|A walk through history at The King Center|
Which was important, because I had a place to get to - The King Center. It's a sprawling complex that includes a museum, the crypt of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, King's birthplace and boyhood home, the church where both King and his father once preached, and more. The center had been on my list for a while, but I hadn't been able to get to it. I was eager to explore, and I had a lovely day in which to do it!
I started at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center. It's full of moving exhibits about King's early years, civil rights advocacy, and impact on American history. They have the wagon that carried his casket on display, as well as a moving, walk-through reproduction of the Selma march. There's also a section that explores the relationship between King and Jimmy Carter, both Georgians and both advocates for civil rights.
|The wagon that carried King's casket|
Lastly, I was fortunate to get a free, timed ticket to walk through King's childhood home, which is only a few blocks away. Though these tickets are free, they are limited and run out quickly. I recommend booking ahead if possible. The tour is brief (about an hour), but you get to see the house that built a man who shaped our nation. No photos are allowed inside.
Afterward, I had a little bit of time left to poke through Freedom Hall, where some of the personal effects of both King and his wife are on display. By then, the center was beginning to shut down, so I practically closed the place!
|Vivid color at the High Museum of Art|
We chatted over drinks, calamari, and pasta, trading anecdotes about our kids, our lives, and how old we've gotten!! Then, we had 2-3 hours to explore the art before the museum closed at 9 p.m. I love going to museums with Atlee. She was an art history minor, and she can always explain the pieces (particularly the modern ones) that stump me. We spent significant time in the contemporary wing, chatting, observing, and admiring. We loved some of the more interactive pieces.
We left when they threw us out, with hugs and promises to not let it wait so long again!
|Meeting old friends . . . !|
It was wonderful! I started in the Worlds of Puppetry galleries. So much to see! Puppets from all over the globe are on display, and so many of them are intricate works of art. You can also see some of your old Jim Henson favorites in these galleries - Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Bert and Ernie, the Fraggles. Even Big Bird!! It was like meeting old friends. They also had masks from the Broadway production of The Lion King and famous figurines like Gumby and Pokey. Such fun!
I'd bought an entry ticket that also included admission to a puppet show. That morning's show was Charlotte's Web, and I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I was seated at the very back of the theatre. The theatre door was to my right as I faced the stage, and one of the main avenues for seating traversed directly in front of me. Needless to say, with a full house of children, someone was constantly coming in and out of the door and walking between me and the production. If I had it to do over, I would
|Brunch perfection at Bread and Butterfly|
After the show, I went to a special exhibit that the center had on display. It was all about the movie Labyrinth! I loved the movie as a child, and it was delightful to see the props, some of the puppets, and the costumes up close. If I'd only known, I might have dressed up!!
Once I had my fill of puppets, I caught an Uber to Bread and Butterfly for lunch. It was a Saturday, and they seated me on the open-air terrace, where I could watch passersby going about their shopping. For lunch, I selected the avocado toast, served with a perfectly poached egg on top. Delicious, delicious. A hot cup of coffee and a small baked dessert rounded out the meal. Service was friendly and prompt, and the ambience here is lovely. Worth a visit.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. I'd only ever been to one other presidential library (Bill Clinton's in Little Rock, Arkansas), so I was interested to see what Carter's would be like. I started in a long hall, which stepped me through Carter's life chronologically. I learned about his early years, his marriage, his service in the navy. Then, his political career, starting in Georgia and growing into an unlikely presidential campaign.
I took in Carter's Oval Office, while a recording of him speaking about his priorities as president played. Then, a large, open atrium allowed you to experience one day in Carter's presidency via a multimedia exhibit. There was a nice section on the Camp David Accords and a large collection of gifts of state on display. The last part of the museum revolved around Carter's current charitable work, Nobel Peace Prize, and other distinctions. I finished the day on the lovely grounds and gardens.
Walking out of Carter's library, I resolved to visit more presidential libraries during my travels. It's fascinating to view the presidency through the lens of one individual this way, and I really enjoyed the visit.
Jonesing for a steak my last night in town, I stumbled upon Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill and Brewery. I was seated at the bar immediately, and my steak came out exactly as I'd ordered it. (The red wine wasn't bad, either.) The bartenders were fun, and the other diners at the bar were good company. I headed back to the hotel, ready for a good night's sleep and an uneventful flight home the next morning.
Shame on me for taking so long to re-visit Atlanta! I've been using it only as a place for connecting flights for far too long! There's plenty to do, see, and eat, and I'm looking forward to a return trip.