Archive | July 2018

Atlanta 2018: The High Museum of Art

Day 5, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday morning I got up early and took the subway over to the High Museum of Art.  The High Museum was founded in 1905 and its first permanent home was a residence that had been donated.  Today it has a home in a complete art center, and the museum is home to over 15,000 works of art, and is considered one of the premier art museums in the south.

I started on the top floor, like the woman at the ticket counter suggested, but found that it was the modern art exhibit, and not really what I like.  It was weird, but at least it wasn’t bizarre!  I really liked the second and third floors that had more traditional art.  There were paintings and sculptures, cut glass, majolica, furniture (including lots of Frank Lloyd Wright furniture).  They had a room of religious art and icons, and a lot of portraits.  They also have a collection of mid-century home décor.  The High Museum really has an interesting and widespread collection and I really enjoyed wandering through all the rooms.

I have chosen a few of my favorites to show you in photos – I hope you enjoy them as well!

After I saw the collections, I went across the courtyard to have lunch at Twelve Eighty Café, which is named after the address number for the Woodruff Art Center, which includes the High Museum.  I had the Deviled Eggs appetizer (5 for $5), and the Baja Signature Mahi Mahi tacos with fries.  I also had a Pom Collins cocktail, which had Tito’s Vodka, Pomegranate Liqueur, house-made sour mix, simple syrup, mint and pomegranate seeds.  The deviled eggs were good, the fries were just ok, and the tacos and Pom Collins were excellent!

Costs: Museum admission is $14.50.


Atlanta 2018: Polaris

Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

After the State Capitol Museum, I had a quick appetizer at Ted’s Montana Grill again – the Bison Chili Nachos – so messy and so YUMMY!

Then I went over to Polaris.  Polaris is the rotating restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regency hotel.  It is so cool!  You check in with the receptionist and then she sends you up to the bar in a fancy high speed elevator.  I just went for appetizers, to make it more affordable, but they do offer dinner.

I had the charcuterie plate, which had a selection of delicious meats and cheeses along with honey harvested from their rooftop beehives (yea, this place is fancy!).  I also had a scallops appetizer that was to die for!  I had two cocktails too – the St. Nick, and a cranberry cocktail – both were excellent!


The service was great, and my server had been working for Polaris since they first opened years ago.  It was certainly worth the visit, and the sunset was great to see (but impossible to photograph well).

Circus Roadtrip 2018: 11 Days In

As I am writing this, it is day 11 of my big road trip, and I am having coffee and oatmeal at a campground in Sheridan, Wyoming, before getting on the road again.  So far, things have been good – a little different than I was expecting, but in some ways better.

I haven’t had any major meltdowns.  I did have a couple of minor ones – one when I couldn’t find my wallet and had to take a bunch of stuff out of the car (it had fallen in a crack behind the front seats when I was trying to slip it back into my purse), and once when I couldn’t find a campground in Bozeman, Montana (I was able to find a site in Livingston, the next town over, and I was headed that direction anyway).

I find myself pulling over and parking a lot more than I was originally expecting.  To look at the atlas to figure out where I’m headed, to call campgrounds when I know where I will be ending up for the night, to get a snack out of the cooler (it is on the floor of the passenger seat, but the way the lid lifts makes it hard to get things out without pulling the cooler out of the car – it is a snug fit in my car these days).  There is something about having a co-pilot that makes things easier, that you don’t really think about until you don’t have one.

I have found that I prefer sleeping in my car bed to the tent.  It is more comfy.  My 4″ thick memory foam mattress works well and I can’t even feel the plywood underneath.  I have just enough room to roll over easily and stretch out lengthwise mostly, but my feet touch the back hatch door when I do (this is when being really short comes in handy).  Getting in and out requires some acrobatics…  When the sun goes down the temp cools off a lot, so I haven’t been too hot in the car like I was worried about.

I am getting better at using my selfie stick.  It’s dorky, and people look at you funny, and surprisingly few people ask if you want them to take a photo of you when they see you selfie-ing.  It does come in handy though, so I will continue looking geeky, as I am never going to see these people again.  I do have to be better about remembering it when I get out of the car!

I do get lonely on the long drives, and sometimes at night.  I sometimes find myself listening to sad, cathartic songs on repeat (I shouldn’t do that!).  I am on my third audiobook already, but this one is longer than the first two.  Mostly I’m so tired at night that I don’t lay awake much, which is good!

