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View Full Version : Windy City, Smoky Mountains ~ Day 14 - World of Coca-Cola & Home


wickesy
08-15-2009, 04:01 AM
Today was that day that always seems so far away and then sneaks up on you when you least expect it - the day you have to go home. We were up at 8:00 and after getting washed and dressed and packing away our final bits and pieces I telephoned the cabin management company to check out.

Here’s the little fella that we decided to bring home with us

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After leaving a thank you note for the owners we were out by 8:50 and first stop was Bennett’s Pit Bar-b-que for a buffet breakfast of bacon, sausage and scrambled egg. After eating I topped the car up with gas and by 9:30 we were on our way to Atlanta, initially taking the Newfound Gap road to Cherokee before joining the US highways system, which again made for a better drive than Interstate all the way.

We made a short rest stop at 11:20 and 10 minutes later we crossed State lines into our sixth and final state of the trip - Georgia. At 1:25 we were parked up and we made our way into World of Coca-Cola, which is an attraction that tells all about the history of Coca-Cola and has many different artifacts on display as well as showing old TV commercials.

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Continued

wickesy
08-15-2009, 04:07 AM
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Continued

wickesy
08-15-2009, 04:12 AM
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There is also a tasting bar similar to Club Cool in EPCOT.

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Anybody heard of this one?

Yes, this is there

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And here is Dad enjoying a cup (he likes it, strange man)

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Unlike Club Cool they have the regular varieties available as well.

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We then grabbed our free 8oz bottle

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And bought a few things in the shop.

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After coming out of the shop we had a wander through Olympic Centennial park

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By this time it was still only 3:30 and so we went back to the car and drove round to the nearest mall for a wander around. We stopped off for a cookie and a Coke and then decided that as it was too hot to wander around, it was in the mid 90’s, we might as well make our way out to the airport.

We dropped the car off at 5:20, having added 1,509 miles to the mileage, and then had to get a shuttle bus to take us to the North terminal. There was only one person in front of us at the bag drop desk so we had soon got rid of our cases and, as there was nowhere to sit on the main concourse, we quickly made our way through security and then had to get another underground shuttle to take us to Concourse E, which took another 10 minutes. We finally arrived at the gate at 6:20 and settled down to wait for boarding to begin.

We were flying in World Traveller Plus, which is between the business and economy class cabins and because there is no priority boarding for World Traveller Plus we were the last ones to be allowed to board so we didn’t get on until 9:00. When we did board we noticed that our section was half-empty and the row of four across the middle of the plane next to us was empty because the family sitting there had somehow wangled themselves an upgrade to business class (I think one of them was ex-cabin crew). Also if you were wondering what George Michael is doing these days he introduced himself as our Cabin Services Director for the flight! The plane pushed back bang on time at 9:15 but the pilot then decided to taxi us around what seemed to be the entire airport so we weren’t airborne until half an hour later.

Soon after take-off there was a drinks run where Dad and I both had a white wine and once the in-flight entertainment was switched on I watched Dara O’Briain Live (very funny) and Frank Skinner Live (not so much). We were also served an evening meal, which was a choice of ginger chicken or vegetarian pasta – Dad and I both had the chicken and another bottle of white wine.

Once Frank Skinner finished I dozed for a while and when I woke up I made myself a playlist from the CDs on the entertainment system and then listened to the new Martina McBride album.

About an hour before landing we were provided with breakfast, which was a piece of cake, a pot of orange juice and a very unappetising looking yoghurt with berries. I drank the orange juice and ate a bit of the cake but I really can’t face eating in the morning on the plane, I think maybe it’s the jet-lag kicking in?

We landed at 10:15 and after a very short taxi to the gate there seemed to be a hold up with letting us get off. The Captain told us that the jetty had failed and so they were either going to have to get an engineer to fix it or summon a set of steps so that we could get off. He suggested that we sit down and make ourselves comfortable and, as we had already moved forward into the business class cabin it seemed rude not to! We may not be able to afford to fly in one but at least I can say I have sat in a Club World seat.

