Have you ever played tourist in your own city? Sometimes it’s fun to do just that.
My niece, Lauren, and her family were home last weekend for Labor Day, which also landed on Lauren’s birthday, August 31st. She turned 32 over the weekend and it was so fun to have them home. We played Atlanta tourist and went downtown on Saturday to the Georgia Aquarium for a tour of it, also walked through Centennial Park and rode the big ferris wheel down there. It was quite the adventure and joining the other 800,000 people who were expected to make their way downtown for the day made it a little crazy, but we managed to get down there and back in one piece. Let’s see, there was DragonCon, the Black Pride parade, multiple sporting events, including a big Alabama game at the Dome, a huge crowd at the Aquarium, and downtown was a busy place on Saturday. Normally, I don’t venture downtown all that much unless there is something special going on.
I had never been to the Georgia Aquarium before, so this was my first time seeing it and it was quite impressive. I know, I know. Sometimes the locals don’t always do the tourist things. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. The dolphin show was our favorite!
After visiting the aquarium, I probably wouldn’t go back very often at all, since we saw most of it in this visit. I’ve been to the Chattanooga aquarium too many years ago and really enjoyed it.
Divers in the big tanks at the aquarium. I think you can sign up for diving in the big pools.
It was fun to see it all. It’s set up in big rooms, which are all sponsored by a big name brand company. From fresh water to sea life and big, big fish, there’s so much to take in.
Loved seeing the really BIG fish in the Ocean Voyager area. Sharks, huge grouper and more.
It’s well worth the visit to take all of this sea life in for yourself. Great place for kids to go too, they would really enjoy it. It was a little too crowded to really enjoy it to the fullest, but we stayed about 2 hours and saw most everything.
As I mentioned, the AT&T dolphin tales show was pretty fun. There were 5 dolphin in all and they did all sorts of tricks and cute moves.
Of course, little Parker came along with her parents for the weekend too and we SO enjoyed having her around. In fact, my sister is keeping her this week for some grandmother bonding time and we will all be helping her out. Baby Parker is so adorable and is growing so much. She’s 6 1/2 months old now.
After the aquarium, we walked through Centennial Park, which has changed a lot since I was down there last. The park was built for the 1996 summer Olympics which was held in Atlanta that year and I saw the park then and a couple time since then. It’s a really neat green space and they do have events here.
Lauren and Philip walking through Centennial park.
The Olympic rings and bricks. CNN is in the background, headquartered here in Atlanta and started by the Ted Turner.
Me and my sassy leopard shoes walking on the Olympic bricks.
One of the fun features of the park is this really cool fountain, which sporadically erupts into shooting water on the bricks, which is so exciting for the kids hanging out. Great place to cool off during these hot summer months.
We knew about the ferris wheel at Centennial Park, which was added awhile ago when we parked and came in and decided we just had to ride it while we were down here. It was a little pricey at $13.50 (plus tax) per ticket, but it was worth it for one time. I think they would sell more tickets if they lowered the prices though.
It’s not really scary since the cages are all enclosed and not open like the old fashioned ferris wheels from the fair that we all rode growing up.
It’s so pretty against the blue sky of Atlanta.
Up top were some pretty impressive views of the city.
Towering over the city is actually pretty fun.
Centennial park below.
Lauren, Philip and Parker at the ferris wheel.
My brother-in-law, Bruce, me, Lauren, Philip after our ferris wheel ride. My sis was taking the pic, she doesn’t like being in pics.
Sunday, the 31st was Lauren’s birthday, so we all gathered at my sister and brother-in-law’s house for a family meal together. Of course, this baby was the center of attention. She is so incredibly cute.
In her monogrammed bloomers, especially.
How can you get any cuter than a sweet baby.
Lauren is such a great mom and I’ve loved seeing her be mama to this baby doll. This mouse dress was Lauren’s when she was a baby and mom made it for her way back then.
Sweet baby girl.
I had to take more pics of her to document the weekend. She’s pretty photogenic if I do say so myself!
Mom gave her a bottle and she was a sleepy baby.
Mom and Dad enjoying the day with family.
As always, we had some delicious food. Pork chops on the grill, black eyed peas, cream corn, fried eggplant and okra, roasted potatoes, and tomato and avocado salad, which I brought.
It’s very easy, just cut up fresh tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, fresh avocado, a little sweet sliced onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a mix of olive oil and white vinegar, about 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 vinegar. I don’t measure, just add. Mix it all up for a yummy summer salad.
Lauren and Philip.
There’s that cute baby again. She is so happy most of the time and has the sweetest smile.
Helping mom open birthday presents.
With her daddy.
And one more of those sweet and perfect lips on that baby girl. She’s so adorable!
Thank you all for being interested in our family, I just love that you do. I tell my mom and dad all about y’all and they think it’s pretty neat that folks from all over the country are interested in our family and what we do. I happen to think we have an amazing family and I’m so grateful for them all. It was a fun birthday weekend with Lauren home and we are always sad when she has to go back to New Orleans. We are happy she visits often, especially with a baby in the family now!