Since we don't get to travel as much as we would like due to the fact I have to go to work Monday through Friday (humbug!), we decided to try a quick weekend trip, flying into a city on a Saturday morning and flying back home on Sunday afternoon. The flight needed to be less than two hours. Since we would be gone less than 48 hours we couldn't plan to do too much. We have always wanted to visit the Georgia Aquarium: it is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and being cruise and snorkeling enthusiasts, we love gazing at exotic fish. I found reasonable airfare from O'Hare airport, and a hotel package that included both the tickets to the aquarium and breakfast the next morning. Thus, we recently spent the weekend in Atlanta, a city I had never been to.

First: the hotel. I originally chose to stay at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis because of the hotel package offered: 2 entry tickets to the Georgia Aquarium plus free breakfast for $235 per night. But when I saw photographs of the hotel's amazing 470-foot atrium I knew I wanted to stay there just to see that architectural achievement.

The 52-story hotel is located in the middle of downtown Atlanta but it is within walking distance of the aquarium. There are lots of restaurants within a block or two of the hotel including the always-touristy Hard Rock Cafe and Atlanta Braves Grill. One very interesting place is Agatha's, A Taste of Mystery for fans of mystery dinner theater.  For shoppers, the hotel connects to the Peachtree Mall through one of several over-the-street, covered pedways located in the area. (NOTE: very few stores in the Peachtree Mall are open on Sundays.) 

The atrium did not disappoint; it was at one time the tallest hotel atrium in the world. It's an architectural wonder and a photographer's dream.   

I've read where the design has been described as resembling whale's ribs. Here is a view as we rode the elevator to the top floor. It may be an accurate description...


A set of elevators runs straight up the middle of the space to the 47th floor. We did go up to the top to take pictures. However, I actually got so nervous looking all the way down that the best I could do was stick my iPhone out and click. Of course there are bars protecting someone from falling over, but still: that's a long way down!

Located on the second floor in the center of the atrium is one of the hotel's bars: Pulse. A giant TV screen is attached to the color-changing sail: sometimes green...

Sometimes red...

The hotel rooms are located on the outside balconies surrounding the atrium.  Although I requested a high-floor room, we ended up only on the 8th floor. However, our room was check-in ready when we arrived at 10:00 a.m. from the airport so that was a positive. For a one-night stay, it was an adequate room with a king-size bed and sitting area. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful (it's that southern hospitality!). When our TV wouldn't work or I couldn't get the hotel wifi to work, both problems were quickly solved. We even received a follow-up telephone call to the room to make sure the problems were corrected.

Before heading off to the aquarium, finding nourishment was essential. Our 6:00 a.m. flight didn't allow for much breakfast. Where to eat? Of course: the Waffle House! Not having these restaurants anywhere near Chicago meant it was a must-stop during our visit. Fortunately there are actually two restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
Due to discombobulation navigating the streets of Atlanta, we did end up at a different Waffle House than intended, still just blocks from the hotel but opposite of our intended direction. It did force us into a longer walk than necessary to the aquarium afterwardsHowever, it did not dampen the breakfast: delicious orange juice, hash browns with mushrooms and of course, a waffle.

In my next post, I will continue with our weekend adventure to Atlanta with a tour of two unexpected discoveries: Centennial Olympic Park and our Atlanta streetcar ride.

Thank you for visiting.

A Great Europe Trip Planner

All photos were taken by my husband and me in August, 2016. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

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