Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Sub-titled - Chillanta (warm jackets required)We are camped at Stone Mountain RV Park just on the east side of Atlanta. The attractions at Stone Mountain Park are only open Thursday - Sunday this time of year. So Tuesday we headed in to downtown Atlanta.

Although the day started out chilly with temps in the mid-40's - the sun was shining brightly and promised warmer weather to come.

We headed out, guided by Siri, and of course ran in to a major traffic gridlock. I guess it really only lasted about 15 minutes. But when you are not used to "big city" traffic a 15 minute backup is pretty huge. Yesterday when trying to get to the campground we ran in to a police roadblock that made us U-turn (try that in a 35' motorhome towing a car) and then got to creep along as it took us 30 minutes to go 1 mile. The joys of traveling!

Downtown Atlanta – we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find parking close to our destination. Of course you pay dearly for that parking but it was nice to be so close.

I had we two FOXNEWS addicts signed up for the VIP tour at CNN Center (I felt like a traitor). For all of you active and retired military - always always ask if there is a military discount. In this case - the ticket clerk initially said there was not but then he checked and it saved us $30! Woohoo - that savings will cover lunch and parking! On to the tour. The reason I had booked the VIP tour was only 12 people on the tour vice 45 on the regular and we got to go lots of places the regular tour could not.

CNN Center as seen from Olympic Centennial Park

As the tour starts you glide up the longest freestanding escalator in the world. It is 8 stories high and supported only at its base and at the top. Long ride but very cool. Many many years ago I was at this same spot when the building was the Omni International and my brother Tom was managing a restaurant here. Back then, at the top of the escalator, you entered the World of Sid and Marty Croft - it was a fantastic indoor amusement park - but that is another story. Now you arrive in a huge world globe that is kind of boring.

Worlds Longest Freestanding Escalator
 The tour was great. It included the CNN control center and studio, the HLN control center and studio and the Newsroom. The Newsroom is huge with everyone on computers, on the phones, writing stories for the anchors to read by looking at the teleprompters (anchors don't really know all that stuff they are telling you – just like Obama), checking facts and sources and just a very cool place. 80 - 100 people work here 24/7/365 unless there is a big story. On 9-11 there were over 350 working here and there were cots everywhere so people could catch a nap.
This woman does all the graphics that you see on HLN
The Newsroom at CNN
More of The Newsroom at CNN
Control Room HLN

We learned all about teleprompters and how anchors are just good readers and green screens and touch screens which are massive iPads and robotic cameras. It was all quite interesting. Putting the news together is much more than Anderson Cooper standing in front of a camera talking.
Good tour and I would recommend the VIP tour over the regular tour - but be prepared to pay the price and ask for those discounts.

On to the next stop...


~Cheryl said...

That is really something, but all those computer screens give me a headache.

Paul Viscovich said...

Always enjoy reading your posts and seeing the accompanying photographs. Following your travels vicariously ALMOST makes up for the fact you never visit South Florida. I mean, we have gator rasslin' for crying out loud!