Still, I came across some intriguing prospects. One poster on Afar, which contained slightly offbeat attractions, suggested the Krog Street Tunnel. It connects the Cabbagetown and Inman Park neighborhoods and is full of ever-changing street art, a.k.a. graffiti. Goby’s massive listings contained one gem that struck my fancy: the Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes. The item promised a home tour preview the following afternoon, but when I tried to click for more details, nothing happened. Without allowing myself to “cheat” by going online, I was at a loss. Should I risk heading to Inman Park without knowing the specifics? I slept on it.
When I woke up, I bolted for a CNN studio tour — nowhere to be found in the TripAdvisor top 100. Perhaps this was a warning that I should have heeded, but because it was only a block from my hotel and appealing to me as a journalist, I went anyway. The tour was most notable for an awkward tour-guide switch about halfway through and the absurd questions a few of my fellow tourgoers asked. (No, CNN International anchor Michael Holmes is not the same person as HGTV personality Mike Holmes of “Holmes on Homes.”)
Breakfast was better. I grabbed a scone and chai at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery, one of the leads I’d gotten from Triposo.
Then I set off for the Krog Street Tunnel, figuring that an outdoor excursion would be perfect in the lovely weather. Google Maps took me right there, though I settled for merely driving through. Verdict: cool, but not mind-blowing.
I had now crossed into Inman Park. Having gone this far, I put my faith in the Goby listing and tried to find the house tour. Driving up and down the area’s main drag, I saw signs for the festival. Now what? With no more guidance from the app, I looked up the festival Web site on my phone. It directed me to a church a few streets away, so I walked there. Success. I bought a ticket.
Inman Park, Atlanta’s first suburb, is full of envy-inducing historic and historic-looking homes, and I spent a couple of hours visiting almost a dozen of them. Would a guidebook have led me to the tour, the highlight of my trip? Probably not.
Then it was back to app paralysis. I sat on the edge of my rental car trunk, eating leftover Antico pizza and plotting my next move. The options overwhelmed me again. The zoo (pandas!) was a strong contender. So was the Atlanta Cyclorama, at TripAdvisor’s No. 31 slot, three spots behind Zoo Atlanta. Then I recalled my friend’s endorsement of the Cyclorama as “amazinggggggg!,” which hinted at enough cheesy fun to seal the deal.
Caught up in a group of schoolchildren, I let the wonders of the 360-degree painting of the Civil War Battle of Atlanta wash over me. I got to sit, enjoy the enthusiasm of our guide, a dead ringer for Chris Rock, and learn a bit of history. I’m sure that the attraction is in every guidebook. I didn’t care.
Paralysis struck yet again as I debated whether and where to grab some takeout food before heading to the airport. Battling a wheezing phone battery and an iPad not connected to WiFi, I pulled up recommendations for a tart shop, a specialty grocery store and a sandwich bar. Closed for the day, closed for the day and sit-down only. Soon, I’d reached the dangerous window of Atlanta rush hour. My search had taken too long, and if I was going to make my flight, I had to skip dinner.
Indecision: If only there were an app for that.