After 20 minutes a set of stairs arrived and so we all trooped down them and then up the stairs and into the terminal. It was, unusually, a very short walk to passport control and thanks to visiting our friend IRIS we were through in seconds. The bags were just coming up on the conveyor belt as we got there and after about 5 minutes our cases showed up together so we made our way through a deserted Green Channel at Customs and quickly found our taxi driver outside.

We were on our way by 11:15 and then came the bit that I always hate – the drive home that always seems so long and stop-start. It took us an hour and twenty minutes to get through the traffic of West and South London but by 12:35 we were indoors and another holiday was behind us.

Overall it was a great holiday and I don’t think there is anything about it that I could fault. The Smoky Mountains are a great place to stay and they are definitely on my ‘return to’ list, but not for a while yet. Next firm trip is our Disney cruise around the Baltic Sea in June of next year but we are planning to look into a short trip to Disneyland Paris in March of next year so I will hopefully be getting that planned soon.

Thanks to all those who have stuck with me to the end on a trip that had little or nothing to do with Disney, thanks to all those who have left comments, and I hope you will join me for my cruise PTR and trip report in 2010.

irongirlof12
08-15-2009, 05:31 AM
oh, it's over :sad2:. I like the cola place, some interesting things there.

Thanks for sharing your holiday with us, very informative and interesting :thumbsup2

clarabelle
08-15-2009, 02:18 PM
Hello!
I just wanted to say as an American -this was a fun report to read. Growing up in the Southern US -I have been to the Smokey mountains many times. Lots of car trips as a child for our summer vacation.

As an adult -if someone mentioned that area -I would always inwardly roll my eyes and think -no way would I go to such a tacky touristy place.
Looking at your pictures and hearing your thoughts have given me a new appreciation. I think I need to abandon my snobbery and give it another shot.
I am glad you had fun.
:)

wickesy
08-15-2009, 02:54 PM
Hello!
I just wanted to say as an American -this was a fun report to read. Growing up in the Southern US -I have been to the Smokey mountains many times. Lots of car trips as a child for our summer vacation.

As an adult -if someone mentioned that area -I would always inwardly roll my eyes and think -no way would I go to such a tacky touristy place.
Looking at your pictures and hearing your thoughts have given me a new appreciation. I think I need to abandon my snobbery and give it another shot.
I am glad you had fun.
:)

Hi clarabelle, thanks for reading. I can't deny that the area has it's tacky touristy spots but I think the National Park itself more than makes up for that. It's nice to know I have possibly inspired you to go back. :thumbsup2

tennisfan
08-15-2009, 03:52 PM
The Coke place looks interesting. They need to bring back Diet coke with lime over here, I miss that & I would love to try the cherry coke zero:thumbsup2

Thanks for sharing you report with us:goodvibes

wickesy
08-15-2009, 03:55 PM
The Coke place looks interesting. They need to bring back Diet coke with lime over here, I miss that & I would love to try the cherry coke zero:thumbsup2

Thanks for sharing you report with us:goodvibes

Thanks Nikki. :thumbsup2 Vanilla Coke was always one of my favourites.

Goofysmate
08-16-2009, 05:04 AM
The world of Coke Cola like a fun place to visit .
Another good day and report with pictures :thumbsup2

suzycute
08-16-2009, 06:34 AM
The coke museum looks really interesting!
Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences - I've really enjoyed reading along with your trip - sad there are no more episodes to look forward to but at least you are planning your next pre trip report!! :thumbsup2

