What to see and do in Atlanta

As I sit at home counting down the days until I leave for Asia toiling away on my computer with nothing much to share, I am turning this week’s posts over to my sister, Delaney.  She has just settled into a new life in Atlanta and I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to share her new city.  Without further ado…

Hello all, I’m Ashley’s younger sister Delaney! I recently moved to Atlanta to put a stop to my arrested development while I pursue a graduate degree in the field of public health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m taking over the blog for a little while to tell you all about my journey getting here, both personal and physical, and how I’m adjusting to my beautiful new surroundings as a real life grown-up adult.

Now that I have settled into my apartment with its broken microwave, broken laundry room door handle, broken toilet, and broken cabinets (I’m not bitter or anything), I have been able to do a little bit of exploring.

On Saturday, I was trying to think of something fun and exciting to do but didn’t feel like googling, although there is an abundance of recommendations on there. So I asked around in my apartment complex, and someone happened to mention a beerfest.

The German Bierfest at Woodruff Park in downtown to be exact. It is a few blocks southeast of Olympic Park, The Georgia Aquarium, and World of Coca-Cola (also fantastic spots to check out).

IMG_2363Before I get started on the beerfest I might as well address The Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola now that I have brought both of them up. Have you ever seen a whale shark? It’s the biggest fish in the sea, and if you go to the aquarium here you will definitely see one if not two. I’m still on the fence about how I feel regarding animals in containment, but The Georgia Aquarium presents us with a very neat, interactive opportunity to see a wide variety of marine life and learn about the conservation efforts involved in keeping our oceans safe and clean. It is multi-level so I recommend blocking out at least an hour, if not more, to check out all of the exhibits.

As far as the World of Coca-Cola goes, it’s a major attractant of tourists. Don’t even think about going there on the weekend unless you get there right when it opens otherwise you’ll be waiting for a while. I haven’t been inside so I can’t actually give you a first-hand account of the awesomeness, but after expressing my skepticism about visiting, my classmates quickly informed me it is worth the trek downtown. Coca-Cola has a long history with the city of Atlanta as well as Emory University, and I am excited to learn about the company through taste, smell, and sight. Yes, there is a taste-testing exhibit on site!

Back to the beerfest though… what was the most impressive part about the beerfest, you might be asking? No punch cards! You heard me right, one glass to drink as much beer as you could safely consume during the span of 2-7 pm. I also satisfied my hunger with some sauerkraut and sausage, an absolute must, if you’re at a German Bierfest. The park looked gorgeous, and it was one of the only sunny days we had in Atlanta that week so I enjoyed the opportunity to just sit on the grass and relax. Having a beerfest at a random park intrigued me, and I wondered what other kind of fun opportunities I had been missing out on.

Turns out, there are a lot of festivals in Atlanta! Different neighborhoods like Little Five Points, Virginia Highlands, Edgewood, and Decatur apparently host events all of the time with local artists, food trucks, and nonprofits offering freebies. Luckily I am Facebook friends with a few people from my school who happen to be more in the loop than me so I’ve seen a few of these events pop up on my news feed.

In terms of music festivals, I would love to check out the two day event, Music Midtown. It takes place every year at Piedmont Park, a breathtaking scenic spot in Midtown, and features a wide variety of bands and individual artists. This year’s lineup includes Lenny Kravitz, Hozier, Billy Idol, and Panic! At The Disco (the ones I would be most excited to see) amongst many others. Tickets start at $156 so unfortunately it will have to wait until next year. I have to prioritize my expenses.

IMG_2358The fourth day of orientation took a group of us across town to a nationwide organization called Books for Africa whose mission is to end the book famine in Africa. They ship donated texts and library books, over 33 million since 1988, from the primary through university level to 49 different countries in Africa, which is really impressive but still not enough, in their eyes. As an avid reader myself, I felt an instant kinship with the organization’s mission. The organization is always looking for volunteers to help them sort and pack books for shipment so if you live in Atlanta or plan to visit, they would love even an hour or two of your precious time. They also play a really fun selection of music to keep you motivated while you do your work! Maybe I’ll see you there sometime!

IMG_2359IMG_2364On August 25th Rollins students had the opportunity to attend an Atlanta Braves night game at Turner Field for only six bucks. Granted, we had the nosebleed of all nosebleed seats, so six bucks didn’t get us too far. We did sit in front of a crew of Georgia Tech fraternity boys and their dates though so when we got bored of watching the Rockies cream the Braves, we would turn around and embrace the debauchery going on behind us. The views at the stadium are also incredible, especially at sunset, since the stadium sits southeast of downtown so you get an incredible view of the Atlanta skyline. I already plan on going again in September and October!

On the list of things to check out over the next couple of months are: riding rollercoasters at Six Flags over Georgia, hiking the Georgia Appalachian trail (maybe with some glamping included), and pigging out at Bone’s Restaurant (an Atlanta legend).

I am excited to see how my life in Atlanta unfolds as all of these opportunities arise!

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