Lake Park, GA to Bryant, AL / 2016-11-19

A fairly early morning greeted us in spite of our previous late night.  Breakfast was sub-par, but that was expected.  We ate, packed up, parted ways with our dog (he was riding with Brooke’s mom for the day since we were making a pit stop in Atlanta on our way to Bryant, AL) and headed out.  We made very good time at first until we approached the southern Atlanta suburbs, where I-75 slowed to a crawl.  Our plans for day not only included the second leg our of driving to the Chattanooga area, but also a stop over in Atlanta for a few things.  First among those was visiting The Varsity in downtown (next to Georgia Tech).  But, Brooke learned through some internet research that this would not be the best idea on this day, the same day as a Georgia Tech football home game because that location of The Varsity handled over 30,000 customers on that day alone – not something we wanted to battle  So, once Weston needed to use the restroom, we decided to make a detour for Chick-Fil-A (there is one at almost every exit near Atlanta), but as our luck would have it this Chick-Fil-A was almost two miles from the exit.  This is one of my pet peeves (and first world problem I know), but when something is listed on the exit sign, the distance should be shown too before you get off, so you know how long you might be driving.

So, onto the second part of our itinerary which was to pick up some jackets we had bought online from Macy’s.  Brooke had found a sale on very nice warmer jackets for the kids at Macy’s, but there  was not enough time to have them shipped and our local Macy’s did not have them in stock.  So, we searched for a Macy’s near our third part of the itinerary (Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta) and figured we would swing in and pick them up while in the area.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe just how innocent we were then, completely lacking any understanding of how things work in the real world (or just Atlanta).  Attempting to get into the parking lot for the Lenox Square Mall near Buckhead was crazy.  And drivers were even crazier.  I am not suited for this type of driving (by suited I mean not aggressive enough) so as we sat trying to get take a left hand turn into the parking lot, we decided that I should just get out of the van and walk and Brooke could drive into the parking lot and wait for me to come out with the jackets.

I crossed the busy streets and made my way into the mall and Macy’s, which was by far that largest store in which I had ever been.  Crisscrossing the store and up and down the many stories, I finally found someone to point me in the right direction.  it was an easy pick up after that.  I called Brooke and she was still battling traffic, so we decided it would be best for her to just head over to the Phipps Center with Legoland Discovery Center.  A cold 15 minute walk and I was there too.
charlie_cold_walk
Cold, with no jackets, but carrying four jackets…
Our LegoLand Florida Awesomer Passes also allowed us entry into the Legoland Discovery Centeryelp_icon in Atlanta, which was like a much smaller, indoor LegoLand Florida.  The kids really enjoyed the shooting ride, the playground and 4d movie.
We let the kids play for almost two hours and departed to make the drive out west past Chattanooga to Bryant, AL.  Brooke found another location of The Varsity yelp_icon on our way, so we made a stop for some treats for the kids and “lunch” for Brooke and I.
the_varsity
After The Varsity, we only had another two hours left on our trip to get to the vacation home in Bryant, AL.  The owner had left turn by turn directions, but we just decided to use the address in Google Maps.  That didn’t work out so well, so we reverted to the directions and finally found our way to the vacation home in Byrant, AL (about 30 minutes from Chattanooga, TN).  Brooke’s parents, her sister Lisa and Lisa’s two children, Arabella and Scarlet, were already at the vacation home.  The house was really interesting, with 3 bedrooms in the main house and then another bedroom over the garage.  There was an old cabin on the 2 acre property from the 1800’s with a fireplace.  There was a few things to overcome inside and in the details of the home, but the kids loved seeing their cousins and were happy just to play.  They spent what little energy we had left exchanging Christmas gifts.  Because the kids would not see their cousins between this and Christmas, and we didn’t want to pack toys for the trip, it made sense to let them exchange gifts and then have toys to play with for the week.
cousins_in_alabama
We settled in for the night, got everyone to bed and went to sleep.
This is Day 2 of our Tennessee and Alabama Thanksgiving 2017 trip.  Make sure to check out the rest of the trip!

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