After stopping in Blacksburg, VA, we drove down to Atlanta. When we woke up after spending the night in another subpar hotel with a subpar breakfast of muffins and questionable eggs.
As Duncan and I sat in the modern dining room, commercials for political campaigns played in between the rural reality show. Pro gun. Pro God. PRO TRUMP. Flashed on the screen. We both looked at each other and laughed knowing that we'd have to report back to our sleepy friends.
Once we were all ready, we piled in the minivan and drove down to the Georgia Aquarium. We walk through the parking structure and through the long line to get in. As we enter the aquarium, the hum of school groups and families move between exhibits. We had a tour in thirty minutes, so we went to the shark exhibit first.
We sat in a shadowy alcove watching the graceful creatures swim past us. We pointed to our favorites as they approached us.
We then toured the aquarium, getting to see the exhibits from different views. We saw the pudgy beluga who had lost a lot of weight. We looked down on the tank where we saw the whales sharks fins break through the water. We learned about Tank, the green sea turtle who was apparently an asshole. Tank would sit down on sting rays, and when they left, Tank would swim away. We looked at the generated wave that swept over the coral reef. Duncan even found the elusive lobster hiding in the sand.
After the tour we made our way through the different exhibits until we got to the tank with the whale sharks and Tank the rambunctious turtle.
We stood on one of those airport moving sidewalks as we looked up at the magnificent creatures gliding above us. When we made our way through the tunnel, the exhibit opened up to a huge glass that allowed you to look all the way through the tank.
Duncan, Anna, and Daniel were all tired because this was our last stop in the aquarium before the gift shop. I stood in front of the glass and watched the creatures like I was meeting a new friend.
After I had got my fill, even though I could've stayed their for hours, we went to the gift shop to commemorate our trip. I walked out with two stuffed sharks, a hat, and the biggest smile on my face.
After we returned to our hotel so Duncan could get ready for his interviews at Georgia Tech. Though he got the interviews by emailing them the night before, and though we were late because of the insane traffic of a city splintered by highways, Duncan got accepted an offer to get his PhD for aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech. We will be moving down to Atlanta for the next five to six years.
While the trip was more stressful than we anticipated, it all worked out. We got to visit the place we would be moving next.
As I think back on our visit, I can't wait to live my life in this city. We spent the night after the aquarium and after the interviews, we went to a snazzy restaurant. We all ate $17 burgers and sipped our slightly less expensive cocktails. We were seated outside in the warm winter air talking about anime trying to forget about the choices we had to make.
Now that we've all made them, or at least most of the ones we need to decide for now, I am at peace knowing that I'll be living half a mile from my new aquatic best friends.