The mosquitoes are a bother, and I already long for the day when I don’t smell like bug spray.  That stuff dries your skin out in a bad way too!  I suspect this will just get worse as I head deeper into the Midwest, where the mosquitoes are as big as my face.  Say a prayer for me – those critters love me, and I am already peppered with bites!

I am almost afraid to say the weather has been great.  A few raindrops here and there, but I have hiked and touristed to my heart’s content without any downpours so far.  Early this morning I heard some thunder, and it was windy, and there was a little bit of rain, but it is long gone now without a cloud in the sky.  I just knocked on the picnic table, so hopefully that helps…

Today I will roll over 2,000 miles.  Wow – that’s a lot of ground covered!  I do admit, my path through Montana was a bit circuitous for the first several days.  Montana is a really awesome state!  As much as I did – there was a lot more that I had to leave behind.

I have a few friends I talk to consistently each day or every couple days – they help keep me sane.  And I have been enjoying posting photos in mostly real time on Twitter and Instagram!  If you want to follow along – my username is @wineandhistory on both sites.  Wifi is often not good enough for photo uploads, so that’s where the current pictures are posted.

Farewell for now!

Atlanta 2018: Georgia Capitol Museum

Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

After the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, I took the subway to the Georgia Capitol Museum.  According to TripAdvisor, they had some interesting free exhibits.  The State Patrol Officer running the security screening seemed surprised when I told him where I was from and why I was there though – apparently this little exhibit doesn’t get much of a draw.  Hey, it’s free and I had some time…

The exhibit is displayed in cases on an upper floor of the capitol building, so as I was wandering around the floor looking at things, state capitol staff were going about their business up and down the hallways.  There were cases dedicated to the flora, fauna and minerals of the state capitol, and the history of Georgia.  There were also some interesting Georgia political stories and anecdotes, including a disputed election in 1946, a dead guy and a couple of men who were both very interested in having the outcome go their way.  It became dubbed the Three Governors Controversy.  You can read about it here.  Fascinating stuff really!

Seeing the inside of the capitol building was pretty cool too.  There is some really nice architectural detail there to check out.  It was worth the stop, even if the exhibit was small.

I walked back to the hotel from there, since it was a warm day and it was really only about a 1 mile walk, through an eclectic part of Atlanta.  I enjoyed it – there was so much to see!  Not to mention I walked down Peachtree Street from the Five Points district in Atlanta, which is mentioned repeatedly in Gone with the Wind.  It was interesting to see the real thing, and not just the reference from the book – it sure looks a lot different than Mitchell describes it though!



Atlanta 2018: National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

After my CNN tour, I went to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The outside

The mural in the entryway of the museum

They had a powerful exhibit called, “The Lunch Counter.”  You sit at the lunch counter and put on headphones.  You listen to men yelling and screaming at you; threatening to kill you.  The counter and your chair both shake as if the men are shaking you from behind, like it happened in the 1960s.  It was very powerful and emotional.

The Lunch Counter

There was also an exhibit on Martin Luther King, Jr., and his work.  It started with his work as a Reverend, and moved into his Civil Rights work, and ultimately his assassination and the effect it had on the country.  It was very detailed, and the exhibit discussed the major events that occurred during the Civil Rights movement.  The Emmett Till murder, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, and more were covered to give visitors a holistic overview of the events of the time.

It was very good, but I didn’t feel it was quite balanced.  It was more the hero worship variety, and I like my history with the good and the bad parts of people.  The exhibit didn’t touch on Martin Luther King Jr.’s flaws; the fact that he had multiple affairs, or the fact that toward the end of his life, he was aligning himself more with groups that advocated for violent protest as a means to achieve Civil Rights Reform.  Not all of his supporters agreed with this shift.

An exhibit on King’s assassination

The Center also had an exhibit on the various abusers of human rights throughout history; political leaders who committed crimes against their own or conquered peoples.  Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Augusto Pinochet were all included in the exhibit.

A few of the world’s worst killers

Downstairs there was a special exhibit of the Reverend King’s papers and writings.  It was interesting to see history up close and in MLK Jr.’s own hand-written and typed pages.

