In the month of May, my employer RCG Philippines sent me on a business trip to our client, Elavon, in Atlanta, Georgia for 10 weeks. Elavon is a major credit card device provider in the US and I was sent there to support my QA director in planning our projects.
Elavon’s office is located in Sandy Springs at the northern part of metropolitan Atlanta, about 15 miles from downtown Atlanta. And during my stay, I’ve stayed in two nearby Extended Stay America hotels, one in Peachtree-Dunwoody for two weeks and longest at the Homestead Suites branch along Hammond Drive, just across the office building compound of Elavon’s.
I arrived during a cooler time of the year just as spring ends and stayed until middle of summer in July. It was nice to experience the cooler weeks before experiencing the scorching heat of summer.
This has been the longest time I was able to stay in the land of the free. I was able to meet new friends and see new places specially that this was my first time to see the US east coast.
During this time, I was able to dine in a park during a food truck event, checked out the sights in downtown Atlanta which includes the Coca-Cola Museum and CNN’s Headquarters and was able to check out the Atlanta Comic Con. Well I’ve detailed these out in my separate blogs.
In this entry I’ll walk through that one weekend where I simply explored some sites in downtown Atlanta.
In this trip, I’ve got to use our rented company car for myself on Sundays. And so I scheduled one Sunday to embark on this trip. So I woke up early to catch the morning mass at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near the Georgia State Capitol. I parked my car near Underground Atlanta which is just a few meters away. The Church has a Gothic architecture and a red facade. Apparently it was the second oldest structure in downtown Atlanta, built in 1873.
After mass, I went on to explore the city. And the nearest there was the Georgia State Capitol. The structure is very similar to the Texas State Capitol in Austin which I find beautiful. Since that was a Sunday, it was closed so I’ve just took my time walking around the building and take photos of the building and myself. Luckily I brought with me my tripod and get some good shots of me with the edifice.
Then I decided to walk back to the Underground Atlanta area wherein most of the shops were closed because it was too early or it was a Sunday.
And so I walked further into the downtown area, walking through Marietta Street. The street had a center island that hosts a number of statues. Also along the path I got to see this classic neon billboard of Coca-Cola.
Afterwards, I headed back to my car and drove myself to the residence of the most iconic resident of this city, Martin Luther King Jr.
Before heading to old house, took a stop at The King Center. This houses a historical site which commemorates Atlanta’s most revered icon who fought against racial inequality through non-violent social disobedience. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his fight for freedom.
The King Center is a big complex that had murals about the life MLK Jr. including his nation’s address in Washington D.C. Where he delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
There were guided tours offered in the center. But since I planned for a quick trip only, I simply walked around the complex with the help of free maps available on site which identifies key spots in the Center and around it. Adjacent to the center is the main community where Mr. King Jr. lived and served as a Baptist minister.
That was quite a good and educational trip for me.
On a side note, since I had quite a long time in Atlanta, I had opportunity to drive north to Virginia and Washington D.C. to meet friends during the 4th of July weekend. Also like in my previous visits to the USA, I’ve again took a pit stop in Los Angeles to visit my folks.