Sticky beads of sweat trickled from my brow down to my sun-chapped neck as I braved the wrath of the unrelenting Georgia sun. The heat teetered on the verge of unbearable, even surpassing the record-high temperatures of my home state, Louisiana. However, after 531 miles of lackluster landscape and chatty siblings, I found relief in the heat, even though it was hot enough to fry an egg on the car's hood. Enduring, I explored the dazzling gems of the city of Atlanta, with my favorites being the striking Georgia Aquarium and the awe-inspiring World of Coca Cola.
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Esteemed as being the World's Largest Aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium should possess the title of World's Most Amazing Aquarium. Strolling through the large doors, I felt as if I were falling into the sea. The overall appearance of the aquarium screamed sea, evoking my desire to dive straight into the transparent tanks of diverse marine life, wholly disregarding the nippy tendencies of the bonnethead sharks and the harmless intimidation of the massive whale sharks. Not only had the aquarium's essence provoke a non-swimmer to become Michael Phelps, but it also inspired me to try new things, which is why I boldly stuck my hand out to touch an eel in the eel tank. Of course, they were not electric eels because that would be agonizing! Additionally, I seized the opportunity to take a Behind the Scenes tour of the aquarium. The tour was an immersion of sea life as I learned about marine life as well as the daily operation of the aquarium. At one point in the tour, we were escorted to the surface of the largest ocean exhibit in North America, with the largest fish, the whale shark, swimming beneath us. Initially, the whale shark seemed terrifying until I learned that the massive fish posed no threat to humans. Rather than wince through fright, I gawked at its grandeur as it edged along the observation pool. From the slimy eels to the colossal whale sharks, I was certain that no experience could trump my deep sea dive at Georgia Aquarium until I guzzled down a refreshing Coca Cola at its home, the amazing World of Coca Cola.
“Welcome to the wonderful World of Coca Cola!” the tour guide welcomed as swarms of people packed into the entrance. After squeezing into the crowded room, my attention shifted from her booming voice to the lavish Coca Cola decor that adorned the walls and ceiling. Slowly, a cluster of butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I awaited my tour of the factory. With the tour guide leading the way, I ogled historical Coca Cola memorabilia, a simulation of the bottling process, and breathtaking designer bottles created by iconic designers like Versace. Yet, the my most-favored feature of the entire museum came as a surprise when I strapped into a moving seat in the Happiness Factory Theater. Once the theater darkened, the commentator informed us that the movie would be in “4D.” Clueless of what a 4D experience entailed, I relaxed into my seat, allowing the magic of the factory to soothe me as the movie began. The seats jerked, strong wind blew my hair, water sprayed in my face, and an electric shock vibrated my body, corresponding with the events of the hilarious movie. Undoubtedly, the World of Coca Cola moved me, literally.
Visiting Atlanta was the adventure of a lifetime. In spite of the city's heat, my enchanting swim at the Georgia Aquarium and jerking experience at the World of Coca Cola will rest in my heart forever.
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