Mother – Son Trip to Atlanta

Mother – Son Trip to Atlanta

Kye was recently invited to participate in a local leadership conference and it happened to fall on the same weekend we’d planned to go to Disney for his birthday.

The girls and I still plan to go to Disney over that weekend and I felt bad that he was making SUCH a mature choice in choosing the conference over Disney then getting to see his sisters still go!

I was SO PUMPED when Brave PR Atlanta reached out to me and invited us to Monster Jam at Mercedes Benz Stadium!

I felt like it’d be the perfect mother-son trip experience and a way to reward Kye for making that mature decision in attending the leadership conference.

It also made my mama heart excited to have some quality time together after his ski trip with Daddy πŸ˜‰

Originally I’d planned for just Kye and I to go on the trip but then I thought to invite Tiffany and her boys to come too.

Kye ADORES Davis and Maddox and is always asking about hanging out with them and I adore Tiffany and thought the weekend together could be a great bonding time for all of us. The mamas and sons, the boys, and the moms too!

We drove up Saturday morning and got checked in at our hotel.

I was a bit nervous about staying IN Atlanta so I wanted to make sure we stayed somewhere SAFE.

In this case, safe also meant pretty dang fancy πŸ˜‰

We stayed at the Omni and it was the first time any of the kids have ever stayed anywhere so nice!

We dropped our stuff off and freshened up a little bit and then decided to walk over to the CNN Center to grab lunch in the food court.

When I brought the girls up for Disney on Ice is was located at State Farm Arena and I remembered seeing the CNN food court so I knew it was a great option for a quick bite.

We didn’t realize at first that the Omni hotel is actually attached to the CNN center! We walked around the whole building to get there but the next time we went we figured out how to navigate within the hotel πŸ™‚

Tiffany and I both kept saying how impressed we were. We felt SO SAFE.

CNN was AWESOME. So many choices for eating, prices that weren’t way overcharged, and a very safe environment for eating.

Plus it was a cool location! CNN was the world’s first 24 hour all news network and it was super cool to see the newsroom from the food court.

I had NO idea how well laid out this area of Atlanta is!

SO many great things to do all within walking distance. I am SO glad I had booked the Omni but also saw several other hotels worth checking out if we were to go back and didn’t want to spend as much money.

When planning the weekend I thought Kye would enjoy visiting World of Coke.

I haven’t been since high school (my dad and I went together and wore those “Make 7 Up Yours” shirts to be funny) and knowing how much Kye LOVES Club Cool at Epcot I knew he’d be pumped to try all the different Cokes from around the world!

We walked from CNN Center across Centennial Park and it was SUCH a nice walk.

I also haven’t visited Centennial Park since possibly it was established after the 1996 Olympics?

It’s a beautiful green space with so many well thought out details.

We didn’t go through it after dark but during the daylight hours when we visited the area we all felt very safe and I was totally comfortable letting the boys run around and play.

We bought our tickets in advance for World of Coke and were impressed with the pricing. Under $20 each and no upcharges which was refreshing!

Tiffany and I had both visited World of Coke before but didn’t remember anything about it aside from the taste testing portion.

I was super impressed with it!

It was well laid out and very open and comfortable.

Even visiting at a peak time (mid-day on a Saturday) it wasn’t overly crowded feeling. All the employees were on par with Disney Cast Members – all very nice and knowledgeable and friendly!

We loved it!!!

When we first entered we were given a Coke (which I don’t like Coke so I didn’t drink mine and saved it for Kye for the drive home the next day!) and a little background info on Coca-Cola.

I really love fun facts and Davis, Tiffany’s oldest, is the same way. I truly enjoyed his company and we were sharing all sorts of fun facts we’ve learned about a variety of topics.

The first Coca-Cola was made in this little urn thing – and it was only 5 cents and remained that price for like 40 years!

The World of Coca-Cola is divided into segments and we just worked our way around.

We had to meet the Polar Bear!

I have a picture somewhere of Dad and I with him…pretty sure he’s literally the same bear from when I was in high school…bless he needs a GOOD bathing.

I always think about that movie line from the movie Election where Reese Witherspoon says Coke is by far the world’s number 1 soft drink and they spend more money than anybody on advertising.

I think Coke as a brand is so genius with their advertising and their feel good messaging.

It was so interesting how the company got its start and how strategic they were with branding and advertising.

Candler is Kye’s first name so maybe he’ll take after the smart businessman, Asa Griggs Candler, who saw a good investment in Coke and bought the company for $2300 and sold it for $25 MILLION.

I also think the bottle design was so genius – they wanted a bottle that could be recognized anywhere…not just by seeing it but also by touch and even in the dark!

