Atlanta marks the end to my book tour blog posts. Last but not least.
But just like Dallas, I didn’t really know what to expect with Atlanta. My first impression was that it was “prettier” than I expected – not that I thought it wouldn’t be, but it was just so lush what with all the overhanging trees and moss and undergrowth. It seemed like you had barely need step outside of downtown to be “in the thick of it” – untidy nature in a beautiful way.
But for my first morning there I wasn’t to go explore the wilderness just yet. Nope, I had to go to the studio to be on TV.
Ah, such is the life of a celebrity…
BUT, at least it was a very cool show! It was a cooking segment on Atl & Co with my amazing chef-of-a-new friend, Sean O’Keefe and host Christine. I was to be the “food critic” while Sean cooked me up something good.
And boy did he do just that!
He made me a sort of shepherd’s pie of sweet potatoes and lamb – meant for dogs but just as tasty for humans. So Christine and I both put it to the taste-test (when she wasn’t busy taking selfies of us).
My palate has become quite accustomed to sophisticated culinary experiences (think me in San Francisco), so me saying “impeccable” means a lot. I give it a 10.
You can watch the video here.
So with my belly full and ready for a nice walk (and a poop) we headed over to the beautiful Piedmont Park in the heart of the city.
The park featured plenty of walking paths all over, a large and small dog park, and some pretty impressive views of the city from across the lake.
Although I’ll admit, I kept getting distracted by the duckies.
And on the rolling green hills next to the people reading books under the shade of trees, I thought it a great place to practice my football catches.
I never got a contract from the Dallas Cowboys, so heck with them, I’ll try the Atlanta Falcons.
“And the pass!”
“And the catch!”
If that doesn’t impress somebody then I don’t know what will!
You can tell I’d be a good football player because I REALLY did not want to let go of that football.
In fact, even when we were done football practice I still insisted on carrying it as we continued on our walk through the park…
After a nice stroll, it was time for lunch at the favorite local spot called Einsteins right next to the park.
And let me say, I was really craving a bite of Mum’s chicken truffle-aioli sandwich!
After lunch, we headed over to the famous Krog Street Tunnel near midtown in the eclectic neighborhood of Cabbagetown (cabbage, yuck!). Not to be understated though, this is really and truly a work of art.
So it was only right that I add my touch to this piece of art, to you know, make it a masterpiece.
Notice the red paw print?
And of course, I have to sport my tough guy graffiti artist-type look to go along with it.
However, I was told that while visiting the tunnel, I should try to find the “tiny door“; a new trend going around that’s got people trying to find all the hidden tiny doors they can around the city.
But with my expert sniffer, I found it.
But it was even smaller than I thought.
“Hey Mum, I think someone’s cooking cabbage inside there…”
So I don’t think we’ll knock to see who’s home, thus to avoid any sort of impromptu dinner invitation. (I really don’t like cabbage).
Anyway, we made our way through the tunnel, leaving Cabbagetown and entering Inman Park, where we hopped onto the Eastside Beltline Trail that passes the Krog Street Market and goes all the way up to Piedmont Park (which I already visited earlier).
It was a beautiful path full of joggers, dogs, moms and strollers, cyclists, and more cool wall-art!
Side note: I don’t like to walk unless BOTH Mum and Dad are keeping pace. If someone falls behind, I will stubbornly put on the brakes and wait for them to catch up.
There were plenty of things to see along the trail too, the first one being the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. And being the new pup on the turf, I didn’t want to show off too much, but hey, I had to at least show the local gang a few of my moves…
My signature move is a wiener roll; something like a barrel roll, but first wrapped in bacon.
And a bit further up was the Fourth Ward Park itself, featuring a beautiful pond with encircling pathways and fountain features.
By this point, we’d done a pretty good walk already, so it was time to turn around and head back to the car.
From there we were to head downtown to join our friends from Discover ATL for some pizza, but on the way we pulled over at the Jackson Street Bridge for the famous photo op of the city.
