2013-06-xx GA,Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN
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It was HOT – Atlanta HOT – 95 degrees Farenheit.
I rode the rapid-rail Marta train to downtown Atlanta. From the station, I walked through Centennial Olympic Park to go to the Aquarium. The first water fountain that I walked to was the – Olympic Rings where children play, run and jump over the water spurts. It was exciting listening to them laugh, and scream with delight of the water. I took pictures of the other water fountains nearby as I walked through the park to the Aquarium.
I visited the park a few ago and trees were smaller -and- there were no ‘park benches’. As the park has matured, the trees have grown taller. The shade is wonderful in the heat -and- the ability to sit on a bench is wonderful. The park also has a statue of Billy Payne – the man who formed an Atlanta Olympic Committee and pushed for hosting games in Atlanta. In the background of the statue is a green-window building. For the two-weeks that the Olympic Games were in Atlanta (1996), I volunteered to ‘help’. On the application form, I specified “indoors”. Many of my friends were also volunteers but they were assigned to sporting venues to help with seating. They said that many times, they were uncomfortably ‘hot’. Since I requested “indoors”, I was assigned to help with security of the international-communications-center; i.e., the press. The press were in the green-window building. I really enjoyed it – it was air-conditioned.
I volunteered the first week for first shift. I was supposed to be at the building at 8 A.M.. We were warned that Marta would be “at-capacity” and trains ran twenty-four-hours-a-day. All of the Marta parking lots were full –early– each day. I live a mile-and-a-half from one of the newly opened stations in north Atlanta. On my first day, I drove around looking for a spot and ended up parking illegally as far away from the station as my house was. After that, I thought that I was taking too much of a chance of being towed and just walked to the station. I had to leave my house by 5 A.M. and walk to the station in order to be at the building in time for my shift.
It was still dark when I walked to the station. Before each shift, there was a meeting in a big room and we were told the procedures and opportunities. I made friends with another woman from near Atlanta and we ‘hung-out’ together. We walked around both the interior and exterior of the building looking for anything ‘unusual’ or something that we could help with. I had a black shirt, pants, pit helment, and shoes issued by the Olympic Committee to me and I was given several ‘collectors’ security pins. The uniform had patches already sewed on. (After the Olympics was finished, I sold the security pins and uniform. At that time, almost anything involving the Olympics was considered ‘collectors items’ and I had enough stuff at my house. I decided that others could collect ‘stuff’ – I had memories.)
My second week of volunteering, I decided to work second shift. That meant that I started at 4 P.M. and ended at 11 P.M.. One night after leaving the green-window building, I went to Marta and the platform was seven people deep all along the platform. As a security-guard, I was given a free ride. So, once I determined that there would be a long wait for a train, I left the station and walked a mile to the next one. That one was also “full”, so I walked to the next one. I was able to finally get on a train after walking several miles about 2 A.M.. I was surprised to learn how ‘active’ the city was late at night.
The Aquarium was great. It was cool inside and the first thing I did was go see the Dolphin Show. The show had an announcer who played as a ship captain of long ago. His ship was attacked by a sea monster and sank. The audience helped ‘raise’ it again. The dolphins performed at various times during the show and it was well-done.
I also attended the 4-D theater of an animated fish, Deepo, and his friend. There were many children’s groups with like-colored shirts for identification. Again, it was great to hear them being excited.
I saw the Frog exhibit, walked through the tunnel under the water, and saw the jellyfish. There were several exhibits that I had seen previously and I knew that my walk back to Marta in the heat would consume a lot of energy – so, I left after several hours of enjoying the aquarium.
Footnote: The local media has announced that the former Paris ferris-wheel is to relocate to downtown Atlanta. Construction is now in-process and it is scheduled to open soon. I may have to make another trip downtown near the Olympic park and see it after it opens.
<Note: Click on the picture to make it larger and to see the description.> Thanks for looking -and- please leave a comment or send me an email.
((My Dad has a nickname for me and it is “Puddin”. He started calling me that when I was very young. I named my van, “Vanna White”. When I decided to start a blog, I wanted a unique name for my travels and the names “Puddin” and “Vanna White” came to mind.))