Kaitlyn had a pretty good start to the school year, so Amber and I decided that we would do something special for her. We wanted to make it a big surprise, so we did not tell her that she was getting a special weekend trip, and we did not tell her where we were going once we got in the car.
We packed up our suitcase Thursday night under the cloak of darkness. The secrecy of our operation would have made SEAL Team Six jealous (ok, so maybe not). Amber put the suitcase and Kaitlyn’s movies and some snacks in the car Friday after school while Kaitlyn was watching PBS Kids on TV; that is the best time to do anything secret in our house because we could parade the Marching Chiefs through the living room and she would not budge. I came home from work, we loaded up, and we left.
Kaitlyn had no clue where we were going during our entire drive, and really only mentioned what would turn out to be our destination because she saw a sign for it about 70 miles outside of Atlanta. Even when we checked into our hotel, she had no idea. And she was still clueless until we were pretty much at the Georgia Aquarium Saturday morning. Operation Archie was a success. On a side note, it was a little ironic that there is a Legal Sea Foods restaurant across the street from the aquarium.
We had to wait a few minutes for the aquarium to open, and Kaitlyn could barely contain her excitement. At the entrance, she was in awe of the few fish they had swimming around, and once we got in, we let her lead the way. She wanted no part of touching the sting rays at the first exhibit, although she was happy to teach us more than we needed to know about them. She talked Amber into going down the whale slide at one of the exhibits, and talked me into going through the tunnel under the penguin exhibit. That was pretty tough for a tall guy like me, and for good measure, I bumped my head when I stood up in one of the observation ports that comes up in the exhibit.
We got to see the beluga whales, the giant whale sharks, and a ton of other fish. While we thought that Kaitlyn’s favorite part would be the dolphin show, it turned out she probably enjoyed watching feeding time the best. She sat right in front of the glass, eating her apple, and enjoying watching the fish eat. She explained to us what they ate and why, and seemed intrigued by the manta rays.
It was strange, given her love of dolphins, that Kaitlyn did not enjoy the dolphin show. That is probably not entirely accurate. She liked the dolphins, but really did not like that there were loud noises and that it got dark. She is not a fan of loud noises or the dark.
After the show, Kaitlyn picked out and paid for her own souvenir, and it was time to go. We decided to walk around Centennial Olympic Park for a little bit. Kaitlyn did a few cartwheels and played on the little playground they have there.
We ended the day at Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead. Flip is one of Chef Richard Blais’ restaurants, and we made it a point to visit since we were staying less than a mile away. Blais is known for his unique approach to food, and we were not disappointed. We did not eat much, only a side of fries, because the real reason we were there was to try one of his famous liquid nitrogen shakes. Kaitlyn had a Fruit Loop shake with lemongrass foam, and I had the Krispy Kreme shake. Amber had an iced coffee drink. Kaitlyn’s shake was really good; I was not sure what to make of the lemongrass foam, but it tasted just like a yellow Fruit Loop. My Krispy Kreme shake came out smoking and bubbling from the liquid nitrogen, and when I got around to eating it, it was very rich, just like a Krispy Kreme donut.
Our nightcap was enjoying watching the Noles beat Miami, which was the perfect end to a great day.