Sunday, November 13, 2016

Road Trip to Stone Mountain, GA

Carving on the Mountain
3:00 a.m. - My first long road trip with just my child.  As you can imagine, I did not get much sleep due to excitement and nerves.  Those two ugly words kept creeping into my mind, “what if we break down?”; “what if we get eaten by a bear?”; “what if this and what if that.....”  I finally jumped out of bed and got the little one up.  Of course no problem there, she was full of excitement.  “I’m going to see the mountains today.” I finally got us in the car and ready to go and headed to the turnpike, just as we were ready to turn on, I remembered, “I forgot the phone charger!!!!! uuuurrrrrrrr. “ We quickly turned around and headed back home.   OK, it is now 5:00 a.m., back in the car, ready to restart this trip.  

Yes!!  We are on the turnpike headed North. 

We arrived at our hotel (Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort) inside Stone Mountain at 4:00 p.m.  The parking lot was very large and far from the entrance to the hotel.  I unloaded our car myself and tried to bring as much as I could to lessen the trips to the car.  (Not the best idea)  It was very hot and by the time I was done, I thought I was going to pass out. The anxiety kicked in, “What if I pass out? Who would help us?” etc.  I decided I better take a cool shower and lay down while I let my sidekick watch some cartoons.  I called my family to let them know we made it to our first destination. 

Now, I know that staying inside the park is not budget friendly, but my plan was to stay late and watch the laser light show.  I wanted to be able to find my hotel at night with as less stress as possible.  I also used my AAA Card for a discount.

Around 6:00 p.m. we finally got over to the park.  We got a hot dog and some fries and decided to ride the train first.

the skyride at stone mountain

I was still feeling panicky, I really HATE panic attacks.  Needless to say we got on the train, it was a nice ride around the mountain.  It was just so hard to believe how big the carving in the stone actually is. 

The Stone Mountain Website says it measures three acres, larger than a football field!! After the train ride, we still did not have the energy to climb the mountain.  I was disappointed, but we decided to do the Summit Skyride up.  OMG, do not ride this if you are afraid of heights and are claustrophobic. 

Be prepared to get cattled into the skyride vehicle, standing room only.  We were right up against the window.  The vehicle swings a little getting started and when you come to a stop at the top of the mountain.  It turned out to be a fun ride, but try as hard as you can not to go into the "What if" mode in your mind while traveling up the mountain.  The top of the mountain was a beautiful view and worth the trip on the skyride.

view from  the top of Stone Mountain Georgia
View from the top of Stone Mountain
We rode the skyride back down and I wanted to go into the small Civil War Museum, but unfortunately it was closed and unfortunately the gift shop was still open.  There was an "I want, I want" episode, but luckily that did not last long. 

I chickened out of staying later and watching the laser show.  I was afraid I would not find the hotel in the dark.  I know, I admit it, I have my issues.  

So before we went back to the hotel, we watched the Yogi Bear 4d Adventure (we had visited in 2011).  Very cute and enjoyable.  Also, I did make a wrong turn when getting back to the hotel, but I figured it out. 

My daughter really enjoyed Stone Mountain and she told me she wanted to come back and stay for a couple of nights next time. 

Also, while I was writing this, I found out, they offer camping in the park.  That may be something to check out in the future, but keep in mind the summers are very hot. 

Here is the link to the Stone Mountain website,  so you can find out more information about taking a trip to Stone Mountain, GA.