SusanEllen
08-16-2009, 09:01 AM
This report series is another job well done, David. I don't just forgive you for so thoroughly describing a non-Disney trip, I applaud you. I always think it a shame that international visitors usually take their view of America from New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Orlando or Los Angeles. Wonderful cities though they are, there are a lot of beautiful places and interesting people in the 3,000 miles between those coastal cities. You've exposed your readers to the Midwest with your time in Chicago and then you showed us those beautiful photos of the Appalachians taken on your way to that lovely cabin in the Great Smokies. I enjoyed your trip and your report and only have one more question--how many bears (figurines, plaques, magnets,etc) made it home with you? Then I have one more suggestion for your travel planning for future trips to the US, consider some of these destinations--the Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Monument Valley, a cruise down Route 66 from Chicago to LA with a stop half there in Tulsa to see me!

wickesy
08-16-2009, 02:24 PM
The world of Coke Cola like a fun place to visit .
Another good day and report with pictures :thumbsup2

The coke museum looks really interesting!
Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences - I've really enjoyed reading along with your trip - sad there are no more episodes to look forward to but at least you are planning your next pre trip report!! :thumbsup2

Thanks for reading. :thumbsup2

This report series is another job well done, David. I enjoyed your trip and your report and only have one more question--how many bears (figurines, plaques, magnets,etc) made it home with you? Then I have one more suggestion for your travel planning for future trips to the US, consider some of these destinations--the Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Monument Valley, a cruise down Route 66 from Chicago to LA with a stop half there in Tulsa to see me!

Thanks Susan. I think, all told, we brought about 9 bears home with us. I think it is going to be a good few years yet before we can do the whole of Route 66 with enough time to give it justice, but I would consider doing a portion of it at a time and if we do we will definitely schedule a stop in Tulsa to see you. :hug: I think the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone might be on the cards for 2012 (the next two years are already accounted for). Thanks for the suggestions.

Pegasus928
08-17-2009, 06:00 AM
I have really enjoyed reading your trip report David - so thank you for taking the time to do one so thoroughly.
In the pictures of the 2 glasses that you bought it looks like one of them is as big as a large coke in Whispering Canyon. Or was it next to a really small glass.

It's a shame it's all over - but we still have your next trip to look forward to :thumbsup2

wickesy
08-17-2009, 11:20 AM
I have really enjoyed reading your trip report David - so thank you for taking the time to do one so thoroughly.
In the pictures of the 2 glasses that you bought it looks like one of them is as big as a large coke in Whispering Canyon. Or was it next to a really small glass.

It's a shame it's all over - but we still have your next trip to look forward to :thumbsup2

Thanks Kenny. The perspective is a bit weird on that photo - the greenish glass is a shot glass and the clear one is about the size of a regular can.

CustardTart
08-18-2009, 04:31 AM
I've absolutely loved this trip report, David. :goodvibes Can't believe you managed to enjoy so many different sights and experiences in just 14 days - it's certainly whetted my appetite to see more of the US. One of my dreams would be a trip to New England in the Fall - maybe it's time to start thinking of it as a real possibility for September 2010..? ;)

I thought your shots of the Chicago skyline were fab - especially this one!


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Love it!!! IMO it would look amazing printed onto canvas... :worship:

Everything about Chicago appealed TBH so that's somewhere else on my list!

Your 'Tennessee Mountain Home' looked fantastic and sounds like you tackled the extended driving with hardly a second thought... I am so jealous that you spotted bears - that's something I would never forget... :cloud9: And I know Samuel wouldn't forget the Coca Cola museum - think that would be a perfect trip for him. BTW, Richard also likes Beverly - another strange man, methinks, just don't tell him I said so... :rotfl:

All in all, it's been fab to read about your trip and especially fab to see all your wonderful photos - thank you so much for taking the time to share... :hug:
Karen xxx

PS: Say 'hi' to your Dad for me...

Pinky166
08-18-2009, 07:06 AM
I can't believe it's the last day already. :headache: The Coca-Cola place looks very interesting. I've never tried the Beverley but it's on my list for next month....well after I have given it to Lee to taste first. ;)

I've thoroughly enjoyed your report & pics as always. Can't wait for the next one, alothough I will be reading that with a tear in my eye. :guilty:

wickesy
08-18-2009, 11:21 AM
I've absolutely loved this trip report, David. :goodvibes One of my dreams would be a trip to New England in the Fall - maybe it's time to start thinking of it as a real possibility for September 2010..? ;)

I thought your shots of the Chicago skyline were fab - especially this one!


