Archive for June, 2013

2013-06-xx GA,Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN

2013-06-xx GA,Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN
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It was HOT – Atlanta HOT – 95 degrees Farenheit.

I rode the rapid-rail Marta train to downtown Atlanta. From the station, I walked through Centennial Olympic Park to go to the Aquarium. The first water fountain that I walked to was the – Olympic Rings where children play, run and jump over the water spurts. It was exciting listening to them laugh, and scream with delight of the water. I took pictures of the other water fountains nearby as I walked through the park to the Aquarium.
I visited the park a few ago and trees were smaller -and- there were no ‘park benches’. As the park has matured, the trees have grown taller. The shade is wonderful in the heat -and- the ability to sit on a bench is wonderful. The park also has a statue of Billy Payne – the man who formed an Atlanta Olympic Committee and pushed for hosting games in Atlanta. In the background of the statue is a green-window building. For the two-weeks that the Olympic Games were in Atlanta (1996), I volunteered to ‘help’. On the application form, I specified “indoors”. Many of my friends were also volunteers but they were assigned to sporting venues to help with seating. They said that many times, they were uncomfortably ‘hot’. Since I requested “indoors”, I was assigned to help with security of the international-communications-center; i.e., the press. The press were in the green-window building. I really enjoyed it – it was air-conditioned.

I volunteered the first week for first shift. I was supposed to be at the building at 8 A.M.. We were warned that Marta would be “at-capacity” and trains ran twenty-four-hours-a-day. All of the Marta parking lots were full –early– each day. I live a mile-and-a-half from one of the newly opened stations in north Atlanta. On my first day, I drove around looking for a spot and ended up parking illegally as far away from the station as my house was. After that, I thought that I was taking too much of a chance of being towed and just walked to the station. I had to leave my house by 5 A.M. and walk to the station in order to be at the building in time for my shift.
It was still dark when I walked to the station. Before each shift, there was a meeting in a big room and we were told the procedures and opportunities. I made friends with another woman from near Atlanta and we ‘hung-out’ together. We walked around both the interior and exterior of the building looking for anything ‘unusual’ or something that we could help with. I had a black shirt, pants, pit helment, and shoes issued by the Olympic Committee to me and I was given several ‘collectors’ security pins. The uniform had patches already sewed on. (After the Olympics was finished, I sold the security pins and uniform. At that time, almost anything involving the Olympics was considered ‘collectors items’ and I had enough stuff at my house. I decided that others could collect ‘stuff’ – I had memories.)
My second week of volunteering, I decided to work second shift. That meant that I started at 4 P.M. and ended at 11 P.M.. One night after leaving the green-window building, I went to Marta and the platform was seven people deep all along the platform. As a security-guard, I was given a free ride. So, once I determined that there would be a long wait for a train, I left the station and walked a mile to the next one. That one was also “full”, so I walked to the next one. I was able to finally get on a train after walking several miles about 2 A.M.. I was surprised to learn how ‘active’ the city was late at night.
The Aquarium was great. It was cool inside and the first thing I did was go see the Dolphin Show. The show had an announcer who played as a ship captain of long ago. His ship was attacked by a sea monster and sank. The audience helped ‘raise’ it again. The dolphins performed at various times during the show and it was well-done.
I also attended the 4-D theater of an animated fish, Deepo, and his friend. There were many children’s groups with like-colored shirts for identification. Again, it was great to hear them being excited.
I saw the Frog exhibit, walked through the tunnel under the water, and saw the jellyfish. There were several exhibits that I had seen previously and I knew that my walk back to Marta in the heat would consume a lot of energy – so, I left after several hours of enjoying the aquarium.
Footnote: The local media has announced that the former Paris ferris-wheel is to relocate to downtown Atlanta. Construction is now in-process and it is scheduled to open soon. I may have to make another trip downtown near the Olympic park and see it after it opens.

<Note: Click on the picture to make it larger and to see the description.>  Thanks for looking -and- please leave a comment or send me an email.

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((My Dad has a nickname for me and it is “Puddin”. He started calling me that when I was very young. I named my van, “Vanna White”. When I decided to start a blog, I wanted a unique name for my travels and the names “Puddin” and “Vanna White” came to mind.))