Some Human Rights Laws in the U.S.

There are lots of good exhibits at the Center.  They did take some liberties though…  They had an exhibit on role models in Civil Rights history that included all of Eleanor Roosevelt’s great work for disadvantaged groups, but they didn’t mention her anti-semitism before and during World War II.  As I mentioned before, they also didn’t include anything about King’s flaws.  We are all flawed beings, and I think it is better to shed the light on it, so people get the whole story.  Even so, it was certainly worth the visit!

Costs: Admission was $19.99, or included with the Atlanta City Pass.

The Circus Trip: That Damned HAT

I hate trucker hats.  For those of you who aren’t aware of what these are, and the fact that they are “in” again, a trucker hat is a hat with a mesh back and a plastic adjustable back closure.  Anyway, there is a point to this – stay with me…

For the last birthday while I was married, my husband got me a trucker hat.  Mind you, he knew I hated trucker hats – we had at least a dozen conversations over the years about my contempt for them.  But, he didn’t actually get it for me.  You see, he bought the trucker hat for his girlfriend.  Yea – just let that sink in.  When he broke up with that girlfriend, he was left with this hat he hadn’t given to her and didn’t want, because it was women’s sized.  So, he apparently decided to give it to me instead.  What a guy!!!  Only he never knew that I knew all of this – I am sure he is still just toddling along thinking what a great guy he was for giving his wife a birthday gift in the middle of a painful, ugly divorce.

So I hated that effing hat.  I left it in the gift bag in my entryway for a long time (ironically, he gave it to me in a wedding gift bag – who does that?!?).  I asked many of my friends what I should do with it.  Ideas ranged from the simple throw it away or burn it, throw it off the mountain (I don’t like littering), give it to a homeless person (this idea has merit), to selfies with a new love interest (still waiting for that opportunity)…  My favorite perhaps, although I could never do it, is the the elaborate “poop in it, set it on fire, and leave it on his doorstep”.  WHA?!!!!  Remind me never to piss off that friend…

I have pondered this for a long time.  For some reason, it was important to turn this kick in the teeth into a positive.  Sort of a strange twist on the “the best revenge is a life well lived” sentiment.  So this damned trucker hat is going with me.  I am going to hike the National Parks, and see the National Historic Sites, and watch the sunsets, and roast the marshmallows.  All while healing, and growing, and showing him that he couldn’t break me, as much as he tried to.

So that’s me, on my first hike in the hat – Avalanche Lake at Glacier National Park.  Maybe at the end, I’ll drive over it with the car a few times and burn it.  If I do, I will certainly post the pics.

Atlanta 2018: CNN Studio Tour

Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tuesday and Wednesday morning I had conference sessions but then I was back to touristing – I went on a CNN Studio Tour!  CNN Studios occupies a giant building that was previously a hotel – part of it still is a hotel – this building is huge.

Architecturally, I learned that the CNN building has the longest free standing escalator in the world.  It goes up 8 stories without stopping at a floor!  While the escalator was cool, and I got to ride on it for the first part of the tour, it isn’t really the main purpose of the tour.  You do get a great view looking down at the courtyard area of the building, with shops and a food court down below.

I had Sarah H. as my tour guide, and she showed my group around the various areas. I got to see one of the newsrooms, where hundreds of people were packed in like cattle in a stockyard (I mean, they had their own desks and all, but not even any cubicle walls!).  They were all doing research on breaking stories and there were news tickers and televisions lining the upper walls of the room, monitoring news from around the world.  It was pretty amazing and sad to me just how much news does NOT make it into our living rooms.

I also got to see an anchor doing a live broadcast.  It wasn’t someone I recognize, but I don’t get the CNN channels at home, and they apparently have several different channels.  I got to do at a mock news desks for photos, and Sarah explained how the anchors all wear earpieces and how the producers can talk into their ears during a broadcast, directing a live interview or asking them to change topics during the show.  It must be tough to concentrate on your interview if you have someone talking into your ear.

So, should I quit my day job? Errr… Wait…

Other than the mock newsroom, you aren’t allowed to take photos on the tour though…  After my tour, I had some iced tea at the Starbucks in the food court and watched the goings on of the giant building.  It was then I noticed it even had its own Atlanta Police Department precinct office!

Costs: $15.00 per person for the tour.