Atlanta's newest attraction: 200-foot Ferris wheel

You can now add "bird's-eye view from giant Ferris wheel" to your list of reasons for visiting Georgia's capital.

The 200-foot-tall SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel made its inaugural revolution Tuesday afternoon after Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed it to the city by cutting the ribbon.

The Ferris wheel comes equipped with 42 climate-controlled gondolas that each hold up to six people. It is strategically located in Centennial Olympic Park, which provides passengers a unique skyline view of the city.

Each ride, or "flight," is four full revolutions, which add up to about a 15-minute ride. Skyview Atlanta also offers a VIP gondola that features leather seats and a glass floor to make your flight the "ultimate experience."

Besides the magnificent view, the best part about the Ferris wheel is the air conditioning — a necessary creature comfort considering the humid summer heat of the city.

On each of my four trips to the top, my eyes darted around the skyline, as if I were playing a game of "I spy," to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

As the flight came to an end, I wished for just one more time around and found myself agreeing with Michael Montgomery, SkyView Atlanta's general manager, who encourages people to see downtown from a perspective that is "second to none."

Hours of operations: Sunday-Thursday,10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

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Healthy travel – 15 smart eating options for business travelers

By now, many of us have probably forgotten about those new year’s resolutions we made just a few short weeks ago so I thought this would be a good time for a reminder. If one of your resolutions was to lose weight and eat healthier, the following are some food choices that can help you avoid the high sugar, high sodium, high calorie and high carb options (candy bars, soda, potato chips, etc.) readily available when traveling.

healthy travel food choices

It’s good to plan ahead in order to stick to your nutritional plan. Packing food before your trip for snacking during journey is a great option. If you are worried about if your snack will clear an airport security screening, the TSA explains which types of foods are allowed in carry-on luggage.

  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts, particularly almonds, walnuts cashews
  • Trail mix
  • Energy bars
  • Baby carrots

In case you’re not one to plan so far ahead, here are some healthier snack food options that are often available at airport cafes and kiosks:

  • Fruit cups
  • Lowfat yogurt
  • String cheese
  • V8 vegetable and fruit juice
  • Bananas

Lastly here are some better restaurant choices for travelers.

Sandwiches with whole grain bread, lean meats, and minimal oily and fatty spreads.
Water or sparkling water, instead of soda (even diet) or other sugary drinks
Salads are almost always a healthier entry option and are an even better choice when paired with low-calorie dressings
Non-cream based soups are often one of the healthiest and filling meal options available
Non-fried fish and chicken served with steamed vegetables and brown rice

MARTA Army Works To Improve Atlanta Transit

Imagine a public transit system having its own army. Atlanta’s MARTA does. The two-month old MARTA Army is a group of volunteers working to make mass transit more personal. Founded in September by a group of Georgia Tech graduates and students, several of the group’s leaders grew up in major cities with high-functioning bus and subway systems.

The Army’s first “operation” is called “Adopt-A-Stop.” Volunteers sign up to become MARTA Army “soldiers” who are the boots-on-the-ground working to improve riders’ experience. At a recent recruitment meeting at Georgia Tech, 26 year-old civil engineering doctoral student Simon Berrebi tells a dozen attendees to pull out their smartphones to locate their bus stops on a map.

Once Berrebi registers the volunteer, co-founder 34 year-old Binh Dam prints and laminates a large bus schedule and route map. It’s the adopter’s job to post the sign on the bus stop pole. “Adopt-A-Stop is just one way the MARTA Army fulfills its mission – to make riding MARTA as user-friendly as possible,” Dam said.

Both Berrebi and Dam grew up in Paris, but say many in the MARTA Army are native Atlantans who want a better public transit system. Avhilasha Saroj, a 25 year old transportation engineering student from India, described how she became a soldier in the MARTA Army

“When I was searching as an international student for a place to reside I was really happy to see a bus stop near my home that I thought will give me a lot of accessibility. I want to do something for it,” Saroj said.



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