If you come here in the evening or at night, it’s pretty cool with all the illuminated buildings and headlights.
We had dinner at Max’s Coal Over Pizza, and let me tell you, just the smell had me licking my chops like a hungry lion. And of course, I had to come dressed in my appropriate southern gentleman suit.
The folks from Discover ATL were such an amazing bunch, and have been so welcoming and helpful in showing me around their city.
Here’s the ATL gang with me, Mum, and Dad in front of the Atlanta mural downtown.
But I had another place to be. It was time for my book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead of uptown.
Although this was now my fifth book signing, the experience of meeting all our amazing and such diverse group of fans was just as magical.
This first fan you see above, Ruth Oliver, has followed me since I had about 300 fans on Facebook, so here I’m whispering her a special thank you.
And here’s a few more pics from the event:
I said to this guy, “you DO KNOW that my muscles are bigger than yours proportionally to my body size, right?”
(Just something I had to clarify).
A cute fan, my cute Mum, and a cute pup.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see us that day, and to our fan Diann Chitwood and the posse who helped with the event and Periscope’d the whole thing, and later joined us at my trusted Residence Inn to unwind near the fire pit during one of their evening social mix events.
A warm fire, the smell of roasting marshmallows, my cozy turtleneck sweater, and friends – that’s a nice way to spend an evening after a long day!
One question though: would you like yours raw or burnt to a charred crisp?
Because those are the only two ways I know how to cook this..
And oh, they’re all licked, too.
I slept pretty well that night.
But the next morning I had a renewed energy, so went out to plays some early morning basketball at the court onsite of my hotel.
I got mad hops.
Our first item on the to-do list this day was to head back downtown to visit Centennial Olympic Park downtown, the birthplace of Coca Cola.
I figured this would be a nice place to test out my new selfie stick.
Another one of those doofus tourist things, but so worth it for the perfect selfie.
My pose wasn’t quite perfect though. It needed more of that dachshund attitude.
Now that’s stylin’!
Funny story – while I was throwing selfie poses, I hear this lady exclaim “is that Crusoe?!” And she comes running over to see me. Turns out she and her husband had tried to come see me for my book signing the night before but didn’t make it to the city in time (coming from out of town), so they were absolutely overjoyed to just meet me by such happenstance out on the street!
By now I was getting hungry, and we were recommended to go try out the classic hot dog joint called The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in restaurant since 1928, as visited by the likes of President Obama and more, and known for their blunt greeting of “what’ll ya have? what’ll ya have?”
“I’ll take a regular hot dog”, I told the server.
“That’s called a ‘naked dog’”, he said.
If it wasn’t weird enough already that I’m a ‘hot dog eating a hot dog’, now I’m a ‘naked dog eating a naked dog’…
But that didn’t stop me from enjoying its deliciousness.
Do I have ketchup on my face?
That afternoon was quite a different change of scenery. I headed up to the swanky and upscale Buckhead shopping district of ‘The Shops Buckhead Atlanta’ that features brand stores like Jimmy Choo, Armani, Versaci, and more.
As we were walking along the shops, I decided to play a little trick on Mum. I sneaked away, ran up ahead, slipped into a shop, and hopped into their window display.
Which made Mum comment as she passed by, “hey, how much is that doggie in the window?!”
Unfortunately my own Mum can’t even afford me! (And yet, she’d give the world for me)
Here’s the video version (enable sound in bottom right).
Feeling in the mood enjoy some of the finer things, we decided to sit down at a lovely little French cafe for a glass of champagne, once again in my southern gentleman suit.
And so I gave a final toast; to Atlanta and to the finale to my book tour blogging; to all my fans here in the U.S. and across the world who still hope for the day I might come visit; thanks for getting our book, and thanks for being such amazing friends and fans.
…And to many more adventures to come, I now say to you,
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P.S. Full video recap of the entire book tour to come as soon!