Friday, January 31, 2014

Atlanta: Zoo and Aquarium

I was very excited to go to Zoo Atlanta, because they have pandas! 

Perhaps because it was Fall, but the weather was absolutely perfect.  Not too hot or cold. Perfect for a day at the zoo.

Or to take a nap.
It took this lil' guy a full 15 minutes to crawl up and find a perfect comfy spot. Panda's aren't the fastest creatures.
Seriously, nap time.
Red panda vs. giant panda..CUTENESS BATTLE!
I liked how the fences were kinda "modernized" to look like bamboo. Nice touch, but it'd be more realistic if they were different heights maybe?

Need more cute? How about Rufus? Hehe.
Or Caterpie?
The creepy part - he's not part of an exhibit. Wild caterpie appeared!
The birds were loving the weather.
And we got to see the very rare, endangered intern! Heh. Sorry. XD
But the most memorable thing for me - I learned that Tanuki are REAL ANIMALS.  OMG.
I always assumed they were Japanese myth like Kappa or Tengu. Insane. Even Sak didn't know they were real.  They were kinda cute too! Like a badger racoon or something.
Their exhibit had a persimmon tree in it, and we saw a persimmon fall off the tree, the tanuki ran over and ate it! Cuuuuteee.

Speaking of tanuki, if you haven't seen Eccentric Family yet, you should - it's pretty cute and the art is interesting. (the ears, so weird.)  I'm not quite sure about the ending, but it's a good anime.

Next, the aquarium.  I heard a lot of good things about the Georgia Aquarium since it is relatively new and has whale sharks! I think the only place in the US that has them, actually.
The whole place felt very new and modern - considering the aquarium was built within the last decade.
There's even a dolphin show, which is weird for an aquarium!
electric eel!
I'm just gonna pretend that's me cause this is a cool shot, lol.
They made good use of the place, with lots of overhead tanks.  The moving sidewalk in the water tunnel was a good way to keep people from clogging the tunnel.
And the whale sharks were amazing, of course.

The aquarium was beautiful, and I SO wanted to get married again when I saw they offer ceremonies in their ballroom above the whale shark tank. The place was probably also the most corporate/commerical aquarium I've ever been in as well, since most the exhibits listed their sponsors right next to the tank.

Anyway, that about wraps up our short trip to Atlanta for anime con and tourism!  The rest of our time was spent combing every sort of grocery store for made-in-georgia food for omiyage. (No one appreciated the bag of corn bread pancake mix I brought back. lol. XD)

Atlanta, may we meet again someday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Atlanta: History Center, Stone Mountain & MLK Jr. Site

(Okay, back to Atlanta recaps before I forget what we did XD)

The first place we checked out was the Atlanta History Museum.  I'm not a civil war buff, so I thought it'd be good for us to get our historical bearings, so to speak.
Civil war uniform button. 
The museum staff asked if we'd like to go to the Swan House tour.  I had no idea what that was, but I'm gladd we went, it ended up being the coolest part of the museum!
Georgia is SO GREEN. Love it.
 The Swan house is a giant 1920's mansion. No pictures allowed inside, but it was eccentric and over the top and very cool.
back door.
random purple fungus.
How cool would it be to get married here! :P
Fun fact - the Swan house was used in the Hunger Games - Catching Fire movie (the president's mansion):
In addition to the mansion and Civil War history, the museum also had a section for the Atlanta olympics.
I enjoyed the section complaining about the ugly mascot. Agreed.
This makes me excited for the Olympics soon~
The museum was nice, and the surrounding mansions on the way to the museum was jaw dropping for this Californian girl who barely knows what an acre looks like. :P

The next stop on our tourist circuit was Stone Mountain.  It's basically...a giant rock. With a giant civil war carving on it.  Strange.
It's weird cause it's just a giant rock.  No other mountains or anything nearby.  There's a laser light show at night, which for unknown reasons I find kinda hilarious.  Too bad we didn't stay that long.
Giant lawn at the base of the mountain.
We had a picnic of Brazilian sandwiches we picked up on the way. SO GOOD.  thinly sliced ham with melty cheese between the ham layers. Also crispy potato fries.
After lunch we took a one-way trip on the sky ride to the top of the rock.
It was kinda surreal up there, like a different planet!
We decided to walk down the mountain to save a few bucks.  The picture doesn't really convey it, but it was really steep!
gross gum tree.
pretty purple berries~
The last stop on our cultural/history trek was the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site.

Located at his church, actually!
They still have services at a bigger, non-museum church across the street.
There's also a museum about his life, which was very informative.  One of those museums where you leave with a heavier heart and lots of things to think about.

There might have been more too, but some other parts of the historic site were taped off for renovations.

Anyway, long post - but there's a lot of things to see and do in Atlanta!  Next up, the zoo and aquarium!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weddingbee Ornament Swap 2013

Belated, for sure, but here is the lovely sewing machine ornament I recieved from D'orsay this year:
 It's acrylic! Pretty cool!

I had Mrs. Camel's name, so I made a felty:
And a camel card!

I love this tradition. Maybe someday I'll be able to fill a whole tree with sewing machines. Ha!

And for funsies, here's Sak and Sak-bro in an ornament too: