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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday in Atlanta: The Arrival

When I was a kid, visiting my dad necessitated a stopover in Atlanta to change planes. My memory of the airport was that it was a lot of fun. Looking back, I think it must’ve been the fact that they had a train and we did not. I’d like to stick my neck out and say that Atlanta is the most horrific airport in the universe to try to find your way around. While my personal assistant (more on that later) would argue O’Hare, I’m sticking with Atlanta, and O’Hare as a close second.

I got in to Atlanta with a fierce need to empty my bladder. I was in a window seat, and the people next to me slept the whole time, so I didn’t get to use the one on the plane. Got off the plane, no bathroom to be found. Walked down the twenty-mile long hallway, saw one bathroom with an out of order sign. Ugh. Got on “fun” train that was so crowded that not having a handhold was an okay thing-the people squished next to me held me up. After being told three different baggage carousels, I finally found the one with my luggage. Apparently, it’s too expensive for them to invest in a “FRONTIER” sign.

I spotted a restroom, so I went to use it before my luggage came out. Used the restroom, and twenty minutes later, my luggage arrived. I will NEVER again gripe about DIA. On the way back from the restroom, I spotted my beloved Anna DeStefano, hugged for a bit, and then went back to the great luggage search. Luggage came in, and went off in search of my fellow host and author, Wayne Jordan. Now, in order to fully appreciate this story, you need to realize that I’ve met him once-in Reno. My recollection of him is that he’s a good-looking black man. I started looking around for a good-looking black man. Um, we’re in Atlanta. They’re ALL good-looking black men. But hey, I have his flight info, so I’ll just go to his baggage claim. After traveling the entire airport, and having a number of good looking black men thinking that I’m stalking them, I find out that to get to THAT baggage claim, I need to go down a long hallway, down a floor, and then down another long hallway. I get there, and there are no good looking black men to be found. Just my luck. However, my phone rings, and it’s Michelle, Wayne’s friend we’re also meeting, whom I’ve never met. She and Wayne are at the taxi stand. Great. I trek all the way back to the taxi stand (down the long hallway, up the elevator, down another long hallway, you get the picture). I look around. Every good looking black man appears to be with folks who definitely aren’t our people. I call Michelle to see where she’s at. She tells me the taxi stand. I’m at the taxi stand. I start looking around. We realize that we’re standing next to each other. Wayne joins us and we realize that Wayne and I passed each other twice. *shaking head* Also at the taxi stand is another good friend, Olivia Gates, aka Ola. She’s from Egypt. So we all grab a cab together and head to the hotel. I also realize why the city is called HotLanta-I’m not the sweating type, however, my shirt was soaked by the time we got to the hotel.

At the hotel, my roomie, Dana Corbit, is waiting for me. We check in, and go up to the room, which she’s already gotten organized for us because we’re expecting two new roomies the next day. We unpack and decide to find dinner and explore. Dinner was at Benihana, which I love. We shared our table with a lovely couple we thought were on a date. After talking with them, however, we found out they were coaches on a recruiting trip. Nice folks. Had a good chat, and Dana gave them some promo items. We get back to the hotel and decide to walk around, check out who’s there, and all that.

Go up to the first bar, which was tiny. Ran into some old friends, chatted, hugs all around. I’d list them, but I can’t remember who all was there, and besides, we were good, so there’s no story to tell. Oh! Wait! I do have one thing… our hotel was enormous, and the elevator was a glass elevator, so even if you were on the 42nd floor, you went all the way up in a glass elevator. So… our buddy Laura Marie Altom had a key to go up there, and she took us up to catch the view. WOW!

Then all the party poopers went to bed, and Dana and I decided to head to the other bar to see folks. And who should we run into, but our coach friend. He immediately recognizes us and says he googled us, and even told Dana she didn’t look like her picture. (And in the spirit of paying back the Google, his name is Mike Neighbors.) Anyway, we chatted, he picked our brains on romance, we had fun horrifying him by pointing out all the little old ladies who wrote erotica, and then we ran into another author. Sadly, I can’t say who this author is, because it was a rather embarrassing night for her and she would prefer we not speak of it. Basically, she was pretty drunk. We ended up escorting her to another bar a block away, because she wanted to go, and we were afraid for her being alone. All the “Atlanta is scary stories”-well, I can tell you why. The homeless people were SO aggressive, it was scary for the four of us. I was really glad Mike was with us, and I think he enjoyed playing knight in shining armor. We got to the bar, I was the only one who got carded *doing happy dance of joy*, and they promptly said that our friend couldn’t be there because she was too drunk. We made our way back through the throng of aggressive homeless people (seriously, it was scary-they kept grabbing at us) and returned to the hotel. Put our friend to bed, said goodbye to our knight, and went to bed ourselves. Thus endeth my first night in Atlanta.

1 comment:

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I have a thing against Benihana... food poisoning... never eating there again. *shudder*

hmmm I wanna know who the author is! LOL