To be honest, spending 5 days in Atlanta wasn’t on my list at the beginning of the year. On a slight diversion off course, I ended up there for almost a week and could have easily filled another week. Keeping an open mind is one of the goals of the trip, so jumping on an opportunity to get up to Atlanta was something I simply couldn’t pass up.

Atlanta was the first city on my journey through the state of Georgia and the last minute decision was rewarded with some unique experiences. Even though I was only in the city for a few days, rumor had it that I was fresh off the loss of a favorite NFL team and didn’t know where I was living next year, so the Falcons staff took a shot at nailing me down for some season tickets for their new stadium…

The presentation was as good as they come and if you happen to be in the area, I would recommend giving Rob a shot at locking you down for a great opportunity. For me though, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I’m still trying to figure out who my new NFL team will be now with the Rams leaving for LA. If I am visiting your city in the future, feel free to pitch me on why I should choose your team. Although this reminded me of the most recent team to leave St. Louis, I was also reminded of another team that left St. Louis over 50 years ago…

Showing up to a Hawks game was a result of some reasonable tickets, but when I showed up to the arena, I realized this was probably the perfect game for me to attend. First off, “we” were playing my old team (Orlando) where I had lived for the past 31 days of my life. Secondly, they tried to name the arena after my family (sadly though they forgot one of the L’s). Thirdly, the Hawks are also home to one of the most famous Valley players of all time in Kyle Korver, and if you know anything about me you know that Valley basketball trumps pretty much everything for me in sports. Finally, they have the St. Louis NBA championship banner hanging in the rafters! It is the only one hanging there in case you are wondering…LA might want to take notice that following the move from St. Louis, the Hawks just haven’t been very successful.

Enough about sports though…I ended up in the midst of a grade school field trip 3 different times during my 5 day stay in Atlanta. I’m pretty sure that is a good thing, although the jury might still be out on that one.

The first field trip we ran into was on the CNN Tour. It was a good experience, but most of the shows are now based in DC or NY, so some of the studios were empty and it left a little to be desired. My favorite part was hearing the behind the scenes audio from the studio. Worth a walk through…especially during an election year.

My last morning in Atlanta, we headed to the MLK National Historical Site and the Carter Presidential Library. Short on time, we spent a great deal more time at the MLK National Historical Site. Again, we ran into numerous classes on field trips visiting the location. The teachers knew what they were doing as it was an incredible, educational experience where I wish I could have spent some more time. The two locations are just 1 and a half miles apart and are connected by Freedom Park, so you can walk from one to the other. Definitely a goal for the next journey to Atlanta.

The last spot we ran into field trip groups was easily the most surprising. It was essentially a fast food restaurant. I had not heard of the Varsity until landing in Atlanta and it certainly wasn’t on my list of things to do. To my surprise, it was on the list of points of interest in Atlanta and I had to give it a shot. The place was PACKED! The food was good, but it was a simple burger and onion rings…I could not believe how many people were in there or how big the place was on the inside.

Here is to hoping I end up choosing a few more locations that are field trip worthy along the journey…and maybe a worthy NFL team to root for next year.