“Christmas” Vacation in Atlanta for New Years

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A couple of my siblings have work schedules that make vacation time around Christmas a little difficult so sometimes we can’t all get together until the first week of January.  This was one of those years.  Since my parents moved to Atlanta 10 years ago, we usually change where we go for “Christmas” each year.  Some years we have done destination locations, but most of the time we go to someone’s house, since we are all spread out across the country.  We have actually come to Seattle more than any other location.  This year we decided to go to my parent’s house in Atlanta, since this is the last Christmas they will spend there before they retire and move to Seattle this summer/fall.  (Yay!!!!!)  It was Vu’s first time going to Atlanta, and it’s a good thing he made it before they left, as both my mother and his mother like to point out.  We flew nonstop from Seattle to Atlanta on Friday and UW was playing in the final four the next day in Atlanta, so there was a lot of UW spirit on the plane, including a tailgate party at the gate before boarding and a camera crew talking to fans as they boarded.  I think 80% of the passengers were in purple.

We had a relaxing week, hanging out and playing lots of games.  We got Chick-fil-a as much as possible since they are everywhere in Georgia, and I am still waiting for the one and only one we have in Bellevue to not have a huge line.  Probably not going to happen.

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We had a pretty low key New Year’s Eve.  Rachel and Andrew went to the UW football game.  We slept in (hello West Coast time and recovering from colds that unpleasantly messed up our heads all week thanks to the flight), watched “The Lord of the Rings” and played games until we watched the ball drop with some sparkling cider.  It was my first New Years actually spent on the East Coast.

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We celebrated our Christmas on New Years day.  After church we had corned beef and cabbage for lunch and then opened presents.  And then played a bunch of new games that Cameron got for each of us.  On Tuesday we went and saw Rogue One in the afternoon.  My cousin Lesley and her family just moved to Atlanta from New York (Rachel and I visited them in Oct 2015 went I went out there) and they drove in that day, so they came over after we got back from the movie and we played with their kids.  Her two oldest girls had fun teaching Rachel and I how to use Snapchat.  That night we found a DVD my dad’s sister gave him of some home video’s of my dad growing up and there was a section of our family just after Cameron was born.  We don’t have any family videos until we are teenagers, so it was crazy to see it.  And really fun to watch and see my dad when he was young too.

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On Tuesday we went to the Aquarium, which is one of the best ones I have been too.  They have an enormous tank that has a tunnel that goes under it and then a big viewing glass.  It had 4 big sharks, some small ones, a huge manta ray and a bunch of smaller ones, a sea turtle and a ton of other fish.  They also break the animals up into 4 different sections based on their natural environment and decorate each section accordingly: rivers, ocean, cold water and tropical water.  I loved the dolphin show they had.  It really is a great aquarium.  It is right next to the Coke museum which Vu really wanted to go to but at that point we were all really hungry and there wasn’t anywhere close to get lunch so we left.  We went to “The Big Chicken” for lunch, which is the original KFC.  Afterwards my mom gave us each a big chicken quilted ornament that she had made to remember their time in Atlanta before they move to Washington.  (Again Yay!!!!!)  After watching Rouge One the day before, Vu had to watch Episode 4 that night and we ended up watching the next one each night up through episode 7.

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On Wednesday half of us drove to Birmingham, Alabama to go to the temple.  It was also a new state for Vu, as was Georgia.  I think he is up to 10 now… After the temple we stopped in Gadsden, which is supposed to be a quaint little historic southern town, but it was pretty deserted.  We walked around and did some antiquing, but didn’t stay long.

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On Thursday some of us did some shopping to get coordinating outfits so we could take some family pictures for my mom, and everyone else hung out at home and worked on some projects.  We went and took the pictures in the afternoon at the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield park.  You can tell by the end that Vu and Cameron are done with pictures.  And we only took about 15 pictures total.

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We went and got some Barbecue after the pictures, a personal request of Vu’s.  We went to a fun little place by my dad’s work.  Afterwards we split up boys and girls and the girls went to do some shopping.  Before hand we stopped at the main library and met a few of mom’s coworkers and the library is right across from the Union Civil War cemetery that they had decorated with live wreaths on each of the tombstones, so we went and visited it.

We had a few other things planned for Friday and Saturday, but Atlanta got an ice storm warning on Friday and so everything closed down in preparation for the storm.  That was kind of sad since we do not plan on going back before my parents leave, and Atlanta is not on the top of my list of places to revisit.  Lesley and her family came back over on Thursday afternoon before the storm warning and my mom pulled out a bunch of our old games.  I forgot how much I loved the marble race run.  It was fun building it with them.  The slight frost/ice covering on Saturday morning made everything really pretty and since our flight was in the afternoon we managed to make it home without any problems, unlike a couple of my siblings.

I put together a little video of our trip.  There is lots of games going on.  🙂  Just the way we like our family time.  And I included some clips from the home videos we watched.  Also Rachel and Dad made us breakfast a number of times while we were there, which was so nice!

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