Arriving in Atlanta at midnight I felt exhausted yet filled with a restless energy. While my friends were socializing I took a moment to myself to let it all sink in. Just months ago we were competing at state competition and here we are almost 2,000 miles away from home competing at nationals. I felt exhilarated. It was one o’clock in the morning when we arrived at our hotel, the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Walking into my room I was welcomed with a breathtaking view of downtown Atlanta. The nighttime made the city come to life.
Our trip started off with a bang with a trip to Six Flags. The entrance of the park was flooded with my favorite cartoon characters. My first immediate reaction was to run up to Donald Duck to take a picture with him. I was like a kid in a candy store! I was elated! Superman: Ultimate Ride was one of the best rides in the park. You speed through loops upside down at top speed as you soar through the air. It got my adrenaline pumping and gave me a burst of stamina to make it through the rest of my day. After Six Flags my friends and I decided to split from the group and go to the soul-food restaurant, PittyPat’s Porch. This place was the Holy Grail of soul-food. Walking in felt as if I was walking into my grandmother’s house for dinner. I felt like I was at home. The bread was made fresh in house, the fried chicken was to die for, and you’re not living if you don’t try the ribs! On top of that, I tried collard greens for the first time—and loved it! The experience is definitely one to remember.
Watching an Atlanta Braves game was amazing. The Braves Chop House provided us the perfect seats to watch the game. We enjoyed a great lunch while in perfect view of all the action of the game. After our lunch we got the chance to explore the stadium and browse around the gift shop, which for me, was just as fun as watching the game! After the game we went to Underground Atlanta, an underground shopping district. If you want to see the real Atlanta then that is the place to be. It is filled with boutiques with unique fashions and even better music. Good deals and I get to listen Beyoncé—can’t get much better than that. Before leaving the candy store, Southern Candy Company caught my eye. Their fudge puts Godiva to shame, I promise! To end our trip, we went to the CNN Center, Lenox Square Mall, and rode Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel.
Leaving behind the bright lights of the city for quiet streets of Peoria was like stepping back into reality. Reuniting with my mom was felt amazing and made me realize that I missed home a little more than I thought I did. We didn’t end up winning at national competition but I still couldn’t wait to share with her all of the stories and things that I did. Fast forward two months and I’m still telling her about Atlanta. As a matter of fact, I drive my family crazy with my constant stories and tidbits of information but I just can’t help myself! I represent Georgia as if I’ve lived there my entire life. And I couldn’t be more proud to.
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