Tuscaloosa to Columbia via Coke fueled sugar high
Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
19Trip End Sep 06, 2010
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Today's escapade was a fun-filled jaunt through 3 states with a pit stop full of jittery kids and a hilarious bear.
We started off the morning in Tuscaloosa -- waking up early enough to take advantage of the free hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy. Yay Hampton Inn! We decided to be good Christians and hit up the church in Tuscaloosa even though it was 5 miles in the wrong direction... or maybe 5 miles in the right direction?
Anyway, the trip to the church, Holy Spirit, really only gets mentioned because it was was surprisingly picturesque and the priest was from New Orleans. Otherwise, it was quite like other visits to church. We got our travel blessings from the priest and got back on the road toward Atlanta.
We made the stop in Atlanta for the World of Coca-Cola. If you're in Atlanta and looking for something to do, I think it's worth the $15 to stop in and check out the crazy brand marketing going on at the World of Coke.
They start you off with a very weird, but entertaining CG movie. I enjoyed it, but I don't really know what to make of it. There was a scene in which they were chilling a bottle of just-poured Coke by having penguins build snowmen and putting them on a conveyor belt toward a rotating blade that threw the freshly powdered snowmen straight at the bottle.
Then they throw you into the World of Coke. They had a walk-through of a bottling facility, an area full of Coca-Cola milestones (from creation to New Coke, to being an Olympic sponsor, etc), a 4D movie that really jabs the hell out of your back if you're not sitting in the chair right, a bunch of Coke artwork, and some other interesting things to look at. They also had a room with 64 different varieties of Coke from around the world. Some were nasty (I'm looking at you Beverly), some were really good. Delaware Punch from Honduras and the set from South Africa (that were ridiculously sweet) were really good. I drank everything I had never had before
The highlight of the stop, though, was the polar bear. The Coke polar bear comes out to take pictures with people, and the suit is really cool -- it blinks, the mouth moves, it's the Mickey Mouse of the Coke world. Right after we took pictures with him, the line thinned out, and 4 women got in line just as the polar bear struck a pose. Lizzie suggested we stick around because she thought it would be worth the wait.
I'm guessing the photographers must have told them that the bear is a statue -- I'm not really sure what they said, but the women didn't appear to trust that the bear wasn't going to move. The first one got a picture with him, and the bear stood still. Then the other women all gathered in, still very hesitant and unsure of the bear. He waited until they were all in position, then snapped up quickly and stomped his foot. The screams were fantastic. It was hilarious.
After grabbing lunch, it was on toward Columbia, where we grabbed some BBQ for dinner and checked into a hotel downtown. We got to see a little bit of the city as we drove around looking for a BBQ place that was open on a Sunday night, but not a whole lot. Our plan is to see a bit more of it tomorrow before we head off toward North Carolina.