Thursday, October 29, 2009

The return of the garibaldi

Last weekend was First's wedding weekend. So Thatfamily packed up our gear and headed to Atlanta.

Thatboy and I went first. Last year I took Thatboy to NYC for his first time ever. Because we had a limited amount of time, we red-eyed it. Popped some sleeping pills and slept the way over which gave us a full day once we arrived. We decided to do the same thing on the way to Atlanta. The problem? The flight was only 3.5 hours. We landed bleary eyed and far too soon.

I had asked for breakfast suggestions on my cooking board and wifeplzak and josie both recommended "The Flying Biscuit."

Josie informed me that Emily Saliers of the Indigo girls was a cofounder of the restaurant, but now it's a chain found throughout Atlanta. They opened at 7, just 10 minutes after we arrived in their parking lot. Perfect.

Thatboy was a little disappointed with the menu. The bacon was turkey bacon and the sausage was chicken sausage. He gets enough of that stuff at home and likes the "real versions" when we go out. He had the special with white cheddar, chicken sausage, eggs, mushrooms, and carmelized onions.

As usual, he preferred my breakfast - black bean cakes with over medium eggs, goat cheese, and tomatillo salsa.

But the surefire winner was the namesake Flying biscuit. These things were SO good. I kept thinking of them all weekend and almost convinced Thatboy to swing by so we could take a bag home. SO GOOD. They're reason enough to visit.

One of the primary reasons Thatboy and I headed to Atlanta early was to visit the Georgia Aquarium. The largest aquarium in the world! We heard the ticket line can be a zoo so we ordered our tickets online for the first entrance time. And after breakfast we drove over and slept in the parking lot until that time came. Nothing like a good car nap!

The aquarium had two exhibits I couldn't photograph. The first was a 4-D show where we got to meet the mascot of the aquarium. In case you didn't pick up on it from the title of this post, it was a garabaldi fish!!!!!! What are the odds? This is truly the year of the garabaldi. And it made me smile to think of them swimming practically in my backyard.

The second exhibit was Planet Shark - an inside look at the facts and mythology of sharks. And I mean inside - they had more shark jaws and teeth than you would see in a lifetime. And full screen movies of sharks. It reinforced my belief that nothing will get me on a surf board. Poor Thatboy.

The Birch Aquarium had 2 lionfish.......this aquarium had a gazillion.

This guy was one of my favorites of the day. We bonded. So much so that I literally got him to pose in a bunch of different positions for me. When I put down my camera, he turned and swam away. We're friends.

The aquarium is divided into several different sections - the rainforest, the artic, the tropics. There are gorgeous colorful fish in each section.

I decided I was the fish whisperer after the turtle experience. I kept trying to get these pirranah to show me their teeth.

Did you have a fish tank as a kid? With a castle, or treasure chest, or a plastic scuba diver? I couldn't resist taking a picture of this because it reminded me of my childhood fish tank on a much longer scale.

Look! Buddys!!!! These Asian sea otters were all over each other. They were cuddling, grooming, and rubbing something all over themselves. Thatboy thought they were given some kind of drug and some of their actions definitely made it seem like they were on E....or so I've heard. But regardless they were SO cute!!! I love Buddys. They're my other animals of the year.

There were tons of these giant crabs. Each larger than my head. Which made me hungry. I'm not the only one - someone evidently ate my favorite part of this guy.

These cuttlefish were amazing! We watched them change color right before our eyes to match their surroundings. As they moved from one area of the tank to another, their color changed. Thatboy swore their texture changed too. I had a bonding moment here too, but not with this cuttlefish. With another one who kept sticking his tongue out at me. But based on the behavior of a couple of his tankmates, it might not have been his tongue.

Thatboy spent a good 20 minutes in front of the jellyfish tank. He kept taking what he called "abstract jellyfish" pictures. Me? I like actually being able to identify what I'm taking a picture of. But maybe that's why he's the artist in our relationship.

While Thatboy took his 20 minutes in front of his tank, I entertained myself by snapping pictures of these jellyfish as the light in their tank changed colors.

I get these fish confused with the lionfish. It's the spines. I'm fishist. All look same.

Can you see the fish in this picture? He's hiding, right out in the open. It's that pink thing in the middle!!!!

And then we found Nemo!

The aquarium has a giant shark exhibit. It takes up rooms and rooms and rooms. It goes over your head and there are vantage points from all angles. There are a ton of different sharks, some I've only seen in books.

This hammerhead swam right over me. And I wasn't even scared. Which is a big deal for me.

This is Spot. When he was just a little ray he found this little corner of the giant tank with big boulders and decided it would be his little corner. And even though he keeps growing, and he's too big for the space, he still wedges himself in there. The aquarium guy called this place "Spot's spot."

The star of the Georgia Aquarium is the whale shark. Or whale sharks. They have 4 of them! The largest fish in the world at the largest aquarium in the world! I loved these guys and took a million pictures of them.

For size comparison, here's the whale shark with a giant manta ray. Not helpful?

Is this better?

How bout this? Yes, the manta ray is the size of 3 adults. Now scroll back up and see how much smaller the manta ray is compared with the whale shark. SO cool.


  1. How fun! I want to see thatboy's pics, too!

  2. It looks like you had a fun filled weekend. The aquarium looks amazing!!!!!!!

  3. That aquariam is an experience. I'll bet you had absolutely no idea that you were a fish whisperer ... or did you tell the turtle he'd be soup if he didn't pose?

  4. Ohhh, I love the aquarium. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip! I hope you did make it for some truly southern food while you were here.

  5. I had ThatBoy's reaction to the menu at Flying Biscuit also--but dang if the French Toast was not AMAZING, despite being so freaking healthy. :)

  6. Oh my gosh, I need to go to the aquarium. I was OBSESSED with whale sharks as a kid.

  7. I love the picture of the turtle! Looks like a fun time. I wish I could travel as much as you do.

  8. I can see Jim and I having a really fabulous time there - it looks so awesome!!