Getting to Know the Georgia Aquarium

I’ve lived in the Atlanta area for about 14 years, and today was the first time that I’ve been to the Georgia Aquarium. I’ve had a few opportunities to go; however, when presented with the price of The Coca-Cola Factory ($16) or the Aquarium ($32), the Coca-Cola Factory won out. {They are right next to each other, so when buying tickets in person, it is from the same ticket window}.

Anyway, tonight, one of my best friends, Vika, and I were able to visit the Aquarium. We purchased our tickets online beforehand, for there is a small discount when you do so. We also paid for parking online…this saves you $1, but hey, every dollar counts.

The Georgia Aquarium is truly an amazing place to visit. I can’t believe it took me this long to go. They have several different sections where one can go see various sea life. We saw so many different types of animals. One of the first things we saw that was super cool was an albino alligator. There was actually two in there, but one was hidden under the water, partially beneath a log. These alligators have an eerie aura about them. They were laying super still, to the point where I made the comment that they must be sleeping. One of the other guests overheard my comment and told me that wasn’t the case. She had been to the aquarium before and had thought the same thing. The employee working that part of the exhibition informed her that alligators are always aware of their surroundings…don’t let them fool you. Right after she told me that, the alligator’s eyes slowly opened, rolled over to the crowd, and shifted its position. It was really creepy and cool at the same time!

There were sections that you would walk through and there would be fish swimming above you. That was actually pretty cool. Or you could crawl through some sections to get a closer look at the animal. For example, there are penguins in one of the exhibitions. You can crawl through and poke your head up in their habitat. Of course there’s a (I think) plastic dome separating you from them. It’s crazy to get that close to them though and to see them that close up!

One of the coolest parts about the Aquarium would definitely have to be the dolphin show: Splash 101. Dolphin trainers come out and discuss how they train the dolphins and show examples. Unfortunately, no photographs or video recording is allowed during the presentation, but it was seriously such an amazing experience to be able to witness. The dolphins were able to do flips, speed around the pool, wave their fins at us, and jump super high. They also performed some stunts with the trainers. One trainer rode a dolphin like a surfboard, while another sped around the pool with two dolphins as “skis”. The show lasts about 30 minutes, but it seriously only feels like 10-15 minutes max.

There’s also a stingray “petting” section. There are three different species of stingrays in the pool. One species consists of stingrays that are light gray and slimy to the touch. A second species includes stingrays that are gray as well, but have a pinkish tint. I did not have the opportunity to touch one of those, as they did not come close to the edge. The last species I thought was the coolest. There are two large black stingrays with small white spots. Unfortunately, I was not able to touch this species either. They did not come over to where I was standing. When you want to touch a stingray, you have to use two fingers and touch them in the middle of their backs. The ones at the aquarium will not sting you, for their barbs are trimmed regularly.

The aquarium is located in downtown Atlanta; near the Coca-Cola Factory, the CNN Center, Phillips Arena, and Centennial Olympic Park. Upon exiting the aquarium, we heard loud booming noises indicating {to us}, a concert was happening nearby. I immediately thought a concert was taking place in Phillips Arena and was genuinely surprised that’s how loud it was outside of the building. We decided to walk closer to find out. As we continued our walk, we realized the concert was definitely not taking place in Phillips Arena. Along the perimeter of Centennial Olympic Park, there were lots of barriers preventing people from coming in. This had to be where the concert was taking place. I began to freak out because the voice singing definitely sounded a lot like Ludacris. We eventually reached a small clearing where there were no trees blocking the view, and long behold, across the street and in the center of the park on a massive stage was the one, the only, Ludacris. At this point, I was absolutely freaking out. I was so close to him, yet so vary far! We quickly found out he was in the park for the Sweetwater 420 Fest {shows you how much we pay attention to what’s happening in Atlanta}. There were people EVERYWHERE! We continued walking to find the entrance of the event, in hopes that we could buy tickets, if they were cheap enough. We figured we would get a discounted price since it was about 8:30pm and the fest ended at 10:00pm. We were wrong. Tickets were $65, and there was only one left. We reluctantly made our way back to the car and headed home.

This trip was a learning experience of sorts. First, it began with learning about all different types of wildlife in the sea/ocean. I guarantee if you make a trip here, you will learn something that you did not know before. There were various points where I thought I knew about a species, but was wrong. Ask questions. Take your time. Enjoy yourself. Second, it made me realize that I should be more aware of activities happening around me. Had I have known Ludacris was going to be in Atlanta {the same day I was already going to be down there anyway}, maybe I would have been able to attend the Sweetwater Fest! Life is all about having experiences that enhance your way of life. Don’t miss out on too many opportunities!

Be on the lookout for my vlog post for my day at the aquarium. Link located in the About section. Don’t forget to subscribe!