(Technically a dental conference but you take what you can get.) Here’s what we did in Atlanta while Steve was in continuing education classes all day.
1. The Atlanta Federal Reserve. (Sorry, no pictures allowed past the TSA-esque entrance.) The free museum had nice, modern exhibits on the history of money (wampum!), early Colonial money, counterfeiting, theories of economics and how money is deposited and withdrawn from the Atlanta Federal Reserve.
Did you know that the US has made $100,000 (never circulated), $10,000, $5,000, $1,000 and $500 bills? The vault at the Atlanta Fed is 5 stories high, contains 2,880 storage locations and is completely automated through the use of goblin-like Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). It sounds pretty secure despite no mention of a dragon.
I lifted a 27-lb gold brick valued at $716,861. The gold was “on loan” to the Atlanta Fed, although it’s owner was not listed. Ted Turner? The world’s largest repository of gold is the NY Federal Reserve, which houses 15 MILLION lbs of gold BULLION valued at over $86 BILLION.(A sampling of the estimated $10,000,000 of unfit currency shredded at the Atlanta Federal Reserve each day.)
2. Margaret Mitchell’s House. Atlanta native Margaret Mitchell wrote her only novel, Gone With Wind, over the course of 3 years in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment in what is now Midtown Atlanta. Mitchell started writing the southern classic while recovering from a broken ankle resultant of an auto injury. Ironically, Margaret was killed 13 years after the publication of GWTW at age 48 when she was hit by a taxi cab while crossing nearby Peachtree and 13th Streets.Lindsay and I were extra-cautious negotiating all crosswalks in the neighborhood.
3. Dinner at Antico. We ate dinner at this crazy, Napoli pizza place near Georgia Tech. It was a little pricey (figure ~$12 per person) but I liked the simplicity of the menu (just pizza and calzone, 1 size, no splitting the ingredients), first-come-first-serve cafeterias-style seating and encouragement of outside beverages.
The pizzas arrived quickly from the wood-fired ovens on large baking sheets, which we ate from. At one end of the room was a 1/2-wall of plexiglass, separating the eating customers from the kitchen. It was a little reminiscent of the last stop on a factory tour. And here’s where they make the pizza, kids.
Despite being noisy, pricey (the “grande” pizza really only feeds 2.), not really great for kids and probably against fire code, this was a fun place for an adventurous couple. Just remember to bring your cooler!
4. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Former Georgia state senator and governor, Jimmy Carter is beloved by The Peach State. Known for his big smile and humble beginnings as the son of a peanut farmer, Carter became the 39th President of the United States on January 20, 1977 and served 1 term. Turns out that Carter was an avid photographer (especially during his time in the US Navy), was encouraged to read at the dinner table, and met and married his wife Rosalynn within 1 year!Lindsay and I had a great time walking around the well-maintained grounds and modern exhibits. She was obviously inspired by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 and had a blowout of her own that penetrated 4 layers of fabric. Unfortunately only 2 of those layers were hers.
5. Dinner at The Varsity. Originally built in 1928, The Varsity claims to be “the world’s largest drive-in” and is able to accommodate 600 cars outside and 800 people inside. We gave it an honest effort and ordered a good sampling of the menu: hamburger, chili cheese hot dog, fries, onion rings, orange frost and a peach pie, but they were all terrible! I have no idea how this place is still in business.