31 October 2008

Bonjour la France!

You heard it here first! We will be moving to France in June 2009! I received word that everything is approved just this morning.

We will be living there for about two years while I'm on an exchange program with my company, AREVA.

29 October 2008

Trip to Atlanta - The Varsity

One cannot visit Atlanta without going to the Varsity. When a co-worker of mine heard that I was going to Atlanta back in 1998, he told me that I had to visit this restaurant. And I am glad that I did. Since that time, I've been back to Atlanta two more times and went to the Varsity several times while in town.

Below are some interesting factoids:
  • The main building in downtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world
  • According to the literature in the store it can accommodate 600 automobiles and 800+ people
  • On days when the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets are playing a home game, over 30,000 people visit
  • Two miles of hot dogs, a ton of onions, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 5000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili are made from scratch daily
  • Frank Gordy insisted on the freshest of all ingredients and three to six deliveries per day are routine
  • It serves the most Coca-Cola during the year than any other establishment in the world
  • The cashiers all say "What'll Ya Have!" over and over again really loud in order to keep things a-flowin (click on the video below)

Trip to Atlanta - Centennial Olympic Park

After we went to the Atlanta aquarium and World of Coca-Cola we visited Centennial Olympic Park. These are pictures of us at the Fountain of Rings and the Statue of Pierre de Coubertin. There were many families and people in the park and there were people playing Ultimate Frisbee. The grass is like a huge golf green and is probably the nicest park I've ever seen. Here is some more information about it.

28 October 2008

Trip to Atlanta - Aquarium

While near Atlanta we decided we should go downtown and visit World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium and such. We are sort of zoo'd and aquarium'd out but since this was supposed to be the "world's largest aquarium," we thought we'd give it a spin.

According to Wikipedia, it has "more than 8.1 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine and fresh water housing more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species" and is "funded mostly by a $250 million donation from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus." You wouldn't even know that this since the entrance fee was so amazingly steep -- around $100 for the family ($29.50 for adults and $22 for children)!

Anyway, the aquarium was pretty cool. The kids really enjoyed which was good since they often seem bored and irritated with all of the museums and such that we drag them to. Here are the pictures and videos.

This is a video of some wierd snake-fish that retreat into the sand when anything comes near them. I can't remember what they are called and I can't seem to find it anywhere on the internet right now.

This video is in the tunnel below the large tank. It was filled with all sorts of huge fish including hammerhead, whale sharks, manta rays, and swordfish.

Then there were the beautiful Beluga whales...

Paducah Pet Parade

Several weeks ago we borrowed Derek and Emily's dogs so that the kids could enter them into the Pet Parade for the Paducah Parks and Rec. The event was down at Noble Park and wasn't really much of a parade at all. In fact, I think they called it pet parade because you are parading your pet before the judges.

Most people brought dogs though several people brought snakes and I saw one bird. They also had a course set up that only like 2 dogs went through.

Anyway, it amounted to us standing around for a very long time while we waited for them to call our name so that they could look at the dogs. Almost immediately after they saw the kids and dogs they announced the winner and it ended. Here are the pictures and videos.

26 October 2008

Trip to Atlanta - World of Coca-Cola

The next day we drove to downtown Atlanta to visit the new Coca-Cola World (we went to the old one that was located several blocks away the last time we were in Atlanta), the Aquarium, and Centennial Park.

According to Wikipedia, Coca-Cola World "is a permanent exhibition featuring the history of The Coca-Cola Company and its well-known advertising as well as a host of entertainment areas and attractions." Upon reading the Wikipedia article I just learned that the one previously located in Las Vegas closed in 2000. We went to that one many times when we lived in Las Vegas back in 1997-1998. The new one in Atlanta opened in 2007 and replaces the 17 year-old facility that was located near Underground Atlanta.

Here are the pictures. The pictures and video at the bottom are of the kids drinking the worst Coca-Cola product on the planet from Italy called Beverly.

Trip to Atlanta - Georgia International Horse Park

The reason we went to Atlanta was to pick up Rebekkah who went to a horse show with a friend from Penny Lane Farms where she takes riding lessons. Rebekkah went down with a family two days before we did and we met up with them there and then stole Rebekkah back so that we could see some of Atlanta.

The horse show was at the Georgia International Horse Park which was sort of an odd experience. The horse show basically consisted of people parading around on horses with cool and strange 1800s English outfits while a bunch of women bellowed out cat calls. But Rebekkah loved it. I'm not really sure whose child she is ;-) Here are pretty much the only pictures we got.

Trip to Atlanta - Stone Mountain

The first day there we went to visit Stone Mountain. According to Wikipedia, "Stone Mountain is a granite dome monadnock located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta...Stone Mountain is well-known not only for its geology, but also for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world. Three figures of the Confederate States of America are carved there: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis." According to the gondola guide, only about 1% of the rock is exposed (i.e., above the ground).

Here are some pictures.

Here are some panoramic pictures that other have taken to give those of you who haven't been there an idea of what it's like.

Trip to Atlanta - Monastery of the Holy Spirit

When we first got into town to Conyers, GA we drove to the local Monastery of the Holy Spirit to kill some time. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the monks but the grounds and the church were beautiful. The picture of Micah and Nicole below is them laughing at me because I nearly fell into the non-layman area of the cathedral. Some more pictures that others have taken are here.

25 October 2008

BBQ At the River

Several weeks ago, before going to a horse show in the Atlanta area, we got to experience some more of the Kentucky traditions. We went to the annual, world famous, BBQ at the river. According to the website, this festival is "three great days of BBQ Bliss as 50 plus BBQ teams from Western Kentucky and beyond cook up over 60 tons of meat in hopes of taking home the coveted Grand Champions trophy."

We got to try some BBQ meat, cajun corn (yummy!), corn dogs, deep fried oreos, and my personal favorite...DEEP FRIED TWINKIES!! I seriously thought that the deep fried twinkies were the best tasting thing that I have ever had on the planet. No kidding.

We didn't have our camera so here are some pictures from the iPhone.