Atlanta, Georgia to Biloxi, Mississippi via Merida,
Next stop -- Atlanta, Georgia.
|Here, the boys are playing "dodge the water" and are
losing, (on purpose, I think.) These fountains are located in Olympic
Park; a beautiful park built a few years ago for Atlanta's summer Olympics.
We had fun in Atlanta. It's a very cosmopolitan city with a great
downtown area. Some of the best restaurants we've ever been to are
Max read from a teleprompter and we watched the monitor as
he covered headlines stories. We went on what they call the "VIP tour."
It's a little extra money but we had a chance to see and experience more
of the studios. The CNN main studio has a lot of live broadcasts,
but most of the CNN Headlines News is prerecorded and mixed with stories
from other CNN associated networks. We toured CNN Sports Illustrated
studios and the CNN International studios.
|We enjoyed touring the downtown area and especially going
on a tour of CNN. The inside of this huge building is open all the
way to the top with escalators running up and down the sides. We
got to watch some familiar faces filming the news and even ran into Bob
Vila, (Rob Vollmecke's favorite handyman.)
I ask about the coverage of news in the U.S. as compared
to the news we watched while we were in Europe. I mentioned that
the European news we saw was more in depth and covered global events and
international positions on issues. But here in the U.S. the news
seems to be only local to the U.S. or directly related to U.S. activities.
The stories are more "watered down" sound bytes that are repeated over
and over again and then dropped when something more interesting comes along.
Our tour guided agreed and commented that their extensive
surveys show that the American people "want it that way." If you
are intrigued by this response you may want to get a copy of the book "Dumbing
Us Down", by John Taylor Gatto.
||Atlanta is also the headquarters of the Coca-Cola company.
There's a very touristy Coke museum and an area where you can sample every
Coke product that's made. I can't remember how many products there
are -- I think there were 70 or 80 of them. Some products that are
produced for other parts of the world seemed very weird for our American
||Mitch and Max pulled up a stool at the soda fountain.
The guy asked them if they knew what a soda jerk was. Of course they
Here's some old memorabilia. Cheryl remembers having
an old radio like this in her house when she was little and I remember
an old tray like this one. But check out the faces, this one is of
Mitch and Rachel. (Rachel and Ed's son, Gabe, work for the same company
that we do contract work for. They had flown to Atlanta to meet us
and fly on to Merida, Mexico to do some computer training with Cheryl's
sister, Debbie, who lives there and works for our company.)
||So he put them behind the counter, gave them a hat, a
little training, and told them that now they were soda jerks. Even
I didn't know that the original fountain drinks were made by first pouring
the syrup into a glass by jerking on the syrup handle. Then a strategically
timed jerk on the carbonated water fountain. You want a good blast
from the soda but you have to be careful that you don't blast the syrup
all over the place.
||We asked around for the best barbecue place in town and
learned it was "Mat's." It was a small place that could have used
more tables and parking, but the food was great. We enjoyed the food
and some good honky tonk and blues piano.
||We also enjoyed The Atlanta History Center. There
was a great Civil War exhibit and a late 1800's restored farmhouse.
We went to see a Cuban song and dance show that we always
try to see when we're in town. For about $50 U.S. all of us could
enjoy a two hour show, eat, drink and have a great time. Unfortunately,
the wireless microphones were not working, so after an hour of waiting
we gave up and went back to the hotel.
||Next stop -- Merida, a beautiful, old colonial city on
the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, and the home of Cheryl's sister, Debbie.
Here's the whole gang in Merida. From left to right,
Mitch, Rachel, Fernando, (Deb's husband,) Gabe, Cheryl, Deb, (Cheryl's
sister), Max, and Christina, (Deb and Fernando's daughter.) Fernando
and Deb's two boys, Fernando Jr. and Roberto were out with friends.
This was a pretty uneventful trip, but that was OK.
The main reason we came to Mexico this time was related to business and
to do some computer training with Deb. It's always great to see Deb,
Fernando and the kids and enjoy the great weather and food. Click
here for our trip to Merida two years ago.
||Fernando and Deb are in the process of building a new
house. Here's a computer generated picture of how it will look.
It will have a large pool in the back yard, but I keep telling them that
there's no way for us to get our trailer into their back yard.
||So a week later, back we came to the U.S. We landed
in Atlanta, packed up and headed for new territory -- the Gulf of Mexico
and a part of the United States we'd never been to before.
So what do you do when you hit the Deep South for the
first time? Well, as soon as we arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi we
went out on a shrimp boat, of course.
||Well, maybe it wasn't quite a "real" shrimp boat, but
it did have a shrimp net on board and it was the only boat in the area
with a permit to be out shrimping at this time of year.
As the nets came up the pelicans and seagulls came down.
|While we were out dragging the net we were accompanied
by two dolphins.
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||It wasn't the largest catch, but there was quite a variety
of small sea life in the net. There were several types of fish including
anchovy and a small puffer fish, a variety of shrimp, a couple of different
types of crab, a squid and even a small sting ray.
We really enjoyed the South. The people were very
friendly, the Gulf was beautiful and the weather was nice. We're
hoping to go back again when we can spend an extended amount of time there.