Thanks to the lovely workings of Groupon, Sean and I were excited to go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” Christmas light show. What would have cost us around $40, was $18. Since it expired soon, we decided to take the opportunity to get our of the house for a night. Traffic in Atlanta isn’t too bad on weekend evenings.
Using Sean’s phone to navigate us to the destination, we soon realize that a lot of other people in front of us are also going. And that there are traffic cops letting people in. So we wait patiently in the line of traffic with our right blinker on. When we were one car away–ONE car was between us and turning in to the botanical gardens–the cop blocks off the entrance with cones and tells us to move along like there’s another lot for us to go to… But there’s not.
So we go somewhere else and turn around to find another place to park, only to find the cops are letting people in again. We were right there & he made us leave. We had to get BACK into a line of traffic and wait to be let in.
At the gardens, there’s a HUGE parking garage, but traffic was essentially not moving because people refused to drive to the further-down parking decks instead choosing to keep traffic at a stand-still so they could get parking as close to the top as possible instead of simply driving down to the completely empty bottom levels.
We finally got past all the people stopped in the middle of the garage to park & get in to the gardens.
Which was filled to the brim with families. With young children. Like stroller-age kids.
So we had to spend all night navigating through people who decided to park their strollers in the middle of one-way walk ways to take a family picture while their youngest child squirms and screams, the middle child is running around like a bat out of hell in places he shouldn’t go (like INTO the light displays), and the oldest (who is probably still only 6 years old, max) is too busy playing with some portable game system.
There were hot chocolate, cider, and s’more stations along the way. Alas, I could not partake because the lines were long with mothers trying to placate crying children who were too tired to be there and definitely not in need of the extra sugar.
Then there was the crowd that was there to drink. One group of drunk guys repeatedly kept trying to harass the volunteer to let them walk backward through the tree frog exhibit. Two women who were single and ready to mingle kept slowing down the entire line of people on the walkway to laugh and joke and sip their wine. I wanted to yell. It took a lot not to yell.
The lights weren’t anything too special, either. They were nothing compared to the lights at DollyWood at Christmastime.
It was not my favorite. On the Groupon review, I said, “I’m glad I went with a Groupon for the first time. There’s no way I’d go back and pay full price for that.”
As I’ve probably mentioned more than once, if you have kids DO NOT take them somewhere where their bad behavior is a consequence to other people’s good time. Especially if I’ve paid for that “good time.” And do not take your children out at a time that is most obviously past their bed times.
I understand that parents think they’re building memories. But your dozing, cranky-ass 2 year old will not remember this.