Thursday, January 31, 2019

The tour between the States "Atlanta is held,sir, with few casualties"

After the tour of the huge hotels, sports stadiums, and everything that had to do with peach tree(s) in all shapes and we arrived at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and headed right to the front door, figuring that the magnificent edifice had a rule of opening exactly 9:00 am every day.  So we stood there and waited, 9:00, 9:06, 9:10 (tour guides on the phone) 9:15 and then finally at 9:20 the doors opened, with no explanation, and so we dashed up the historic steps:

For about eighty years, the King family preached and serve their community from the pulpit of this edifice.  When you enter, eventually, you will hear the booming voice of MLKjr. preaching the gospel and his message of love.  This eternal treasure also had its sorrow as Mrs. Alberta (Mama [MLK's mother]) King and others were shot by a gunman in the sanctuary of the church in 1974.

With Dr. King's voice still singing in our ears, we crossed the street Auburn Avenue to take in the Peace Plaza , a tribute to Coretta Scott King's love of flowers.

We toured the National Park Visitor Center which followed King's career during the Jim Crow area, and to his greater involvement in civil rights from Birmingham jail to that night in Memphis.  For me, it's Doctor King's final speech in April 1968.  Its just a personal thing, telling me that my work, my tasks in life, my time (our) here is limited......

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 3rd 1968, Memphis, Tenn.
Dr. King and Mrs. King are united still in death as in life. And the spirit of their lives remain, just that right now (January 2019) its a little harder to hear it.  But it is there.

The bus was waiting, as we took too long actually reading and sharing our interest in the King exhibits, so a few mea culpas as we plopped into our seats.
After a light banter about we two, the youngest couple (60 and 61) being the last on board.  The tour guide grabbed the mike and announced its was time to head to lunch and tour of ....
This is.......

If you've got a good James Earl Jones impression, you'll know what to do here.
Anyway, we looked for a spot that would give 25 seniors a chance to get the building that where in  dwelt  the mighty                                                                            
And we stepped right into a food court that any medium sized shopping mall would have - 

Inside CNN Studio Tour check-in
The CNN Center also houses an Omni Hotel and features a large atrium food court frequented by local business employees, tourists, event goers from State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and conference attendees from the Georgia World Congress Center. CNN's multi-channel output to the world is broadcast on large screens around the center. Studio tours are available and include demonstrations of the technologies such as Chroma key and teleprompters, as well as visits to viewing galleries overlooking the newsrooms and anchors of CNN InternationalHLN, and CNN en Español.
The atrium escalator that is used to transport visitors on the CNN tour has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest freestanding (supported only at the ends) escalator in the world at 196 feet (60 m) long.[10] It was built for the theme park that once occupied the building, and it is part of the building's structure and could not be removed. MARTA rail service is provided to the CNN Center at the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center station.

List of stores and restaurants[edited]

What, that's a food court? I searched around and there was not one place selling cheeseburger hot dogs. So our delicacies were Burger KIng and Starbucks.

The atrium escalator that is used to transport visitors on the CNN tour has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest freestanding (supported only at the ends) escalator in the world at 196 feet (60 m) long.[10] It was built for the theme park that once occupied the building, and it is part of the building's structure and could not be removed. Well, I' m sure Ted Turner and Co. made a few bucks on it.

I normally talk about the guided tour and do the oooohs and aaaahs but pretty much take the Johnson Space Center tour one, and remove anything interesting about TV news.  It's one of the tours that ends up in the souvenir shop.   I'd have rather gone back to Burger King.

There were a group of junior high students very excited about something and a CNN representative came down from on high, along with five people walking with him, and all their lanyards clicking together brought the celebrity person.  Consensus amongst the bus group was that 1.  We did not know this man of designer suits, perfect white teeth, and shoes that Trump must have donated to him.  2. The students were giddy as the CNN personality and the walking lanyards approached.  3.The students made an entry point for the celebrity and the walking lanyards told us to please make room, even though we were at least 40 ft away and mostly heading to the door and the bus.  I stopped at the Atlanta Braves shop, and picked up a Boston Braves cap.  They did not have any Milwaukee Braves or even 1974 Hank Aaron 715 homer caps.  That Braves cap was the first baseball cap I ever.  Fear not, as a Mets cap came soon after, and you could spot either caps anytime with yours truly underneath it. Also 
Atlanta, your team had one of the greatest all time baseball, and you don't have any baseball of except cheap t-shirts of the gaudy uniform of the early 1970s Braves:

This gentleman in the Braves #25 is, I believe, a pitcher named Danny Frisella who pitched for the Mets until 1972 when he was traded to the Braves for 2nd baseman Felix Millan and pitcher George Stone. He wore a few other uniforms in the big leagues later before, alas, suddenly hanging up his spikes and glove  when he was killed in a dune buggy accident on Jan 1 1977.  Danny, we hardly knew ye.

All right, the bus is full again and we're going to Coca~Cola! I've been looking forward to this stop because Jackie and I always hit the Coke store at EPCOT at Disney World, and sample a few flavors, because in EPCOT, there is about 10 versions of foreign Coke available to try.The same ones every year. Atlanta has a wider offering of Coke tastes, not only in drink but in the massive store where you can buy anything legal as long as the purchase has the Coke trademark.  But I digress...

In the Atlanta area Coke has two headquarters:

                   Corporate                                                                          Fun Place!

Upon arrival at the fun place, you are whisked up a set of 50 stair steps, leaving most of our tour at the bottom of the  steps until some employee cranks open an elevator.  Once up the stairs we all were welcomed to the plant by a Mr. Happy Employee telling us what fun we will have looking for the original Coca Cola recipe (which legend says is actually in a bank vault somewhere in Atlanta or its environs) in the displays that will get you involved in the search for the recipe, which the employee (Mr. Happy) has already told you is not there and you won't find it so soothe yourself by having your picture taken with a standing polar bear with a long neck and scarf:

or hit the Coketown samples:

Here was my reason for going.  In the vast history of this bus tour, I have made mention that I am out of drugs and the two lattes from the Starbucks at CNN are long gone and powerless.  But before me are nozzles full of caffeine, caffeine, caffeine, and I dive into the throng of tasters who enjoy free small paper glasses of soda in semi ecstasy. Carnage would have raged about me (The battle of Peachtree in my head! "Save the stimulants, boys! No Yankee is going to take the secret from whatever bank is, uh, still around")

And then I am on the bus, eyes closed, head lolling, my Jackie having pulled me from overdosing on Krest the drink of Outer Mongolia.  And the bus was moving back to the hotel.  I closed my eyes for a few hours months until my left  arm spasmed, and we trudged to our rooms for prepare for dinner.

And even on my Coke high (not all that high), I still wanted to visit the Santa room ("the pause that refreshes"). I still remember those ads as a kid. I had a failed Coke high, how was this new restaurant going to help me keep it together.  It would if Judy (tour guide) and Doug (bus driver extrodinaire) were arguing about which direction the restaraunt was from the hotel.  I voted go north and not stop  until we hit route 84 in Binghamton.  We could roll into Albany a few hours later and hit Cracker Barrel right away.  But no one heard my mumbling, if I was even doing that.  Sometimes with MS you don't know.

Next on the list:     Stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

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