2013-06-04 Vanna White Gets a “Bath” i.e., Van-Car Wash

2013-06-04 Vanna White Gets a “Bath” i.e., Van-Car Wash
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The back doors of the van had black streaks of dirt down them after a rainstorm. It was ‘un-sightly’ -and- well, … dirty! So, it was time for a “bath”. I had accidentally cut the garden hose when I ran over it with the lawnmower – so, I had to get a new garden hose. This was the first use of the new hose. I have a six-foot A-style ladder and use it to wash the stop at the start of the “bath”. The top was really dirty and it’s really hard to wash because I can’t reach all of the way to the middle. I found an extension RV brush at Wal-Mart and it helped with the middle – but, I reached as far as I could with my arm before using the brush. The van top has ‘valleys’. Dirt had really accumulated in them and it was hard to get them clean. It took a “day” (several hours and I was tired afterward) to wash the van. After washing, I went to Wal-Mart for some wax because I needed it to protect the paint and cause rain to ‘bead’. I bought some NuFinish – and found it easy-to-use. The claim of the wax was that it lasted a year. Especially for the top, I really needed a was that lasts a long time. Older, hard wax is difficult to buff because it requires a lot of strength and energy. The wax that I bought was a white, soft-paste and it was both easy to apply and easy to buff. It took another day to apply the wax and buff it. My muscles ached afterward. When my muscles ache, I tell myself that it is good for me because that is a sign of building strength. I do not have much strength in my arms and upper body so I tire easily. Anyway, afterward, I parked the van in the carport for the first time. There isn’t much room in the carport for opening the door and exiting the van, so I don’t park it there often. In the future, I need to park it in the carport to help keep it clean. Now, “Vanna White” is a clean, white van again. Note: my friend, Karen, said that she liked the van having the magnetic signs on the side and back so I re-applied them. My older son, Joe, is associated with the business and had some extra signs available for use at my house. My suburban neighbors know the van by the signs. In my neighborhood, crime is deterred by calling police and notifying them when unknown vehicles are seen. We had an email group and, sometimes, neighbors take pictures and tag numbers for the police to help deter house break-ins. By the way, before I leave on a trip, I send an email to my neighbors and as them to ‘keep an eye’ on my house while I am away. I’ve had a tree fall on the house -and- a neighbor had a water-heater to leak when away, so I ask them to call me if they feel that it is necessary. In turn, when they go on a trip, they let me know and I try to be a bit more vigilant of the neighborhood.

Oh yeah! I decided to post a picture of a ‘favorite’ place of mine. I am near many office buildings and one of them has a fountain and large pond. In the middle of the pond is a ‘sitting area’ with table and chairs – that are BELOW the water line. I LOVE IT!

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2013-06-08 Atlanta Food Truck Park – Howell Mill Road

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2013-06-08 Atlanta Food Truck Park – Howell Mill Road (north of downtown interchange of I-75 and I-85 – on I-75.)
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I am a member of a meetup group called “Healty Adventures”. It is considered ‘healthy’ when you eat NO MEAT – i.e., eat vegetarian. The host posts a restaurant or, in this case, place where you are likely able to buy a good vegetarian meal and invites the group to eat with them. This was the first time for eating at the Atlanta Food Truck Park for both the host and me. It was a beautiful night -and- unfortunately, you can’t hear it in the posted pictures, a DJ was playing loud music for the enjoyment of the diners. My friend and I didn’t want to be near the loud speakers (and under-cover picnic tables), so we found a stand-up table. The park was busy and all of the sit-down picnic tables were occupied. I ordered a BBQ tofu,brown rice and collard dish. I LOVE BBQ sauce and anything with BBQ sauce on it is good. I also like collards, but – I have to admit something – i.e., when I was growing up, both my mother and grandmother would cook collards with bacon flavoring. I prefer the bacon flavoring taste to the collards that I had from the food truck. Also, I have to note that both mother and ‘Mammy’ (my grandmother) put sugar in collards. When I cook them, I put a tablespoon of honey in them when they are hot. Many people put vinegar on them and others like them very salty. For better health, I am trying to reduce both my sugar and salt intake.

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Anyway, I had an good meal and ordered a ‘fried’ brownie with chocolate sauce on top for dessert. I forgot to take a picture of it. It was a fried won-ton type wrap around a brownie – and a drizzle of chocolate syrup over the top. There were two items in the cardboard-type carry-out container and each was about the size of my middle finger. I saved the brownie-treat for the next day in order to not have so many calories in one meal. Needless to say, it was as good on the following day as it was when I bought it. It is really hard for me to not have some chocolate occasionally.

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After the meals, several friends went to “Lena’s Place Coffeehouse” and heard local musicians play songs that they had composed. It was a great ‘outing’.

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