The right time to visit Atlanta, GA is definitely during spring. We had been planning this little weekend with high hopes of warmth finally, after having spent an extra month of winter even though Spring had technically begun in Michigan. The flight landed earlier than expected and gave us sufficient time to be ravenous at the food court. He had been to Atlanta before and started reminiscing his ventures there. He tried hard to remember that one burger place which he had found absolutely delicious but his efforts were in vain since he could not find even the slightest allusion to his memory anywhere around the airport. We decided to dine somewhere closer to the exit so that we wouldn’t find it cumbersome to walk down all the way to the Lyft and Uber pick-ups. I had a quick customized salad and he had his shawarma at a Mediterranean joint which served rather healthy food compared to the usual meal of fried chicken and burgers. After dinner, the cab took us home to our cousin at Brookhaven where we spent a late night over cards and wine. I am glad he finally found out the name of his favorite burger place from his cousin – Chick-fill-A – a family owned food chain – home to Atlanta.
The next day, the four of us prepared to plan our outings but the late night session had taken a toll on everyone’s lethargy to go anywhere. But, our cousin had gifted us an opportunity to visit and learn about the origins of Atlanta’s most prestigious companies – Coca Cola. Our half-dazed countenances had awakened with intriguing pleasure to see the World of Coke. I must say, we were quite determined, for the evening traffic had us grumbling for an hour, whereas the actual distance should have taken only twenty minutes. After a good nap for the others and a good sight-seeing for me, we reached the destination standing imperiously in downtown Atlanta.
Stepping inside was building my curiosity as to what could they possibly have in there that attracted millions of visitors every year. After being ushered in, we were served a handy can of Coke as a ‘chilled’ welcome. We were then told that our tour would include two brief movies about Coke, of course followed by a walk in the greatest museum of Coke and lastly, relished by tasting all flavors of Coke ever made and distributed all over the world. True to every word, it was catering to my excitement in bits. It started with a delightful, friendly man appreciating our presence and helping us understand the significance of each icon of Coke in the room.
As the reader can see, these were icons from all those times when Coke and its advertising companies had done their best to spread their wings of fizz in every corner of the country. That room looked liked a magician’s parlor with the bright red neon signs of Coke staring at you from side to side, ceiling to floor. After a brief introduction, we were seen through a passage into a mini-theatre where they played a short movie. This movie had people from all over the world showing their happy moments associated with those moments when they all opened a Coke. It looked like a perfect world with smiling faces. I pray that this comes true some day and the world is soon rid of all its troubles and terrors.
Then, came the most valuable collection of Coke – the museum and its secret formula hidden in a vault.
A lot of attention and detail had been given to arouse the curiosity of the visitors about the secret formula of Coke. The effects and interiors were brilliantly displayed. There was also a glass mirror, hoisted in front of two wheels placed on a platform which were to be turned on either side to create your formula of Coke. Dedicating almost a wall, with visuals and lighting effects that displayed the composition of Coke by four flavors – sweet, crisp, spicy, fizz, it told you whether you scored the perfect combination or not. I came out half-hypnotized trying to match the reality that I was still inside a building.
Thereafter, we entered the museum with relics of Coke dating from its origins. It had posters and signs used in the early ages. There were old vending machines, delivery vans, different bottles used for packaging, the first processing Coke machine and a lot more which deserves the appreciation of your visit. It was overwhelming and depicted a significant chapter in history that still rules many meals today.
The most awaited moment finally arrived when we entered the arena of flavors from all around the world. At first, I had presumed that Coca Cola should have the same original taste regardless of where it was sold. But, my notions came untrue when I positioned myself before each vending machine from each continent of the world. I was completely surprised to see the number of flavors that Coke had to offer and remarkable each was distinct from the other in an unusual taste. The fizz was the only common denominator there. Personally, I enjoyed African coke and the Coke vanilla which brought back funny summer memories. This place does not require much description as much as it requires your presence. This is Coca Cola’s way of giving back to the community with all that it has acquired over the decades.
Never have I seen such dedication and commitment to unite people from all over the world with just one word – Coke.