With no ghosts having followed us back to the hotel, we headed off nice and early. Next stop, the state of Georgia, our 39th. But instead of staying in a traditional Motel 6, we were staying in the very cosy Highland Inn in Atlanta. It was much nicer than staying in a motel, which was a welcomed change. For a start, it had a waterfall in the front garden. But apart from that, it felt more homely and also had a resident black cat. One thing that was a bit weird was that the bathroom had a door either end of it, both leading to our room. Oh did I laugh when Stef went to the toilet – I opened up the opposite door, crept in without her seeing me and I shouted. She literally peed herself. Oh did I laugh.
That night, as neither of us was driving the next day (I say neither of us but I have done 100% of the driving anyway), we went next door to Café 604. I had a steak (which was already cut up for me!) and Stef had some salmon. To wash it down I had a pint and Stef went with a mango and jalapeño martini. Just looking at it made my tongue burn!
Hangover free, the next day we headed to the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr at 501 Auburn Avenue. You could tour his actual house, however it was quite small and the few tickets had already been given out. I’d assume it would have looked like any other house on the inside. To view the house from the outside was free and you could see it from the street. It didn’t have any water slides coming out from the walls or any gun turrets on the roof so I was probably right in saying it was normal on the inside.
Just down the road was the “Reflecting Pool”. This was a long water feature with clear blue water that housed the tombs of both Martin and his wife. It was such a hot day and the water looked so tempting. Many times I had to hold on to Stef’s shirt to stop her from diving in. Opposite was an eternal flame in his honour. I don’t know how long it’s been going but I hope they continue with their utility payments.
A little further down was the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther spoke to the crowds and also the point where his mother was assassinated. How famous do you have to be to be assassinated and not murdered? I guess the bar is quite low if killing a mother is classed as assassinated. People don’t really get assassinated these days. There was also a statue called “Behold” of a well-toned Kunta Kinte either catching a baby, throwing it up in the air or recreating a Lion King scene. Maybe it was his workout routine? With abs like he had, I’m surprised they don’t have more babies in gyms. It could be a crèche/gym hybrid!
We jumped in the car and headed to another home. The World of Coca Cola. You could tour the museum for a small fee but that did include a free tasting session at the end that sweetened the deal…
It was pretty much like a big advert. You couldn’t look anywhere without seeing a Coke sign. They had posters and objects from all over the world. They even had a drinks holder from the late 1800s. Back then the pure drink was very syrupy. It would be poured into glasses, topped up with water and stirred. It is rumoured that the fizzy Coke we have today was created because a young lad who was pouring a Coke in a chemists used carbonated water instead of still. It was liked so much it caught on.
I heard another rumour once upon a time that Coke used to be made with cocaine, hence the name. I asked a member of staff and she filled me in with the truth. It wasn’t. But back when it was created, it was originally made with some parts of the coca leaf (but not the same part as cocaine). It was also sold in chemists and had the caffeine content of FOUR Redbulls! This would obviously affect the drinker and they would be buzzing for hours.
Coca Cola has also been in bed with the Olympics since 1928. Not only did we get to see some of the batons that carry the flame from Greece, we also got to hold the one from when it was held in Atlanta.
I know it was only Coke, but it was interesting to read some of the facts about the drink. Apparently only two people know the full ingredients to the drink and they are not allowed to be in the same place at the same time. True? I don’t know, but we did get to visit the big metal safe that holds the list of ingredients. It was fenced off and had guards near it. Was it really there? Who knows? But it was funny when Stef over stepped the mark and the siren went off together with a loud voice saying, “Get back”. A woman come over and I told her Stef worked for Pepsi and was trying to steal the recipe. She looked at me with a very serious face.
One of the last things to do was the free drink tasting! There were loads of different carbonated drinks from all around the world to try – all owned by Coca Cola. There was one from India and it tasted like fizzy curry. I didn’t enjoy it. I felt my teeth rotting with every sip of the many drinks I tried and they even gave us a free bottle of Coke to rot our teeth in our own time.
After having more coke than I’ve had in my life, we headed to the Body: The Exhibition. For those that don’t know what it is, it’s kinda creepy, let me explain why….
When someone has died, they go through a process called Polymer Preservation. I could explain that process but it’s easier to say that the body is turned into plastic, which makes them very realistic mannequins.
The body is then taken apart to show how it works. Its very interesting to see how the body all fits together. One section of the exhibition had a lung from a smoker and one from someone that didn’t. The smoker’s one was black and nasty whereas the other was fine. There was a clear box in between them with a slot in the top for smokers to put their packets of cancer sticks in. The box was nearly filled up and it was massive. It must have been a very powerful wakeup call to some.
Other models had their skins removed and you could see their muscles and veins. Some were even spread out as they had been sliced very thinly. It was very disturbing.
How did seeing all the dead bodies, foetuses, and body parts make us feel?
We headed next door and had some of their delicious burgers. I had a bison burger. Stef had a beef burger with jalapeno peppers.
But when it came out it was obvious it should have been called a jalapeño pepper burger with beef!