An Atlanta Braves-cation

I think she still enjoyed herself, but Melissa called this past weekend a “Braves-cation.” To me, that sounds like a lot of fun, and it definitely was.

She was right that our trip to Atlanta over the weekend was very Braves-centric.  We only went to one game, the Friday night blowout win, but we made two separate trips to the Braves Clubhouse Store in CNN Center and watched or listened to parts of the other games all weekend.

I’ll save the game details for my Braves Check later, but I do want to mention some of the other things we did.

Thursday

The weather forecast for Thursday was grim, especially in the afternoon, so we nixed our plan to go to Six Flags in favor of a morning stop at Stone Mountain.  We hoped to get to the top of the mountain and back before the rains came, and then we planned to spend the afternoon shopping.

We accomplished that and more.  I hadn’t been to Stone Mountain since I was very young, so it was exciting to see the mountain with a little more appreciation of its history.  It’s a worthy day trip if you’re in the area.

After stopping one or two places to shop along the way, we checked in to our hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Perimeter Center area.  We like staying in that part of town because of the shopping and restaurant options, but also because there are several MARTA rail stations close by.  MARTA doesn’t run in Cobb County, which would be the closest suburban Atlanta county to us in North Georgia, so we have to go a little bit out of the way.  If you’ve tried driving through Atlanta much, you’ll understand that there’s some value in using MARTA, even if it’s not as good as what’s offered in other very large cities. The hotel was nice, and it was a pretty good deal online.

Thursday evening, after the rain had held off pretty much all day, we fought our way through the rush hour traffic to Norcross, where we ate at Ted’s Montana Grill with some of our friends who had moved to the area from Chattanooga.  I’m hooked on Ted’s burgers, and we have to stop there anytime we’re in town now.

Friday

This was our busiest day, and we started with a trip downtown to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  We last went there two years ago, and honestly not much had changed.  They’re preparing to open a dolphin exhibit and had actually removed the sea lion and penguin exhibits, which were two of their best.  We also went on a tour of the CNN Center, which is across Centennial Olympic Park from the aquarium.  That was pretty interesting to me, but it’s not really the kind of thing you’d want to do more than once.

We didn’t stick around for Greg Maddux’s Braves HOF induction ceremony, which was to take place at the Omni that afternoon, but we did visit the Braves Clubhouse store long enough to see that Tommy Hanson was going to be there on Saturday.

Lunch on Friday was at the Silver Skillet, which is a 50’s-style diner that has been used as a set on a number of movies and TV shows (most notably to me, Remember the Titans).  The food is pretty good as well, especially the lemon ice-box pie.

We got a fair amount of exercise walking to our lunch spot, so we headed back to the hotel to recuperate for the game that night.  After a quick nap, we left for the game and got there around 6:30.

A few pictures of Friday morning/afternoon:

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Our seats were in left field (fair territory), but we walked up to the upper deck to get some pictures of the new Coke bottle.  The bottle was impressive, but Melissa made a keen observation while we were up there taking pictures: she saw the spot where Greg Maddux’s retired number would be unveiled during the pregame ceremony.  So, instead of going back to our seats, we staked out a spot to stand near the number and watched the ceremony from there.

The Braves beat the Mets 11-0, so it was a fun game to watch once we moved to our actual seats.  Here are a few pictures from the game:

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Saturday

Melissa was gracious enough to alter our Saturday plans for a return trip to the CNN Center to meet Tommy Hanson, and she had the wise suggestion to arrive 2 hours before he was supposed to be there at 11.  There were already 50-60 people lined up when we got there, so that proved to be yet another good move on her part.  She racked up some major wife points over the weekend, needless to say.

The time passed quickly, as we were surrounded by a mixture of crazed fans and some professional autograph seekers hoping to seize upon a free opportunity.  Eventually, our time came, and Melissa got a pretty good picture of Hanson signing a ball for me:

Tommy Hanson Autograph

We made our way back to the Perimeter Center area after that and spent some time shopping (Micro Center, Trader Joe’s) before heading home.

It was good to take a few days off work and get away, even if it wasn’t a far trip.  Our next weekend trip will probably be somewhere other than Atlanta, since Melissa will want to cash in all those points she earned.

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