When we moved south one of our goals was to ‘travel more’ – I know, it’s so vague. What does that mean? If it meant to spend more time in the car, well then, check, goal accomplished. I spend an hour in the car in the morning and afternoon just to get the kids to and from school and myself to work. Yuck.
My husband and I came from two very different lives. He grew up in a military family and moved often. He lived in several, many several states and even overseas in Germany for some time. While I on the other hand, lived in the same house that my dad built from the day my parents brought me home from the hospital to around the time I graduated from college. So for each of us ‘travel more’ has very different meanings.
Last weekend we finally got the chance to start working on our goal. Wednesday during our lunch date, we decided it was time to get away. I rounded up our credit card points and found a hotel, we picked out activities and bam- we planned a 24hr weekend family getaway.
So here it is, the quick and dirty
24hrs in the ATL [family edition]
As I said, I pooled together some CC points to get us a nice room in the location we wanted. Using the points allowed us to be focused on what we wanted of the hotel instead of being so focused on how much it was going to cost us. Somehow it’s easier to spend 170 points that it took you 3 months and probably $1,000 in groceries and gas to earn on a one night stay then spending $223 for the night – who needs logic?
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn; Atlanta Downtown, for a long list of reasons, but the main and most important being that is was right next door to the Georgia Aquarium (our main attraction). The second most important, it had an open pool. The room was clean, the front desk staff were amazing. And the breakfast was delicious and quick.
We went in part of of a recommendation from a friend, but mostly off location. Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria was suggested and since it was right behind our hotel, we walked across the street to give it a try.
We were not disappointed. The service was amazing, speedy and friendly. The pizza was amazing ( I am not a food reviewer, so I’ll spare you my said attempt at using big words to describe the flavor and such – but trust me, it was to die for). My husband had some wing and he seemed to enjoy them, considering it was the fastest I have ever seen him devour a plate of wings. The atmosphere was fun and inviting, kid and parent friendly, you could even watch them make the pizza from your seat, throw in the in the air and oven!
Side note- shout out to Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria for having a full baby changing station in the bathroom.
Well worth our three hour drive. The Georgia Aquarium had many great features for both adults and kids. Of course we have watched Finding Dory about a billion times, so we saw ‘Destiny’ (the whale shark), ‘Hank’ (octopus) and many of Dory’s other friends. It kind of became a game of who we could find. (Which of course gave me an idea when we were there, to make this, Finding Dory (and friends) aquarium scavenger hunt game ).
I wish we would have gotten there a little earlier. They let folks in in half hour increments, and we got in at 11:30. I would suggest buying tickets online before you get there and getting the earliest time possible. If you aren’t staying over night, the hotel we stayed at also offered by the hour parking. Which seemed reasonable in comparison to it’s location to the aquarium, so I would suggest parking there.
We made sure that the hotel that we booked had an indoor pool. After spending the bulk of the day in the aquarium, we walked back over to our hotel. Threw on our swim suits and got some time in the pool. We really wanted to tire everyone out, so after our early dinner we walked over to Centennial Olympic Park. At the park, walked around and enjoyed the playgrounds there.
Since we had an early dinner, once it started to rain we ran back to the hotel. We decided to hit the arcade that lived on the first floor of the hotel we were staying in.
We really had a great quick and dirty family weekend getaway.
Disclaimer: These aren’t the only things to do in Atlanta, they are just the things we chose to do. There were so many other things that we could have done, and probably will do the next time we go. We picked the aquarium as our ‘main feature’ this time around because we thought the baby would enjoy it more than the Children’s Museum, which from the pictures of her staring at the fish, mouth open in awe, I’d say we made the right choice.