Love it!!! IMO it would look amazing printed onto canvas... :worship:

sounds like you tackled the extended driving with hardly a second thought...


Thanks Karen. New England in the Fall is one of my must-do's as well and I think the Smokies at a similar time would be nice as well. I think you're right about that photo but where to put it...:idea: To be honest I wouldn't have considered doing all that driving if it weren't for my trusty TomTom, it really made everything so easy and stress-free, aside from that one day in 'hilly-billy' country.


I've thoroughly enjoyed your report & pics as always. Can't wait for the next one, alothough I will be reading that with a tear in my eye. :guilty:

Thanks Claire. Hopefully with the next one I can make it feel as though you were there even though you weren't, or make you feel that you didn't miss out on anything, whichever's better for you. ;) :laughing:

Tammy Stringer
08-19-2009, 05:35 AM
David

I really enjoyed reading your trip report and some great photos of your travels too.

I am so jealous that you saw so many bears - we managed to see one when we visited Yosemite and that was such a thrill.

You certainly fitted a lot into your two weeks and it was great reading about your experiences - certainly my sort of holiday.

Tammy

Snowy-girls
08-19-2009, 02:48 PM
The Coke place looks very interesting.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip report,thanks so much for sharing-you reallt do put an awful lot into it.Once again thank you for my gift's :hug:.Of course i will be along for the next report,can't wait :cool1:.x.

wickesy
08-19-2009, 03:09 PM
David

I really enjoyed reading your trip report and some great photos of your travels too.

I am so jealous that you saw so many bears - we managed to see one when we visited Yosemite and that was such a thrill.


Thanks Tammy, I think we were lucky to be in the right places at the right times - although they do say Cades Cove is the best place to see bears.


I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip report,thanks so much for sharing-you reallt do put an awful lot into it.Once again thank you for my gift's :hug:.Of course i will be along for the next report,can't wait :cool1:.x.

Thanks Michelle. I put a lot in but I enjoy doing it as well. :)

Lizzybear
08-20-2009, 12:11 PM
A great trip and a great set of reports to go with it. You've certainly inspired me for future holidays... I wish we had the funds to visit the US more than once a year as there are so many places i'd love to visit before we have kids and the holiday fund dwindles somewhat! Looking forward to your next TR :goodvibes

wickesy
08-20-2009, 12:43 PM
A great trip and a great set of reports to go with it. You've certainly inspired me for future holidays... I wish we had the funds to visit the US more than once a year as there are so many places i'd love to visit before we have kids and the holiday fund dwindles somewhat! Looking forward to your next TR :goodvibes

Thanks for reading Libby. Hope your future trips are as good as ours was. :thumbsup2

Chilly
08-22-2009, 04:51 PM
Thanks for sharing.

arieljasmine
08-23-2009, 04:10 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us, David, as always, it was such an entertaining read.

I would love to visit the World of Coca-Cola, some of that memoribilia looks amazing. I miss Vanilla Coke too!

Why do airlines insist on giving you cake for breakfast?!

Laur's xx

ariel75
08-24-2009, 04:38 AM
Great trip report. you got some fantastic photos. I really enjoyed reading it. Thankyou

wickesy
08-24-2009, 11:25 AM
Thanks for sharing.

Great trip report. you got some fantastic photos. I really enjoyed reading it. Thankyou

Thanks for reading. :thumbsup2

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us, David, as always, it was such an entertaining read.

Why do airlines insist on giving you cake for breakfast?!

Laur's xx

Thanks Laur's. :goodvibes Who knows? Obviously somebody somewhere thought it was a good idea. :confused3