|FYI...cruise ships don't stamp passports. Hence why mine is still super bare|
Anyway, enough about my emo development as a travel blogger (is it safe to call myself that?). Let's talk about Atlanta. I used to live in Atlanta for a very brief period of time and yet the only "touristy" thing I ever did was visit the Underground...a bunch of generic stores with stuff I was never interested in purchasing that are literally, underground. Since I was coming down for Labor Day to see my god family and friends, I didn't want to make my schedule TOO jam packed (people tend to frown at rigid itineraries) but did want to get some sight seeing in. Enter the World of Coca-Cola.
This was the first thing I did when I came to Atlanta. I had my suitcase with me, and took the Marta train (which had vastly upgraded since my last ride on it ten years prior!) straight from the airport down to the area where pretty much everything major to do in Atlanta is situated. I walked a few blocks and eventually got to the tour building (it's pretty huge) and paid for a general admission.
|The line to get IN...should've taken the hint but noooo...|
|Travelin' T, coming to you live from the VIP...tour|
|I was up front with my fellow VIPers|
Next we went into a mini production section (the slowest and smallest Coke bottling factory in the world!) where we learned about technological innovations in the making of Coke. The bottles we saw being made are special in that they make all the souvenir bottles you get at the end of your tour (but we aren't there yet...)
|FIZZY-Bot making bottles of Coke|
|Can't you just hear the Olympic theme now?|
|Nothing like the real thing indeed...|
|Guard in front of the vault|
From there you enter a room full of art inspired by or made from Coke and Coke materials. Tucked away in the bottom of a case was a bottle of the old "New Coke" that I'm sure most company reps would like to pretend never existed (this tickled me to see...I vaguely remember the huge brouhaha changing the formula caused).
From there we were taken to a 4D theater (and I was starting to wonder how much longer we would be on this tour). While you wait in line (again, much like a roller coaster set up) you watch a video of a woman that looks a LOT like Tracie Thoms ask a bunch of random people on the street what kind of flavors they like...or something like that. I wasn't paying much attention (or rather, didn't know I should have been paying attention). She runs off the screen saying she needs to find someone named Brigsby, and then you enter the theatre. No pics, you know, I was kind of in the moment. But you watch what seemed to be a 15 minute video of her and this Brigsby dude act goofy and discover more ways Coke is all over the world. It's 4D because the movie is in 3D (yes you get glasses) but your seats move and air and mist spray on you to coincide with the action on the screen as well. It was fun, if not a little corny.
Finally, after nearly 2 hours of tour guide led fun (thank you Deepak!) You are given an exclusive pin and dumped into the tasting room. Here you can sample Coke products from every continent (though really, if you are from America and you only stay at the North America section...you're pretty lame). This was fun in a way...some very interesting flavors from Africa and Asia (it was getting close to the time I needed to meet my friend so the rest of the world had to wait) but MAN those floors were STICKY!!! I almost broke my flip flops TWICE because the soles stuck to the floor. They should really have someone there whose sole purpose is to run a damp mop over the floor to clean up spilled pop.
|The tasting room|
|Thank you FIZZY-Bot!|
|I had to leave mine in GA with a friend though...it's not TSA carry-on friendly :-/|
She's going to mail it to me though :-)
Overall, I had an amazing (if not exhausting!) time at the World of Coca Cola. They truly have set the standard for what a food or beverage factory tour should be (though to be fair, it wasn't a full fledged facility like other places). Please, if you can, buy the VIP ticket. It will really save part of your sanity. A special shout out should be given to the ENTIRE staff there. Not. One. Employee. was rude, unfriendly, or unhelpful. I mean...it was almost a little scary how nice they were. I was very impressed and pleased!
So. More on Georgia to come. I didn't do all the tours I wanted to do...but boy oh boy did I EAT a lot while I was there!
As always, thank you for following me on this journey and reading my blog. Even if it kinds freaks me out a little bit I appreciate your time taken to read it. See you on the next adventure!