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We finally got a chance to explore a little bit more of Atlanta, thanks to my daughter coming for a quick visit from CA, on her way to LA and FL. (The apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to a lot of things, travel being just one of them.)

First stop after picking her up at the airport was the Georgia Aquarium.  I had purchased tickets online earlier in the week, and didn’t notice they were for the wrong day until Friday. I have to say their customer service department was very helpful and quickly got us rescheduled for Saturday. It’s a nice aquarium, as aquariums go, but I was underwhelmed for most of it. (Although I do still squeal just a little bit when I see certain exhibits – the penguins, for instance.) The whale sharks were very cool, as were the penguins, sea otters and sea dragons.  Other than that, it is very much like every other aquarium I’ve been to –  Mystic, Boston, Camden, Baltimore, Monterey, and San Francisco come to mind. And some on that list are better in my opinion.

Georgia Aquarium is involved in a lot of conservation efforts, but I just wish more of it had been more visible to the casual visitor.  There are several “add ons” to the general admission which allow you behind the scenes and to special events where you can learn more about their conservation efforts. I’m not suggesting it’s not worth a visit, I just expected a bit more for the price. (It was almost $40/person for admission on a Saturday afternoon.) I did manage to get some pictures of my favorite exhibits, though, so not a bad start to the afternoon!

I had to giggle a bit when I saw the sea dragons.  My dad served on the USS Seadragon in the early 70’s.  I’m not sure I knew (or at least didn’t remember)  what an actual sea dragon looked like until yesterday. Not very formidable looking if you ask me.  The submarine was, though.

From the aquarium we decided to head to Sweetwater Brewery, a local  brewery, so my girl could have some local beer. We got caught in a bit of traffic as the GA Tech game had just let out, but it wasn’t too bad overall.  The brewery parking lot was blocked off, so we parked across the street and noticed a chalkboard advertising whiskey tasting.  Tough call – whiskey or beer? We were approached by a gentleman passing out coupons for the whiskey tasting, and that clinched the deal for us. (We also learned later the brewery was closed for a private event by the time we arrived.  We’ll try again on my girl’s next visit.)

ASW, or American Spirit Works, opened its distillery and tasting room in Atlanta in July.  They’ve been crafting whiskey for several years, but now we get to enjoy it in this wonderful space. There are currently three releases, American Spirit Whiskey, White Dog Whiskey, and The Fiddler Bourbon. All three good and unique in their own ways. And holy cow, if you like bourbon,  get your hands on a bottle of The Fiddler. In addition to the tasting room, they have a wonderful event facility next door, The Stave Room. If you are in Atlanta and enjoy whiskey, we can definitely recommend a visit to ASW.  (Check out their website here.)

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The rest of the evening was spent at home visiting and relaxing. We delivered our guest to the airport after a late brunch, and I am already looking for someplace to explore next weekend…fall is in the air, and I am sure the Blue Ridge Mountains are full of color!