….Da Bears….

Ok. And here it is again, good old timeshift, pushing us back 6 hours without informing our inner clocks. On the other hand though, not that big a deal. Six o’clock in the morning ain’t that bad, and so we had enough time to sit down and make plans for the day.

I have to admit,  struggled for quite a while deciding, whether or not to attend Dragon Con…but ultimately went with ‘no’. Reason being that it is a crowded indoor affair, nothing that really works for me on my first day abroad. Instead, we opted for breakfast at the closest greasy spoon, a Waffle House to begin with…and that was a good decision. I did go easy on the menu card, but the real treat was the staff. The soundtrack consisted of Motown’s Greatest Hits along with Friends of Motown, accompanied by the rather talented and highspirited voices of short fry cooks, wait staff and assorted sales assistants. This morning’s theme should be typical for the rest of the day. It’s not like I felt out of place, rather to the contrary…but I’ve never been so conscious of my caucasian ethnicity than this day in Atlanta. I really felt like belonging to a minority, not negatively so though. Interesting experience I have to say.

Next stop for today was the Atlanta Zoo. Not as big as other places we know and/or are used to, but at least they don’t try to keep pace with diversity. They have a small-ish selection of animals, good-sized areas for the animals they have…and oodles of enthusiastic volunteers and very open and approachable keepers. A real treasure in my opinion, as this enriches the experience significantly by an order of magnitude. They have a bunch of really cute Great Pandas, one juvie among them and a 10 month old cub. Adorable. Icing on the cake was the Red Panda girl though, sleeping snuggled into a branch of a tree, more or less on eye-level for visitors. So. Darn. Cute.

Even though the zoo had an almost complete canopy of treetops and thus lots of shade, nevertheless the temperature rose to a humid 86F, 35C which was a bit much for us, having just had days before shuddered at 60Fs/14C. As we had some small shopping to do anyway at Walmart, we decided to call it a day, pick up some groceries for our travel day and dinner at the hotel…and went home. Travel day tomorrow, off to Gatlinburg in Tennessee!

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