Last weekend Peter and I traveled to Atlanta for a family wedding.

Peter’s folks lived in Atlanta for a number of years. We visited many times including spending a magical two weeks immersing ourselves in the 1996 Olympics.

The last time I was in Atlanta was almost four years ago for the funeral of my beloved Uncle Dick. This time we were back in town for the wedding of one of Uncle Dick’s granddaughters.

We arrived early Friday morning on the red-eye. After a nap, Peter set up in the hotel room to take some conference calls and I headed to the hotel lobby for the free internet.

I spied some giant, comfy white leather chairs and decided to position myself there. Nearby a handful of hotel employees were standing, clearly having a meeting about something.

Then three Atlanta police officers – in full uniform and packing heat – joined the conversation.

Several more hotel security staff – guys talking into their sleeves – and a couple more police arrived, accompanying two businessman type gentlemen.

I was doing my very best to be nonchalant as I craned my ear to hear what the heck was going on.

It turns out that the two businessmen had just been robbed at gunpoint in the 2nd floor men’s room of our hotel – The Ritz Carlton.

Holy Moley! Quite the start to our weekend!

Needless to say, we avoided the public restrooms for the rest of our visit.

Once all the police activity calmed down (and there was nothing more of interest to see in the lobby), Peter and I met up with my cousins for dinner.

After dinner we strolled over to Centennial Park and rode the SkyView ferris wheel.

SkyView Ferris Wheel

Although I don’t love heights, the cars on this attraction are comfortable, solid and air conditioned so I was able to enjoy the ride and the view without getting the vapors. (Please note my use of the very Southern term “the vapors”, used as an homage to the fact that I was in Atlanta.)

Saturday we had time to kill before the evening wedding so we headed back over to Centennial Park, bringing back sweet memories of many, many wonderful hours spent there in 1996.

Centennial Olympic Park

As home to The Georgia Aquarium, The College Football Hall of Fame, The Center for Civil and Human Rights, The Fountain of Rings, The World of Coke and more, the park is really the center hub of attractions in the city.

Taking a vote, we decided that The World of Coke was the perfect place to visit in the limited time we had available. All agreed that we would have to come back to Atlanta to enjoy the other museums at some point.

The highlights of the giant Coca-Cola advertisement that is the World of Coke were the vintage Coke artifacts, the tasting room in which you could taste dozens of Coke products from all over the world and….wait for it….

The safe which contains the one and only copy of the actual secret recipe for Coke.

The Secret Coke Recipe is Inside!

Impressive, right?

All sugared up from tasting Coca-Cola, we headed back to the hotel to get our party clothes on for the wedding.

The ceremony was held at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, known as Atlanta’s Most Historic Church. The story goes that the parish priest, Father Thomas O’Reilly, a good Irish guy who took great care of soldiers from both sides as the Civil War fighting ravaged Atlanta, saved the day with some quick thinking and non-traditional military strategy.

In November of 1864, William T. Sherman ordered his troops to burn down what was left of Atlanta. Learning of this plan, Father O’Reilly appealed to Union Major General Henry Slocum asking that his church and its facilities be spared. Father O’Reilly hinted that the Catholic soldiers might be so offended by being ordered to burn down a church that they might rebel. It worked.

Immaculate Conception Church was spared along with Central Presbyterian, Second Baptist, Trinity Methodist and St. Phillips Episcopal churches. Way to go Father O’Reilly!

Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Reflection of The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Georgia State House

The wedding reception was held at the historic Commerce Club at the top of a downtown office building adjacent to our hotel.

My Uncle Dick was a member of the Commerce Club from its inception in 1949 right up until his death. Several longtime members of the staff, remembered Uncle Dick fondly. His presence was definitely felt in the warm and festive atmosphere of the reception.

Sunset view from the Commerce Club

The Sunset View From The Commerce Club

The view and the decorations were lovely, the food was delicious and the music and dancing were epic. At the end of the evening, the beautiful bride and sweet groom were sent off in style under an arch of sparklers.

By the way, the “favor” given to all the guests as we left the reception?  A box of two heart shaped Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Amazing!

On Sunday we all met up for brunch before everyone left town. I headed to Florida where I am spending a few days visiting my mom and step-dad.

I will try to check in during the week but we have a pretty busy schedule of sites to see! Stay tuned….

