Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Day in Atlanta ~ Photos Galore

Traveling with kids is always an adventure.  Traveling with special needs kids always adds to the adventure. I tend to research our jaunts in great detail and have multiple plans in case Plan A doesn't work.  I tend to over pack, too.  We had bathing suits, change of clothes, a towel, food for the day, drinks and blankets/pillows for the car ride.  We also set up the DVD player in the car (which only goes in the car for trips of 2 or more hours).

On this trip, we wanted to know if we could realistically count Atlanta as a day trip destination.  We were delighted to discover that the kids are old enough to make the 7 hour round trip and still enjoy a day of fun seeing the sights.

We arrived around 10:30 in the morning and found parking near the Centennial Olympic Park.  We enjoyed looking at all of the statues and talking about the upcoming Olympics.  We then played at the two playgrounds and enjoyed the wonderful splash waterpark.  We had a picnic lunch that we brought with us.  At the waterpark, there are several shows choreographed to music throughout the day.  We watched the mid-day show while eating Googie's Fried Pickles and hand-cut French fries (for Tom Sawyer).  I had never heard of fried pickles and wanted to try something famous to the area.  They were interestingly good.  Total cost of the first part of this trip was $6 for parking and $10 for food at Googie (which is in the park).

After the water show, we changed back into dry clothes in the clean public bathrooms and headed for Oakland Cemetery.  As regular readers of this blog know, I really like historic cemeteries.  This one was amazing.  It had a visitors center and a GIFT SHOP!  We purchased the self-guided tour book and set off to find some famous Atlanta natives.  We walked around for about half an hour and then opted for the car to tour the rest of the extensive grounds (48 acres).  I was stunned by how crowded the graves were in the Jewish section known as the Jewish Flats.  You would have had to step on stones to see the graves further back.  This section was mostly used by poor Russian Jewish immigrants.

The next photos are of some of the more ornamental head stones as well of the lovely gardens.  Unfortunately, I am still struggling to learn the ISO on my Dad's fancy camera, so the pictures are a bit washed out.  I am however, very pleased to have a camera again.

Total cost of second part of our trip was $4 for the tour book.

For the third leg of our trip we headed off to the most exciting part (according to the kids).  We went to Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta.  We reserved our tickets online the day before for the discounted after 4 pm slot.  It is open until 9 pm so there is plenty of time to enjoy everything after 4 pm.  We arrived and were shown straight into the "factory" part of the tour.  It was kind of cheesy, but did explain how Lego products are made.  We then went on both rides that were offered.  The wait time was about 10 minutes for each ride.  You were allowed to go on both rides multiple times, so we went on the Castle Quest ride twice.  There were tons of Legos everywhere to build with and lots of displays to explore.  There was also a very cool miniature diorama of the city of Atlanta (my favorite part).  The kids also enjoyed a playground (need socks sold there for $1) and we saw a 4-D movie.

The kids had a great time!  I do think this Legoland is geared towards the younger set (which they said on their website), and I am glad we made it here before they got any older.  Once they were done with Legoland, we went into the Lego store.  I was pleasantly pleased to see that they had many of the smaller sets (in addition to the grand sets).  My children worked hard to save their allowances and do extra chores to have spending money.  They each had around $30 to spend and were able to find several small things they could afford.  After their purchases were complete, we headed over to Zoe's Kitchen for dinner and headed home at 8 pm with very sleepy children.  Total cost of the third part was $67 to enter Legoland and $27 for dinner.  We also hit Starbucks for the driver's caffeine boost on the way out of town.  The gas cost us $50.  Total cost for the day (not including the kids' money) ~ $121!!

Reflections ~ We plan on going back in the spring to visit the famous aquarium.  I want to remember that the fries at Googies were safe for Tom Sawyer.  Also, Zoe's Kitchen is in the 2300 block of Peachtree street.  There are two meals that are safe at Zoe's for Tom Sawyer.  Starbucks and Googie sold Izzy drinks, organic sodas which Tom Sawyer loves.  We really did not need so much time for the Centennial Olympic Park.  If we had driven one more block away from the park, there would have been parking spaces costing only  $3 to $4.  Also, the Underground Mall (where you can see burned out walls from the civil war) was not far from the park and would have been a good, free place to visit had it been raining.  The Aquarium, Coca cola museum, and children's museum are withing walking distance of the park.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Ooooh, so many good things to glean here if we ever make it to Atlanta. We're planning to hit the Dallas area Legoland in the future and I will have to check out that after 4 deal. I had no idea.

    Fried pickles are one of my guilty pleasures :)

    Sounds like a wonderful day trip. So glad you all were able to do that together.

  2. Wow, that's quite a day trip! We're not there yet, but it gives me hope for the future. :) I loved the pictures! I've never seen a cemetery like that and I've never heard of fried pickles. I always learn new things from you! So glad you had a good trip...

  3. What a fun trip! I love all the things you packed into a day. We had a day like that recently and I hope to post pics soon. It was our drive back from NJ to NC.

    We would love to see you in Aug if you are here. Just let us know.

    Hugs to you friend and thanks for your prayers.

  4. I am glad you enjoyed your trip to Atlanta. We live in North Ga and make trips to Atlanta (1 1/2 hr) a few times a year. Some other interesting places to visit in Atlanta are The Center for Puppetry Arts, Fernbank and The High Museum of Art. After viewing your pictures I would really like to visit the Oakland Cemetary. My mother actually grew up in that area.

  5. So you were in my home town!!! I think I've been almost everywhere you went except Oakland Cemetery. That's on my list for this year.

    There's so much to do in this city - my husband is a native and he hasn't done so much of it yet!!!

    Glad you had fun!

  6. Sounds like a great day and for all of you to go and do all of that and eat for $121 including gas is incredible! Good timing to visit the Olympic park too.

    I've always wanted to take the kids to Legoland...maybe someday. How great that the kids had each saved enough to be able to buy themselves some Lego there!