05 April 2010

Our ears are popping: goodbye Florida flatlands!

Ok, so I said I would blog from Atlanta, but didn't. I really wanted to, but by the time I'd get back to the hotel room, I was too exhausted to type. Plus, I left my camera card reader behind in Tampa and what's a travel post without photos?

Anyway, enough gab, here's the breakdown:

Day 1: Tampa Departure
Matt and I hung out at TPA waiting for our flight. We were super excited for our Atlanta trip, splurged $8.55 each on the grossest "paninis" we'd ever had and made up for it with iced coffee from Starbucks.

Needless to say, we didn't anticipate walking to the wrong hertz rental kiosk once we arrived in Atlanta, or our GPS not being able to figure out that the road we needed to turn down for our hotel ends at a bridge and picks up on the other side. Big shout out to the security guard at Turner Broadcasting Systems for helping us get to the other side!

So after running circles around downtown Atlanta, we checked in around 11. Is it strange that I couldn't fall asleep because of my nerves for Matt's nerves over meeting professors at Georgia Tech? I think I remember it being 1AM before I finally passed out.

Day 2: Georgia Tech

All visiting students assembled in the hotel lobby and boarded the shuttle. I think there were about 50 visiting students. Crazy! We were fed breakfast and listened to a little speech about the graduate program at GA Tech. After that, the professor meetings began. Matt's first appointment was with a professor researching snakes, the way they move and how it all relates to mechanics. Slytherin anyone??

The best part about meeting with this professor is that he had a door greeter. Meet Jerry:

I didn't mind waiting at all with this little cutie keeping me company in the hallway. The rest of the day went well for Matt. I'll spare you the boring, engineering details. I stopped listening after the 3rd meeting. The previous days' craziness was catching up and I found myself taking mini-naps every chance I got.

Dinner, however, was fantastic! We ate at the Renaissance hotel on the 25 floor which overlooked the city at sunset. We also got a chance to talk with a recent grad student about living in Atlanta and her first semester experience at the university.

Day 3: City Exploration
We started our day apartment hunting and found two delightful complexes that fit our budget. They're both gated and one of them had a community herb garden where they let you have your own little plot of dirt to grow herbs, veggies and flowers. Too cute!

We headed down to Piedmont Park to eat at the Flying Biscuit, but it was Saturday and lunchtime, so there was quite a wait. We ended up at Jason's Deli...extravagant, I know. But hey! Free ice cream!  Look how sleepy/puffy we look. It stinks to say we're allergic to Spring. :(

We couldn't resist a little history lesson, so we also visited the Atlanta History Center. Matt got a kick out of the manual powered drill presses.

Unfortunately, we couldn't enjoy our entire time due to the jerk lady who WANTED her picture taken next to the KKK display and joked about whether or not she should pose with her white shopping bag over her head. So, I gave her the nastiest look I could muster and we made our way over to the outdoor exhibits.

The center relocated buildings from the Tullie Farm built in the 1840s. We missed the tour for the interior of the house, so we walked around and looked at the blacksmith shed and the slave quarters.

The center and outdoor exhibits appear to be located on what was once the Inman family's land. Their home, The Swan House, still stands. Built in the 20s off of money inherited from the cotton industry, the mammoth mansion is beautifully eerie as it overlooks gardens and fountains. As gorgeous as it was, I don't know why a family of four needed a house that big. Seriously, all that money could have gone toward something a lot more meaningful.
For dinner, we ate at the famous Varsity drive-in near GA Tech. Apparently, this place has quite the history. Starting out as a little shack, it now sits on top of its own parking garage and holds over a whopping total of 800 people.
The World's Largest Drive-in sits on more than two acres and can accommodate 600 cars and over eight hundred people inside. On days of Georgia Tech football games up to 30,000 people visit The Varsity. It sells more than two miles of hotdogs daily, a ton of onion rings, 2500 pounds of fresh cut potatoes, 5000 homemade fried pies, and 300 gallons of chili, all of which are made from scratch daily. The downtown Varsity is also the world's largest single outlet for Coca-Cola (via The Varsity).
It was a fun visit, but I'm sorry, the food was terrible and nothing special, neither was the service. But you know what? The sheer presence of the place made up for it!
So, our Atlanta weekend was fun, and we wish we had more time to do more exploring. Matt leaves for New York this Thursday to check out RPI (tickets are too expensive for me to tag along) and when he gets back, he'll make a final decision on which school he'll be attending in the Fall which means I'll FINALLY know where we'll be living as husband and wife!


  1. Probably a little troublesome when it was all happening at the beginning, bad airport food, getting lost, but all turn out well and it was quite humorous reading about it later.

  2. The airport food wasn't troublesome. I think we were relaxed about it because we thought we'd have to rush after Matt's research symposium (which he won!!), grab our stuff and go.

    Turns out, the symposium ended at 2 and our flight was at 6 which gave us plenty of time to go at a nice pace.


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