This is my fifth or sixth post about our 11-day family road trip. If you want to catch up, I would just recommend reading the past few posts to see what happened before this one. I am too lazy tonight at the hotel to upload pictures. Sorry. :)
I have to admit that I am enjoying being away for awhile, although I bet I will sleep better at home than I have while traveling. That being said, our road trip has been a successful one to this point, even if we hit some bumps on the road (both figurative and literal). While we were in Atlanta, we did some of the standard tourist things, including visiting the Georgia Aquarium, which is one of the largest in the world, and well worth the trip, even if it is a little pricey for admission. I think it was around $115 for us and the kids, but it was the cleanest and most well-organized place like that which we have ever seen.
We also spent some time at Centennial Olympic Park, where we got a chance to see the dancing Olympic ring fountain (kids loved it). My wife visited the High Museum of Art while I was at RE Tech South, along with the kids' museum and the Science Center. On Saturday (our last full day in Atlanta), we went to the Center for Puppetry Arts, where we saw a lifesize Big Bird, along with many other Jim Henson creations. I often reflect on how much Henson's work impacted me as a child, and its durability is obvious when I see my kids watching "The Muppet Show" DVD collection in 2010. I managed to take quite a few pictures before we were told that this was strictly prohibited. Oh well....
We saw a terrific one-man puppet show from Paul Mesner, which was an adaptation of Jon Scieszka's "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs". Only afterwards did I realize that it was only one guy doing everything behind the scenes. Amazing talent. Our two older daughters had a chance to make puppets in the workshop following the show, and my wife bought a Wembley puppet from Fraggle Rock for sentimental reasons. We're both basically just big kids, frankly.
After saying goodbye to our very gracious hosts, Ken Cook and his lovely wife, Myra, we hit the road bound for the Mobile, Alabama area. We stopped in Montgomery to take a break, where we visited their Museum of Fine Arts. We fed some geese, and we saw a large blue heron up close. The museum was great, with a large kids' section, and it was FREE, which made it all the more appealing. The grounds were gorgeous, with a huge pond right next to the building.
We arrived in Mobile last night around 8pm. After we found the hotel and ate some dinner, we ended up stranded on the highway with a VERY flat, undriveable tire. Rather than unload the entire van and kids in the cold, breezy weather, I found a roadside assistance place on Google and called them. This actually turned out to be a huge blessing, since he arrived AND finished replacing the tire in less than an hour, AND it was inexpensive. I promised to blog about this experience in an effort to garner more business for him, and I will do that soon. After chatting with Steve, the proprietor, about our upcoming trip to New Orleans (where I'm sitting now), he took the time to email me today with some suggested kid-friendly activities in the city. What incredible service!
This afternoon and evening, we had a great time in New Orleans, just exploring Jackson Square and the French Quarter, where I am enamored of the architecture. I took a TON of pictures - this town is a photographer's paradise. I plan to upload them to Flickr and maybe Facebook as well later.
We had dinner with my friend Lisa Heindel, who suggested a terrific place called Mulate's around the corner. The seafood was fresh and delicious, and there was authentic live traditional Cajun music throughout, which we all loved. My kids danced for awhile, too! I highly recommend allowing Lisa to choose your destinations if you come to New Orleans for the NAR conference in November. :)
One cool side note: we got a chance to witness a Bruce Willis movie being filmed, just by being in the right place at the right time. Apparently, it co-stars Morgan Freeman and Mary Louise Parker, too.
At the Georgia Aquarium (from Brandon, when we walked past an empty case with a piece of coral in it): "I guess that's the coral corral." He is master of the deadpan - he comes by it honestly, believe me.
At the Montgomery Museum (from Abby): "If they have a bathroom here, I will use it. If not, I will pee in my pants." This was uttered so matter-of-factly that it made me laugh out loud for quite some time.
Tomorrow, we are hoping to take a riverboat cruise, then hit the road, where we will travel through Baton Rouge and Lafayette on our way to stay with family in the Houston area. If you actually read this whole thing, I commend you.
Thanks for reading!
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