soft drinks and by the end of the taste test, my stomach was feeling sloshy and my heart rate elevated from the caffiene. I soaked it all up with a falafel wrap for lunch.
After lunch, I drug Adam to Covington, GA – a nearby city where the CW show the Vampire Diaries is filmed. I didn’t see anyone filming that day and I haven’t watched the show for a couple years (I plan to get back to it at some point) but I stopped at the Mystic Grill and several of the main characters homes from the show. We tried to find the Salvatore brother’s house which is in Atlanta but the address I found didn’t take us to the correct place. I have a feeling it was nearby but I wasn’t going to drive around and get lost trying to find it.
Saturday, we headed home – a day earlier than originally planned but that gave us Sunday to just lounge around and get caught up on laundry & grocery shopping. Our final stop of the trip was at Mammoth Cave in KY. I had also been there as a kid but didn’t remember much of it so it was fun to visit again. We just did a short, self guided walking tour down in to the cave and it felt quite a bit smaller than I remembered. It also looked really different from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. I’m not sure where we’re going on our next trip – we’re throwing around Alaska or possibly Italy/Greece next summer!