Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Tourist In My Own Backyard

I can't believe I'm about to admit this BUT... there are a lot of touristy places in ATL that I have never been/done. This week and weekend, my sweet friend Dan came to visit me from Kansas, land of BBQ and Dorothy, and he asked me to show him all the ATL hotspots.

I told him we could go to East Andrews & Moondogs, and he suggested perhaps the MLK, Jr Memorial, Stone Mountain, the Coke Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and others. I guess our ideas of hotspots were off, but I jumped on his tourist bandwagon and off we went.

We are heading to a Braves game Saturday night for my best friend's birthday, so Mister Dan found us a sweet deal - the Braves Triple Play option! I'll recap the rest of our adventures in posts as our weekend progresses, but today...

Today we hit the first stop on our whirlwind ATL touristing tour - the Martin Luther King Jr, National Historic Site. I thought I had the address correct, turns out I had the address for his actual home. Whoops. So we drove around for a minute kind of lost, and almost called it quits, but Dan insisted we keep looking. After asking a National Parks Officer for some help, we found the guest parking (it was free - huge perk in downtown ATL!) and went on our adventure.

First we started at the Welcome Center. The exhibit is in 3 rooms, with the main entrance housing a quick glance at life in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr, from the 30's through the 60's, and how different it was compared to now. In the next room, you'll find a more in-depth journey with Martin Luther King, from his childhood to his ultimate assasination. There are video clips, murals, and everything in between. Pretty inspiring! They also had the wagon that carried Mr. King's casket.

From there, we walked a little further south and found Ebeneezer Baptist Church (old and new) but we weren't able to go inside - apparently the new one is being renovated to reflect a 60's motif. COOL!

From there, we continued our explorations to the fountains (which also were not running) that surround MLK & his wife's tomb. I made fun of DantheMan for calling it a tomb before we got there, but that really is how I would describe it to. I bet it would have been even more beautiful if the fountains had been running but alas, they were not.

We walked into Freedom Hall, were told the next tour wasn't until 5pm, and said oh well. The house MLK lived in up until he was 12 was just a couple doors down, so even though we couldn't go inside, we went and stood in front of it and took each other's pictures.

DanMan really wanted a MLK shot glass, and I didn't have the heart to tell him I didn't think his dreams were going to come true. After the 2nd gift shop, it finally occurred to him that a commemorative shot glass might be a bit disrespectful. I was glad I didn't have to be the one to break the news.

All in all a successful first tourist activity in the A. Tonight, we're heading to the Laser Show, only to come home and head back to the Mountain again tomorrow for all kinds of activities. I shall return to post more about being a tourist in your own town!

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