Two minutes in and Elliot had already vomitted on me. Things were going to get pretty stinky by the time we got to Atlanta... I think Nat got vomited on a lot more than I did but she's a bit more used to it so she doesn't complain so much. In the end, apart from a bit of sick and a nasty 6 hour layover in LA the trip went really well. Elliot had some big sleeps and the movies were enough to get us through. On top of that we had Nic and Rich meeting us at the airport so no matter how bad the trip was it was going to have a happy ending. It was great to see them again and it was also really good to meet the family they are living with and to get a feel for what life in Atlanta is like for them.
Despite the dollar droping about 20 cents in between booking and taking our trip shopping was still a high priority. Nothing better for curing jetlag than a long day of retail therapy. Once Nat's first priority out of the way it was time to see the sights. As far as I can tell the highlights of Atlanta are the Coke museum, the Aquarium and Cabbage Patch General Hospital, the birth place of cabbage patch kids. Being unable to agree on which attraction to visit first we decided to do what most Atlantans do for kicks, leave atlanta for a few days. The familly N & R are staying with have a fabulous, fully decked out, lake house a few hours from the city on Lake Oconee. The weather had been in the 30s but unfotunately for the first two days at the lake it dropped to the low 20s. Still nice but not swimming weather. Fortunatley the last day was a cracker and we swapped the Wii for the speed boat and knee board. I wasn't going to go knee boarding due to a slightly bung knee but after some peer preasuure from Rich I decided to give it a bash. Knee boarding isn't too hard but it is horrible for your knees. I let go after a few hudred metters opting to get a little experimental with some stand up knee boarding. All was going well until I lost my rail, face planted and copped the board in the shin.
Once back in Atlanta it was time to bite the bullet and do some real Georgian sight seeing. After a few too many fast food meals (see photo of horrible hot dogs) it was decided we needed to get active. Rich and I went for a really nice moutain bike ride in one of the few local public parks complete with hundreds of squirrels and even a few deer. Next stop on the sightseeing / weight loss checklist was Stone Mountain. Stone Mountian is Georgia's attempt at mount rushmore, holding aloft the leaders of the confederate states. Needless to say it's not quite as impressive but it's still pretty cool. After a picnic lunch at the foot of the carving the boys decided to hike to the top while the girls walked around the other side to catch the gondola up with Elliot. But for the stiff breeze I would have been drenched. The walk was classic americana and the view from the top was worth the effort.
On the walk we ran into this:
It's a gum pole and it smelt delicious.
We also had the chance to go to the Festival of speed at the Dick Lane Velodrome, the only Velodrome in the South. Apparently it was going to draw competitors from all over the US. It was a little B grade but still a fun night out. The highlight was the Bicycle Little League races. Our favorite was a little girl in yellow who looked about 7 and who was riding a bike twice her size... she peddled like a demon and ended up with the silver.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Dave, Meg, Luke and Henry and with Dave and Pip. It was lovely to see them.
Obviously the best part about Atlanta was seeing Nic and Rich and seeing them shower Elliot with love. He's getting pretty spoilt.
Next stop is NY to see the Young's and Peacocks.