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For the Days I Spent with MLK Jr., Scarlett O'Hara, and Atlanta, Georgia on My Mind............What Remains to be Seen

Georgia is known as the Peach State for the obvious reason but during my research I discovered that it is also known as the Empire State of the South. How ironic. I am from the Empire State (of the North) New York, and I am writing about my visit to the one down South! What are the odds?

After re-watching parts of “Gone with the Wind” and thinking about the city I visited it is hard to remember they were once one in the same. Of course time and history has changed much more than the landscape but the heart of the city remains. That is the part that drew me to want to visit Atlanta in the first place.

Now having gotten just a sample of what this metropolis has to offer I have BIG plans for when I go back. Here is just a sample of what I hope that will look like.

The very first thing I am going to do when I land is what I wanted to do this time although that struggle became a bit too real as you read.

The Georgia Aquarium is the largest is the world and has one of just about every creature from the sea you can imagine. I have yearned to visit for many years and even more so since actually being in Atlanta and missing my chance.

To get a good idea of how special this place is you should watch this video.

I figure I will need a couple of hours to be able to see all that this one of kind aquarium has to offer.

Another top item on my next Atlanta itinerary will be the Atlanta History Center. This facility is located close to Margaret Mitchell’s house but the museum would have taken more time to visit than I had to truly see all of the exhibits. I know they have an amazing Civil War display and one on Margaret Mitchell as well. They also give tours of historic homes and many other cultural sites in Atlanta. I will need at least half a day for this.

Additionally I plan on a nighttime visit to SkyView Atlanta, a Ferris wheel over two hundred feet in the air above Centennial Olympic Park, where the Summer Olympics were held in 1996. I have a fondness for such experiences. My first was in London back in 2009 when I visited the London Eye. My second was in Chicago on more than one occasion at their Navy Pier ( There is nothing like seeing a city from above. Sometime this year a Ferris wheel six hundred feet in the air is set to open near my hometown in Staten Island, New York. I don’t have much use for that borough but I suppose will have to check it out for research purposes.

It’s not a must but if I have time on my next trip to Atlanta I would love to tour the CNN studios. It is my favorite network and news media and I wouldn’t mind a behind the scenes peek. I toured the BBC Center when I was in London and that was cool but knowing the shows on the air more closely I feel will make the experience that much better.

But sight seeing is not all I have planned. Eating is plenty important to me too. Gus’s Fried Chicken ( a place I LOVED in Memphis and they have an outpost in Atlanta so I must go on my return, probably right after the Georgia Aquarium.

I also want to visit Gladys Knight’ s Chicken and Waffles. Clearly I have a thing for fried chicken. I actually almost went during my time in Atlanta but I heard it had been temporarily closed by the Health Department and that there had been some disputes between the family and the leasing landlord. Perhaps I won’t eat here next time but just stop by for a photo and to see if Ms. Gladys is in.

During my time in here I learned that Birmingham, Alabama, a place I have always wanted to visit and now has a brand new National Historical Landmark, is only a two-hour drive from Atlanta. My hope is that I could fly into Atlanta and spend a few days there sightseeing and eating all that remains on my list. From there I would rent a car to visit some other Georgia sites I have my eye on, on the way out of town. The most important to me are the Whistle Stop Café, famed from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, and to the Little White House in Warm Springs Georgia. Warm Springs is said to have such therapeutic natural waters that have healing abilities. It is the home F.D.R. went to as a way to recuperate from polio and help others afflicted by the same illness. 

Since my return visit seems to be all laid out I just hope it happens as soon as physically possible.

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