Kye said “act normal” to Tiffany and I and this is what resulted haha he meant for us to act like we were talking and being casual hahahaha

The 4d theater was a bit of a letdown but the Vault experience was super cool.

Only two people in the world know the formula for making Coke and each of those people only know HALF the recipe!

The full recipe is kept inside a vault at World of Coke and they were pretty dang serious about it.

Someone in our group crossed the line and an alarm went off!

Another really fun fact was about New Coke which is when they changed the recipe of Coke and the masses basically flipped out.

New Coke only lasted 79 days and they had 40,000 letters of complaint so they changed it back to what is now called Coke Classic.

When they changed it back to the original? They got 36,000 letters of thanks!

Personally I think that just shows how addictive it is for people right?!

Before entering the taste test area the kids had the opportunity to share their Coke Story.

Yall know we aren’t soda people so we didn’t have much to say haha! Maddox was funny as his just said “Coke is good” πŸ˜‰

Now the part the boys will remember forever – the taste testing!

My hunch was right in that it’s basically just a HUGE Club Cool and Kye was in Heaven!

We even tricked Maddox and Davis into trying Beverly πŸ˜‰ (Be sure to watch the video in this post to see the reactions!)

We got an ornament to remember the trip (I figured Monster Jam wouldn’t have any ha!) and Kye was so sweet in wanting to get Zach a golf ball πŸ™‚

We had originally planned to go eat somewhere for dinner but took our time enjoying walking back through Centennial Park (and had to rescue a ball from the water…a favorite memory of the weekend!) and wanted to freshen up and let the boys play some video games together (Kye has NO ONE in our house who really enjoys gaming so he LOVES being with Tiffany’s boys to play).

So we decided to just hit the CNN food court again! This time we walked through the hotel which was really neat as we got to walk over a bridge within the hotel.

We then headed over to Mercedes Benz Stadium and it’s just AMAZING.

I visited the stadium to see Taylor Swift and I was much more impressed this time! I think I was just more aware of everything around me since we were with kids and you tend to pay more attention in “Mom Mode” πŸ˜‰

Thank you to Brave Pr Atlanta, Mercedes Benz Stadium and Monster Jam for providing Kye and I with tickets to the event!

When I first saw our tickets I was a bit nervous about the seating as we had REALLY high up seats but actually it ended up being AWESOME.

We could see the entire arena from where we were sitting and it wasn’t nearly as loud as I was expecting it to be – I think being higher up helped that too!

Typically I try to be early to events and this time we just didn’t rush but still made it right as things were kicking off.

It was really perfect!!!

This was mine and Kye’s first time attending Monster Jam.

I really had no clue what to expect and my expectations were pretty low – I mean how entertaining could some big trucks be right?

WRONG. It was SO FUN.

Tiffany and I were INTO IT and the boys were SO excited! Our husbands were back home hanging out too while we were gone and they were cracking up at our cheering for the trucks.

It was especially fun to be part of the judging process as the boys could log in and judge each truck’s performance during each event.

Knowing we were part of the outcome made us even more invested in the show!

We loved seeing all the cool designs of the trucks and especially all the awesome tricks! It’s one of those events that is just WAY cooler in person…pictures and videos can’t do it justice.

We were all so intense about it especially the free style portion as it was a time for the REALLY cool tricks as well as so many wrecks!

I loved seeing Kye so invested – kid is COMPETITIVE.

When we go again someday I totally plan to choose favorite trucks in advance to make it even more fun!

We had ZERO knowledge going in so just kinda figured out our favs as we watched, it would been even more fun to have someone to root for!

The show started at 7:00 and by 9:30 the boys were just SO tired!

We decided to start heading out but couldn’t help but to stop and watch more of the trucks on our way so we ended up leaving the stadium at the same time as the masses.

My biggest concern going into the trip was the walk after the show back to the hotel.

But it was SO safe. Police presence was HUGE and they had MASSIVE hardcore guns.

I was also easily able to navigate to get back into the CNN center and go to our room from within the center entrance to the hotel. I LOVED having that connection and none of us felt nervous or uncomfortable at any time!

I still used the crowds as an excuse to hold my pre-teens hand πŸ˜‰

We were all back in the room and the boys were able to have a bit more screen time as we took turns using the bathroom and everything and we were asleep before 11:00 which wasn’t bad at all!

Of course who can really get a good nights sleep when sharing a double bed with a child, right?

We were able to get late check out the next morning so we took our time getting ready and decided to go back to CNN Center for a little breakfast and to walk around a bit more!

