Thursday, 1 January 2015

DAY 22 - The Stone Cold Walking Dead

Hey y'all, welcome back.

As noted in yesterday's blog, today was intended to be a rest day on account of it being New Years Day n'all. But we did manage to fit some stuff in today, nonetheless.

After waking at around 0830 h and fetchin' breakfast we headed out on a mission. I guess it's at this point that only 'The Walking Dead' fans (the AMC hit television show) will appreciate our mission. Some of you may not be aware that 'The Walking Dead' is shot in and around Atlanta and the greater Georgia State. So we set about trying to find a few of the more recognisable 'The Walking Dead' locations, two in particular. The first was Rick's house as shown here from the series:

Rick walks down the front steps of his home in this scene from 'The Walking Dead'
This scene was shot in residential Atlanta across the road from Grant Park and the Atlanta Zoo
Next was the Hospital where Rick wakes up and it is deserted with the exception of a few Zombies:

From 'The Walking Dead'. Check out the dead bodies
This scene was shot at the Administrative Offices of the Atlanta Mission, note that in the show there was a fair amount of CGI used
As we left the Atlanta Mission, across the road was a very interesting and impressive lawn ornament.

Not quite a Zombie, but pretty scary nonetheless
Next we headed off to visit Stone Mountain which is reputed to be Georgia's number one tourist attraction. Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock (thank you Wikipedia), or a large rock that sticks out of the ground. It rises 825 feet (251 m) above the surrounding area and like most rocks that stick out of the ground, 90 percent of it is actually underground.  The drive there was only 30 minutes, however, my fat fingers managed to plug in an address into Bob that was the completely opposite direction.

We had hoped to get some tobogganing and tubing action on man-made snow at Stone Mountain which is very popular at this time of the year, but unfortunately it was completely booked out. But all was not lost, we intended to get to the top and that's exactly what we did via the Skyride (a Swiss-built cable car).

Squired Plaza, or as we would call it...Base Camp

Blurry cable cars

Our ride up Stone Mountain
 The view from the top was spectacular enabling uninterrupted views of the city areas although the surrounding suburbs are covered with dense trees. There are numerous lakes and attractions throughout the Stone Mountain National Park to cater for just about anybody. It is also possible to walk up Stone Mountain.

With the sky a beautiful clear blue, it was certainly pretty cold atop of Stone Mountain.

The top of Stone Mountain reception area

Cool cats atop of Stone Mountain with little Atlanta in the background

Distant Atlanta

Evidence of me on top of Stone Mountain

The 'almost' family photo

Kyle is all tuckered out after that laborious cable car ride

What the skies were like today

Clearly the power-nap helped Kyle enormously

Our ride down the Mountain
On the mountain there is a significant carving (though not Mount Rushmore by any standard) it is the Confederate Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson. The entire carved surface measures 3 acres (12,000 m2), about the size of two and a quarter American football fields. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet (120 m) above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet (58 m), and is recessed 42 feet (13 m) into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet (3.7 m) to the mountain's surface.

The Confederate Memorial carving

Some of the 'snow' activities which were booked out
After this we had lunch at Applebees at Lithonia (south-east of Atlanta). It's something we have been meaning to do in our previous trips to the US, but somehow didn't manage to. The food was excellent, but I have to say the wait for our meals was ridiculous with it taking nearly an hour-and-a-quarter for the food to arrive. Another quirky thing was that in the whole restaurant which was completely full with in excess of 100 patrons plus ten staff; we were the only caucasians. Not that that was ever going to hold back such a dynamic, culturally sensitive, multicultural tribe like us, but it did seem 'interesting'. Perhaps it's just indicative of the racial make-up of the surrounding district. Oh and did I mention that when we arrived, the two waiting staff at the front desk were having a bitchy little argument with little snide remarks interlaced in their conversation to each other.

We also did a small bit of shopping in Lithonia on the way back to the Hotel, before Schuyler and I ventured out for a very short while to try some night shots. We came back quickly when it started raining.

Schuyler in action

We finished the day trying out a 'Varsity' restaurant which was pretty good and cheap as well. I even bought a t-shirt.

Well that's all for today folks. Tomorrow is our last full day in Atlanta.