We did not visit World of Coke. Thatboy vetoed it, and while I usually bypass his vetoes, I wasn't sure how long it would take to get through it and we were on a bit of a time crunch after the aquarium.
And Thatboy found time to have a drink and convo with the founder of Coca Cola (who he found to be a little stiff)
We did not visit CNN.
But I did get to experience one of the things I miss most about living on the East Coast.
All those things we didn't do worked up our appetite. Before heading to Atlanta, I consulted my local expert - Jyl from thepostitplace for all things Atlanta (including the weather). A couple months back she had blogged about a family tradition to visit The Varsity every time they made the drive into Atlanta.
The Varsity is to Atlanta what In-N-Out is to California. It's one of those places that you have to visit. Promising only fresh ingredients, and a special, select menu.
And boy is this place CHEAP! I think my hot dog cost a dollar and change. Cheaper than at a Padres game! And way cheaper than my beloved Nathans.
According to Jyl, the rumor is that the place goes waaaaaay back to those days. Started as a hot dog stand and now is a multilevel restaurant AND car hop that keeps people coming back.
Thatboy ordered a combo with a chili cheese burger and chili cheese dog and onion rings. The chili was really interesting - it had a dry quality to it which I wouldn't love as chili, but is perfect for topping a burger or dog since it doesn't sauce and leak everywhere.
I have a serious aversion to American cheese so I went with a slaw dog instead. I love the idea of coleslaw on a hotdog (or pretty much coleslaw on anything - burgers, sandwiches....).
After lunch it was off to the airport to pick up Thatfamily....and drive around the airport for an hour. Because that's how long it took for them to deplane. Thatbrother had called me while we were at The Varsity to let me know they had landed. So we headed out, expecting to reach the airport right as they grabbed their bags. When we reached the airport, they hadn't even gotten off the plane yet!
After finally collecting everyone, we headed to our hotel for a quick cleanup (and a much needed shower for Thatboy and I) before going to meet the cousins for dinner at TAP - a gastropub in downtown Atlanta.
The nice thing about a gastropub is you know you're going to get some good beers. Thatbrother went Belgian, while Thatboy and I stuck to some local brews.
Now eating with the cousins means a party of 11. And there was no way I was going to take a picture of all 11 meals. Besides, it was dark so pictures are horrible anyway.
I ordered what Thatmom calls "the typical Thatgirl meal" - tomato soup and grilled cheese. OMG can I tell you about this grilled cheese? Made with some kind of delicious ooey gooey cheese from Cowgirl Creamery I'm willing to bet was some kind of goat cheese. I literally passed this around the table for everyone to take a bite. And speaking of things we didn't do in Atlanta, I most definitely did not take a spoon to this sandwich to scoop out all the remaining cheese when I was too full to eat any more.
Thatboy had a trio of tacos - curry fish, fried chicken, and fire shrimp. You can take the boy out of California.......He thought they were alright, but we are very spoiled on the taco front.
After dinner, I packed our car up with all the cousins who were under the age of 30 and we headed to a ghost tour I had booked for us. It was supposed to start at 10:30, but we didn't get started till 11:10. It was supposed to be 90 minutes, but it didn't end until 1:30 am. It was supposed to be spooky, but instead we wandered around downtown Atlanta, watching drunk people stumble out of bars and hoping the homeless people wouldn't bother us too much. As we reached the turnaround point of the tour, UDubb was convinced we had already walked in a circle and MUST be back at the starting point since we had already walked so far and for so long. Our super late night kind of ruined all our plans for the next day. But stay tuned anyway, because we all managed to wake up in time for First's wedding!