Trip to Atlanta, GA

So this labor day weekend, I finally went to visit Liam and Denise in Atlanta, GA. I’ve been meaning to visit them for years, but just never really got my act together. However, I decided I really needed a break from work and labor day turned out to be a good weekend to visit them.

My flight was at 7am, which meant I had to leave for the airport at 5am, my usual bed time. The trip was pretty smooth, but I had a hard time falling asleep. The ATL airport was HUGE. It literally took 30 minutes after landing to get to the gate. Even on the way back, it took about the same time after departing the gate to lift off. Compare this to the 5 minute from landing to gate in SEATAC. I don’t even remember LAX being that long. I later found out that ATL airport is one of the largest if not the largest airport in the United States. According to Wikipedia, it was ranked the busiest airport in the world.

After exiting the security gates, I finally met Liam and Denise. First day in Atlanta was pretty much settling down and checking out the city. They have this really neat condo with a rather great view. They took me to an awesome dessert place called Chocolate Pink which had awesome cakes and pastries. Apparently the chocolate is the awesome part, not so much the pink. ;p

Saturday, we want to check out the Georgia Aquarium, known as the largest aquarium in the world. It was pretty awesome. One of their tanks is as long as a football field (from end zone to end zone). They had some giant whale sharks which were really cool. I love sitting in the dimly light room in front of the giant glass display. It’s just so calm and soothing.

I didn’t really plan my trip to coincide with Dragon*Con 2009, but it just happened that way, and it was something else we checked out. We decided Sunday would be the best day to go. On previous nights, we worked on our costumes. Denise came up with the idea of dressing as MNU (Multi-National United) employees from District 9. I personally haven’t seen the movie yet, but was planning on it. I think our costumes turned out great in the end:

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(Photos courtesy of Denise)

At Dragon*Con, I got to hear Leonard Nimoy speak. Bill Shatner even showed up at the latter half of the panel. Later, there was a Q&A with Patrick Stewart. Hearing that guy speak is always a treat. It was very similar to An Evening with Kevin Smith, but way too short. Then I got to check out some really cool cosplays and ended my night at the Mad Scientist party where they were playing music via Tesla coils, while having someone stuck inside a Faraday cage. It was really neat!

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I apologize as I didn’t take that many photos, but whatever I took can be found at my Dragon*Con 2009 PhotoSleeve album.

On my last day, we had lunch at Chick-fil-A. Apparently Chick-fil-A is pronounced with a long A instead of a short A. I’ve heard of Chick-fil-(long A) before and always thought it was spelled Chick-Fillet and was different from Chick-Fila. Then they took me to Stone Mountain where we checked out some plantation, hung out on the top of the mountain, and played some mini golf. Before my flight, they took me to a barbecue joint, which is a must to complete my Georgia experience. I’ve got to say, the barbecue was excellent.

I got to try grits for the first time, and it was pretty good. I also learnt 2 new veggies on my trip: okras and collared greens.

The flight home was pretty uneventful. Wasn’t sleepy, so I caught up on some anime. Though when the flight attendant was going over the safety instructions, I heard, “No smacking is allowed on this flight. … Tampering with the smoke detector in the lavatory is a federal offense…” I’m not sure if I misheard or if that was a Southern accent, but I found it amusing.

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