We were SUPER impressed with the Omni. Location was fantastic, the view was AMAZING, we felt very safe, the staff was super friendly and helpful, and they even gave us free wifi and cute activity bags to take home to the girls!

Davis was especially interested in the CNN Center and I wished we’d done a tour as even if you’re not a huge CNN fan it has to be interesting to learn about the news and see the newsroom!

Def something I’d do on a future visit.

We enjoyed breakfast and walked around a bit…Kye again was SO STINKING SWEET and saw some “Sparkly Eyes” and really wanted to get one for Tess and Britt.

So thoughtful!

Tiffany and I attempted to “act normal” again and did better this time πŸ˜‰

We browsed the CNN gift shop and I think my favorite thing about the weekend was that Kye saw a stuffed microphone and wanted it.

He was SO adorable with that thing. He was interviewing everyone the rest of the day.

Davis has the goal of being an actor when he grows up and Maddox wants to be a football player (with Kye as President we’ll have some successful sons!). Kye interviewed each of the boys and provided play by play of events.

I just love that the boys are all on the verge of being teens but aren’t “too cool” yet.

They ran. They played. They were silly. It was just one of those times where you want to freeze time and keep them like this forever.

I’ll never forget when I went to visit my cousin at around Kye’s age, she’s a year older than me, and I wanted to run around a hotel lobby and she said that it was lame.

I’m so glad these sweet boys don’t think anything is lame yet…and I’m crossing fingers maybe they won’t ever be that way (I know I’m probably just dreaming!).

Kye really may have a future as a news anchor…he was GOOD.

I really wanted to have a bit of time to explore Centennial Park.

I was very fortunate to live just outside of Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics and my mom was REALLY into it – which I’m so thankful for!

We had great memories as a family going to several of the events and it’s an experience I’m so thankful to have had!

Centennial Park is SO well done and we enjoyed exploring and playing!

The rings are SO cool and a great photo spot with the city in the background too!

The boys had fun with all the posing πŸ˜‰

When we first walked through the park and saw the water splash area the boys were naturally drawn to it…we were a HARD NO as we had a full day ahead and neither of us packed them extra clothes.

On the last bit of the trip? We said GO FOR IT.

They are old enough if they got wet to be able to deal with it. Kye did get wet and said he regretted the running through the water but it quickly dried and he was then glad he did it.

Such a fun memory!

We had plenty of time until we needed to be out of the hotel room so the boys just played and played. Lots of racing and Kye was cracking us up with his play by play commentary!

Once we got all checked out (and waited the 20ish minutes for the valet to bring the car around) we headed to The Varsity for lunch!

I’m not a HUGE fan of The Varisty but it’s an Atlanta must-do and was only 6 miles north of the hotel and an easy drive (yall know Atlanta traffic is THE WORST).

We made sure to eat a light breakfast to give us plenty of room for lunch and I actually REALLY enjoyed my meal this time!

I got the chili cheeseburger and it was GOOD!

We ate so cheap all weekend which was really nice compared the cost of the dang hotel room (I mean parking alone was $45!).

I do think the hotel was TOTALLY worth the cost. It was SO perfect and such a fun experience!

I cannot get over how AMAZING this weekend was.

It was such great bonding for us ALL. I loved spending quality time with Tiffany.

Zach and Stephen are great friends already, ALL of our kids ADORE each other, and Tiffany and I have such a natural, easy bond too.

It was a wonderful chance to pour into that friendship more and help build upon what’s naturally been there but neither of us has really had the mental/physical capacity to put in the effort needed to really take a casual friendship to a deeper level.

The boys LOVED getting to spend time together too and it couldn’t have all come together in a more perfect way.

I’m so thankful to Brave PR Atlanta, Mercedes Benz Stadium and Monster Jam for hosting us and starting the ball rolling on what would become a weekend we’ll never forget.

I am so thankful for the ability to spend quality time with my children and this was such a special weekend with my oldest. I savor these days and moments so, so much!

(Sidenote…he’ll be taller than me before I know it!)

A video should auto-play in this post of all of our fun! Be sure to watch it all to see Kye’s interviewing skills and the fountain fun too πŸ™‚

What Kye Wants to Remember from Our Weekend:

  • I want to remember the monster jam so I may know what it is like for next time.
  • I want to remember the time spent with our friends.
  • I would like to remember the Coke Factory and the facts that I did not know.
  • I would like to remember what it’s like with my mom and friends for a long period of time.
  • I would love to remember the restaurant the Varsity and remind mom to go to it soon.
  • I would like to remember the Olympics and the park in memory of it.

This is what I would like to remember about our trip and always cherish it in my heart.

Sincerely, Kye

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

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