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  1. You had me at “Krispy Kreme” donuts!!! Would you believe I have never been to Atlanta?! After reading this, I want to go!! Have a fabulous week, Mo!! xoxo
    Sandy recently posted…Kate Spade’s “Places To Go, People To See”My Profile

    • Atlanta has changed a lot over the years that I’ve been visiting. I definitely think that they benefitted from improvements brought about by hosting the Olympics!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  2. A robbery in the Ritz Carlton? We were married in Marietta and spent the first night of our honeymoon in that hotel before flying out the next morning! Dang! What’s becoming of this genteel town?
    Lovely wedding reception view, and the bride is obviously a wonderful person to provide Krispy Kremes to her guests!
    Have fun in Florida!
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on The Perfect Fairhope Cottage by Leslie AnneMy Profile

    • The Ritz is a beautiful place. I guess that is exactly why the bad guy figured he would score big in his robbery and be undetected if he dressed snappily. Craziness!!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  3. Whoaa Mo! What a way to start your weekend. I think I would have spent the rest of the weekend in the lobby. Good for you for facing your fears and going on that super deluxe ferris wheel. No way I would have attempted. Even if George C was holding a bottle of Cristal! Looks like a great weekend. See you soon.

    • Funny you should say that, my friend. The ferris wheel features a few VIP cars that one can reserve for a half hour at a time. Apparently these are the party cars, inviting people to bring their own champagne and wild selves.
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  4. I’ve passed through Atlanta a couple of times, but never made it a destination. Sounds like a lot of fun.
    Kathy G recently posted…No InterruptionsMy Profile

    • There certainly is a lot to see in and around the city. Another of my favorite sites that we saw several years ago was Stone Mountain – kind of the Mount Rushmore of the South.
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  5. I love the contrast of the old church against the new office building. Loved that story about the brave priest during the burning of Atlanta 🙂

    • I was struggling to get a good picture of the church then I noticed the reflection in the building across the street and – Voila! It worked!!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  6. Psssssst!! November 1964?
    Like you I am a huge Olympics fan as you know. How wonderful that “the square” continues to be the focus. Hope our Jack Poole Plaza morphs into that. The wedding sounds fabulous! Such a yummy idea to gift the KK donuts to the guests and that view from the reception is gorgeous! I think I even spotted your Ferris wheel. Have a wonderfully warm time with your mom and step-dad. Am jealous. Turning decidedly cold and damp here.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Just Get In The Freakin PoolMy Profile

    • You win the keen-eyed editor award! I’ve never been very good at history….
      I’m anxious to make it to Vancouver one day to see your beautiful city and Jack Poole Plaza!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  7. Glad Kelly caught that also – I know I’m getting older but I also know I wasn’t in college during the Civil War!

  8. Sounds like a great weekend (minus the robbery – glad it wasn’t you who got robbed).
    I went to Atlanta in 1993 – we did the CocaCola thing but I can’t remember the other stuff – this was during grad school (with friends from school) and there was probably a bit too much drinking going on:)
    Kim recently posted…Why do People Take Advantage of a Kind Act?My Profile

    • Yes, those college trips were a bit different than our travels now. If you go back you will see a big change – and improvement – in the city!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  9. Hi Mo, I’m so glad I’m not the only frugal soul that will go to a hotel’s common area to get free WiFi! Plus look at the story you never would have found out if you hadn’t been in the lobby (and eavesdropping distance away)!
    Tammy recently posted…Winter GardenMy Profile

  10. Best wedding favor ever!! 🙂 Love it! The view is absolutely gorgeous! We have had Atlanta on our family trip bucket list forever. You have now convinced me…and the Ritz sounds like the perfect place to stay…as long as we only use the bathroom in our own room! ;)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…To My Teen: It’s (Mostly) All GoodMy Profile

    • I think your family would enjoy the trip. There really is a lot to see and do!
      The Krispy Kreme theme has continued here in Florida. Yesterday we visited a full service Krispy Kreme store and had fresh off the production line doughnuts!! Bliss!!
      Mo Lux recently posted…AtlantaMy Profile

  11. I LOVE Hotlanta! I fell in love with Atlanta when I visited there several years ago. Did you get to the Underground right there by the Coke museum? Or Stone Mountain? Both amazing places!
    Julia recently posted…Wednesday Hodgepodge Vol. 195My Profile

  12. Loved seeing you this past weekend. Fantastic wedding! The World of Coke was fun though the taste testing would have been greatly improved it we could hav added alcohol! I hope you got warm Krispy Kreme donuts there is nothing better than a warm glazed donut! Now that I am home again my step count is down but I have been hitting the gym! Given everyone our love.

  13. i have never been, but totally want to check it out. we did a friends getaway to austin which was a blast. we should definitely put atlanta on our short list! that ferris wheel pic is unreal.
    Catherine Gacad recently posted…Child Care in San FranciscoMy Profile

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