Pre-game day, folks! I mean, happy almost Thanksgiving! Connor and I are able to sit side-by-side to round up our marathon Saturday in Atlanta just under two weeks ago now. I’ve asked him to make sure I don’t forget any of the wicked cool stuff we did because we most certainly want you all to feel like you were right there with us because, family.
We woke bright and early Saturday morning and can I just say, ‘dear Westin Heavenly Beds, you win everything?’ I think I can. Connor peeked out of our 31-story window to a beautiful sunrise and said, ‘it’s gonna be a great day, mom.’ You betcha, kiddo. Now, let’s get going because, things!
We headed downstairs to print our city pass vouchers and found some rotating chairs. Distractions. We Google mapped our first destination (The World of Coca-Cola), headed down the street and then, whoops! We made a quick u-turn and headed in the right direction. The cool thing about where we were staying was that everything was a 1/2 mile or less away. And strangely, my boots were made for walking.
Our first big cross street dumped into the Olympic park and the end of a 5k race. Connor first finished the race of course and we headed down the street for a Coke. Lord knows the kid was thirsty after that big run!
I can honestly say I figured that the World of Coca-Cola would be more of a museum-ish stop and we might be there an hour. I am happy to report I was so wrong. First, everything is free (mostly). And second, the intro video made me cry like a baby (thank goodness it was dark)! Oh, and you get to try a variety of Coke flavors from around the world. #italyistheworst And then if you buy a surprise bag in the gift shop, all of the cashiers yell, ‘Surprise!’ I wonder if that’s a ploy …
We headed back to the hotel to drop off our goodies before our second stop and literally walked through one of the largest Veteran’s Day parades I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely beautiful and the city does such an amazing job of honoring our veterans. Look at the amazing firetruck corrdior!
I was really glad that we checked out the CityPASS thing-y because I hadn’t heard about the College Football Hall of Fame. We poked around on the site Wednesday night and it sounded like an experience right up Connor’s alley. And also? Chick-fil-a downstairs. Yay for gluten free waffle fries!
We received our access badges at the entrance, walked into the building and then Connor’s head exploded. I mean, helmets from 700-some football teams and the opportunity to pick your favorite. He chose Michigan State, obvs. And I chose WMU. #rowtheboat After our helmets lit up on the wall, we strolled up to the top floor (of three) to check out some of the interactive story-telling exhibits there. You could have the whole experience personalized based on the team you selected (well, Western wasn’t represented much here) so stories from old players and coaches were triggered by your pass’ selection. It was seriously amazing.
The second floor was super fun because that’s where all the really interactive stuff was … scenes from some of the most memorable plays, fight song karaoke (we were awesome), trophies, a skill trainer, sports desk commentary, famous rivalries and a unique VR experience (Connor tried). I asked Connor about his favorite exhibit on that floor and he said sitting with the commentators was his favorite. It recorded you on a green screen and you read from a teleprompter to ultimately interact with Desmond Howard and Chris Fowler. So fun. So much dancing from Mr. Connor.
Finally, we found ourselves on the first floor. There was a 45-yard field kids on which could attempt field goals, run drills and catch passes. Connor did an amazing job and ran through repeatedly so he was good and sweaty (and hungry!) by the time we left.
We strolled over to Chick-fil-a next store after the required gift shop exit (seriously. nice work, amusement places). I have to give a shout-out to my Kansas City travel buddy David for introducing me to the fine-eating that is Chick-fil-a. Connor can eat real food. That’s a win for us.
We realized after lunch that we forgot to grab out special gift for completing all nineteen achievements on our badges at the Hall of Fame. They were nice enough to let us stroll back in and it was almost like the Lord himself was like, ‘hey, you missed something the first time. check THIS out.’
And there he was. Connor’s all-time favorite college QB, Mr. Connor Cook #goraiders?
Would you look at that stud? I’m talking about mine, people. He is sooooo handsome. And he had soooooo much fun at the HoF. I think we could have stayed there a couple more hours but, marathon Saturday!
Well, the marathon will have to continue. After all, you just can’t rush a marathon.