Summer Vacation Day 4, GA

The first morning in Georgia was welcomed with flying biscuits. Although an Atlanta favorite for decades, the biscuits were a bit rock'ish for my tastes. By no means was I going to complain though: this was my first southern meal, and there was no time to talk with good food on the table. While waiting for the food, Deb the hand model demonstrated southern sugar.

The flying biscuit illustrated two fundamental traits of southern design. First, treat color like sugar and butter: more is always better. Second, litter obscure decor wherever some corner of all isn't screaming for attention. Loud designs were an integral part of the southern hospitality, coupled with a rich tint of warm shades and rich foods. Mmmmbiscuits.

Another facet of Atlanta life: sweating.

With a full meal down, we absolutely had to visit the Georgia Aquarium first. Deb had been raving for a week and it widely topped every tourist's list. Although utterly packed even for a Wednesday afternoon, the halls were designed well to accommodate a view for kids and adult alike. In the arctic region, sea otters and sea lions kept the crowd pressed against the glass...not very photo prone. Likewise, people were packed around the featured Beluga whales as well. The narrator mentioned that the dining hall viewing room was open today, so Deb and I walked upstairs to find a huge catering hall with families enveloping the circular tables. This left the giant viewing area wide open for Deb and I to admire, along with the kids who had finished their fries early. Five whales altogether have quite a few from ths window.

Beluga whales are the only variety that are able to crane their necks independently from the rest of their bodies.

Lots of fat and blubber to keep them warm in arctic waters. We doubted that the aquarium actually kept the water near freezing, which explained why some looked as if they had shed a few pounds.

Fun in the sun.


The big attraction, quite literally, was the ocean tank that extended over 100 yards deep and a few stories high. There were many windows into the tank, but also many paths throughout the tank to see inside and underneath. This tunnel gave a closer view to many of the smaller fish reserved near the rocks.

Looking up, a giant bubble gave a panoramic view of rays and a whale shark, some 30 feet long.

The main viewing room. Much of the aquarium actually stretches even further into the blue. Amazing in scale.

Gardener eels hid in the sand whenever fish streaked past.

A huge tank of jellies in front of a blue screen. Four times an hour the blue screen displays the local weather forecast when the jellies represent tropical depressions in the Atlantic.

Swimming away.

Design was key to the aquarium's success. This tank bows over the crowd so people can look up see certain fish dancing in the artificial waves that roll over top.

Leaving the aquarium, we decided to pass on the on the Coke factory adjacent to the fish.

Eastern clouds and tall brick that you don't see in San Diego.

Crossing a park, headed for downtown and the CNN building to the right.

Simply amazing...the outside of the Georgia aquarium.

Water downtown.

Atlanta folk.

To commemorate the olympics in atlanta a decade ago, dynamic fountains were constructed in the park comprised of an entire water feature sequence. Most of the girls enjoyed scampering between water pillars. In true boyish form, the rest were obligated to destroy any standing structure in the same family of sand castles, building block towers, and dominoes. Apparently, water jets were a distant relative. Bruce, here, waited patiently for the hunt.

Forget breaking bricks. With his eyes closed he managed to chop through water like a vigilant swan...or something martially artful.

No subtle sprinkling here.

This kid was crazy, and had been taking notes from someone influential. With a modest gut and a swagger that will carry him for decades, this kid knew just what he had to do...

...pound the living daylights out of anything at least 90% water. Alternating left and right overhead blows to the streams...he was absolutely relentless.

The voices beckoned for a piece of him...

...and he was glad to give it all he had. The makings of a water bully.

Inside CNN, we walked into a cartoon network store and grabbed some lunch. Deb had already been on the formal tour and I wasn't very interested. Still, it was a break from the sweltering heat.

Crossing through the park again.

What? It's natural.

God's country.

Inside Deb's house. She was subletting from a very eclectic PhD student on research leave from the state. Very southern design (color and bizarre).

Candle fixtures near the front door.

Crooked art in the south.

The porch: an art form oddly lost from Western design. One would think that porches would be more common in California.

Another porch on Deb's street in the heart of Cabbage Town.

We stopped for pizza in Cabbage Town. A pizza delivery bicycle kept gas costs down.

Slow for an early Wednesday dinner.