21. Atlanta, Georgia

Trip Start Jul 18, 2012
Trip End Aug 04, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Well, we got a slow start out of NOLA, having to go back to the French Quarter for some souvenirs, jambalaya, and beignets. That and taking the "scenic" route through Mississippi, resulted in the first change of this leg in our trip. We dropped Birmingham because we would not have gotten there in time to go to the Civil Rights Museum. We made up for it with the added "Beach" portion of our vacation, a 10 minute walk along Gulfport, Mississippi's white sand beaches.

We then drove to Atlanta, by way of Montgomery, and again got in too late to see the civil rights museum.  We were able to see the outside of the Civil Rights Memorial Center and it's very inspiring water table/timeline of the civil rights movement through Dr. King's death and an inspiring quote from him.

After Montgomery, we drove to Atlanta and made our next change in our bullet-proof plan - staying in Atlanta two nights and dropping a night in Nashville. The decision to make the change wasn't that hard given that we've driven over 4,000 miles and are tired of packing and unpacking, plus we're out of clothes!

Arrived at the Ritz Carlton, initially facing a reservation snafu. However, they were gracious enough to upgrade us to a suite, which made the extra night's stay even a better idea.

We are all basically "touristed" out, so we spent the day in Buckhead, the upscale shopping/eating district in Atlanta, after we dropped off 30 pounds of laundry for "wash and fold" service.

Buckhead is bigger than most of the cities we have visited, and the shopping did not disappoint. For the first time, the family split up. Grant and I went to the Legoland Discovery Center, where through a lot of smooth talking and after several rejections, we got tickets to a "sold out" day! Grant loved every minute in the Center. It is pretty spectacular, especially the all-Lego depiction of Atlanta.

The girls shopped at Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza, and some other shops along the way, and we met up at 630 to go to Fogo de Chao for dinner. Fogo de Chao means "fire of the ground" and it is a Brazilian churrascaria or steakhouse. If you've never been to one, you should make it a point to go the next time you have an opportunity. They have a fabulous salad bar, followed by at least a dozen different meats served table side to your gut's desire. South Americans butcher their meats differently than Americans and they prepare it the "gaucho" (cowboy) way - on an open flame rotisserie. The butchering is more time-consuming, but the meat is more tender, and whatever they do to prepare it for their customers makes it incredibly tasty.

We left Fogo de Chao with a protein hangover, picked up our clothing, and watched the Olympics! Go USA.

Next stop Louisville, Kentucky, by way of Nashville, Tennessee. 
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