The main purpose of my recent trip to Atlanta was to deliver a laptop. Their main purpose was a sports and shopping trip. Shopping was a big deal, as they bought two large rolling duffel bags to carry everything home (which was planned). Some of the stuff could have been found in Panama, but the prices are higher and/or quality is lower. Even buying the two bags and paying the extra fees at the airport (for additional or overweight bags) still made it all cheaper. Shopping (and many, many repeat trips to Super Wal-Mart and Super Target) took so much time that it even prevented us from visiting two shopping malls that were on the agenda (Southlake Mall and Phipps Plaza).
What would I have liked to have done in Atlanta that I didn’t get to do?
1. Atlanta Zoo – If we had more time, we all would have visited, so it wasn’t just me. Plus, they had a brand new, 16-day old (at the time) giant panda cub (webcam). That would have been cool, I’ve never seen a panda in person.
2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention – I doubt they give tours, but it would be neat to see the building and some of the laboratories.
4. REI – Hey, if we can visit Super Target five times in two days (interspersed with a couple of visits to Super Wal-mart), surely we can hit up one of the four locations within 50 miles for 10 minutes while I look for a new belt. There would have been other places for them to shop nearby anyway.
5. The Varsity – They claim to be the world’s largest drive-in restaurant (I’m sure I’ve seen it on Food Network). Since we were out a lot, near shopping or downtown, we had lots of fast food, food court, and chain restaurant fare. I would have tried to find a small cafe or diner-style place for a meal, something regional that I can’t find at home. Granted, a drive-in isn’t special, but this one is certainly unique.
6. Fry’s Electronics – There was a newspaper sales advertisement that had some interesting products. I’ve never been to a Fry’s, the nearest one to me is over 25 miles away. This one was even farther, but there may have been other shopping that the rest could have investigated. Instead, I took the ad to a Best Buy for a price match.
7. Something historical – I would have accepted anything. For all the important American history that happened in Atlanta, we saw nothing specific. The closest we got to historic was Underground Atlanta, a six-block shopping arcade set in a pre-Civil War era railroad depot.
8. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – Sure, I flew into and out of this airport, but I had no time to take my time and actually look at it, the busiest airport in the world. I appreciate grand examples of engineering and functional design, some airports excel in this aspect. I know the San Francisco International Airport well, because I’ve been there more times than I can count, so I’ve had time to wander all over the place (it is one of my favorite airports). Back then, you didn’t need to be a ticketed passenger to go to the arrival gates. These days, you have to be a ticketed passenger to get past security, which isn’t a big deal as I am usually traveling when I go to an airport. But, when you are with other people, they may not be so excited to walk a couple of miles indoors with luggage, so I missed out on being able to study airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Albuquerque, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Miami, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Washington DC, San Diego, and Panama City, Panama.
9. Ask the blonde girl for her name.