On the third day of my trip to Atlanta, I had dinner at a memorable restaurant. The restaurant was called Canoe. It was located on the river, and was framed by lush gardens. Come to think of it, the whole city is framed by lush gardens. One of the first things that got my attention was its greenery. Unlike most big cities in the world, its road sides are not lined with buildings but instead they are lined with tall trees and grass patches looking up to a sky that was for most of my stay cloudy.
The restaurant itself was packed, so we, myself, the people attending the symposium and our generous hosting organization, were escorted to the wine room, an exclusive space with a grand wooden table, wine cases, and soft lighting, all making for a posh ambiance meshed with authentic charm.
Our waiter was very friendly. But then again I saw this trend throughout the city where waiters and shop keepers usually smile and are good natured. I can confirm that the people in this city are generally talkative but in the best of ways. At first I found their ability to start a conversation with you odd but then I got used to and I even grew to loved it. Back at the restaurant, I enjoyed every portion of that meal from the pink smoked salmon served on a crispy cake of potatoes, to the tender New York Strip , and the pop-corn ice cream dessert. Now, the dessert was particularly note-worthy as it consisted of vanilla ice cream served with caramel popcorn sprinkled around it. The ice cream itself tasted of the a perfect mixture of salted popcorn, caramel, and vanilla. Naturally, after such a meal I went back to my hotel and fell asleep for the rest of that night.
The next day, and after finishing a day of work, I went book shopping. Being a book worm, I had to include the book shopping as part of my trip. Not finding a book shop near a train station, I ended up taking a taxi. I have to say that the taxi ride was ridiculously expensive but its driver made up for it with the interesting conversation we had on the way. I learned that he was a Nigerian living in the city for the last 15 years. He was just like most cab drivers we see at home, a complainer at heart. He just complained about the traffic, the people, the world, and American ignorance in general but he was a sweet guy who later became my friend and adviser on directions. When I arrived at the bookshop, I felt that I had died and went to book haven. Barnes & Noble was the biggest bookshop I had seen in my life with shelves upon shelves of books related to every subject under the sun.
I spent my whole evening there and was not bored for a second. To save my finances I only bought ten books and I ended up forcing myself to leave before I bought more.
With all my shopping needs satisfied, I decided to spend the last day of my trip doing the touristy things that everyone should do. I went to the two major landmarks this city has to offer. I first visited the World of CoCa Cola and toured this amazing space dedicated to the history of the drink. I walked through exhibits upon exhibits of CocaCola memorabilia, show casing the history of to drink’s bottle design, its inclusion in pop culture, its campaigns over the years, celebrity endorsements, and more. My next stop was the CNN building where I booked a guided tour. On that tour, we were taken on a step by step explanation of the way news is made. We viewed the newsroom, the studios, CNN digital, and more. Still in my touristy mood, I also tried boiled peanuts on that day, the signature delicacy dedicated to this city. To be honest, it didn’t appeal too much to my taste buds. I preferred the hard roasted variation we have at home. That was the last stop on my trip. From there, I went back to my hotel, picked up my bags, and headed to the airport.
It was a short stay, combining work and fun. However, I left with fond memories of this experience with the promise made to myself to definitely go back to the USA again. Back in Amman, I am still trying to overcome my jet lag, hence my inability to write earlier.