Atlanta, 2009

It had been a while since I'd seen Jealousy/Jay, and after noticing that Dialogue in the Dark had an Atlanta location, I decided to organise a trip while it was still open. Good deals on plane tickets let Cris come along with me, plus I got to meet Jay's wife Becca for the first time.

Friday Feb 27/09

I took the T to work so that I could go straight to the airport from my office. I think I printed out our boarding passes the night before and gave Cris his so that we could just meet at the gate, but as I was getting a bagel before security, I spotted him texting me. :) No problems on the flight down, and I was able to get Cris put on the rental car (they upgraded me to a mini van *sigh*) as a second driver for free. Shuttle over to pick up the car, and then Cris set up his GPS to get us to the Marriott Courtyard in Vinings (he used up some of his business travel hotel points to get us in there for free). Got checked in and went up to the room, and gave Jay a call. He came over to meet us, and we followed him to a pub across the way (Cris wasn't feeling too well and wanted to be able to go back on his own). It was packed and I think there was a cover charge at the door, so went a couple of blocks further to Padraic's and settled at a booth in the back. Then the cover band started playing, really loudly. We stuck it out, yelling above the music, and I wished I'd had my ear plugs with me. The hummous with cilantro was pretty good. Cris went back to crash after finishing his food, and Jay and I hung out a while longer, then he drove me back to the hotel. We dropped by to check out the place he wanted to go for breakfast the next day, and found that it was closed. Jay promised to look up some other places and let us know in the morning. We, in true Convergence fashion, settled in the lobby, it was pretty sweet with a nice comfy couch in front of a roaring gas fireplace. I was shocked when I saw that it was 2am when our conversation wound down, and I went upstairs to sleep.

Saturday Feb 28/09

Jay and Becca came and picked us up, and we drove over to the second choice brunch place. It was also closed! We finally ended up at Joli Kobe Bakery and Cafe for a Japanese style brunch. The seating area was going to open in about 10 minutes from when we arrived, so we all got snacks first to tide us over, as we were hungry from wandering the wasteland of no-brunch places. :) I had a red bean bun, and it was good, and made me miss the French/Japanese bakeries that I'd frequented in Tokyo and Kyoto. We eventually moved to a table and I got my eggs in the form of a quiche. Conversation tended heavily toward the military as we caught up on what the two of them had been doing (in general terms) for the Marines and the Air Force. Cris wasn't feeling very good, so we dropped by the Publix to get a big bottle of water for the room and some tissues and medicine for him, and I tucked him into bed and then went back out with Jay and Becca.

We drove to Little Five Points, paid for parking, and started with Junkman's Daughter. Tonnes of stuff in there, but light on each individual thing. I didn't end up trying on any clothes or shoes, but it was fun to browse. I did pick up some jasmine soap that smelled delicious. Becca wandered off and Jay and I popped in and out of numerous stores. I tried on some tops at Cherry Bomb but they were all over wrought, ruffles and huge collars on the same piece. I tried on a dress (Jay liked it, but I thought it clung a bit too much to my hips) and a skirt at Rene Rene, and ended up getting the skirt (a full circle in linen, perfect for dancing). We meandered around some more, foiled by at least one other closed shop, and spotted Becca across the street and organised a meet up at Savage Pizza. We sat in the enclosed patio, the sun had come out but it was still a little bit chilly when sitting still. I had a white on red pizza, mmmm, cheesy. :) They dropped me off back at the hotel and I hung out with Cris for a bit, watching bits of "Castaway".

I'd managed to get in touch with Ryan and he and Lara met Jay and me at the hotel to go out for dinner. Cris and Becca were both feeling like crap, so we were tasked with getting them takeout. Luckily, our first choice restaurant, a thai place near the hotel, was still standing, though there was a fire truck at another place in the same mall region. :) I had a lychee cocktail with fruit in it, and a yummy curry (I think). The place was really neat, lots of spices in glass used as decoration. I grabbed take out for Cris, and Jay and I managed to keep the paper bags for our SOs separate. :) Jay had driven, so we piled back into his car and he dropped me off at the hotel and Ryan and Lara recovered their car as well. I read for a bit while Cris ate, and we were asleep fairly early, falling into a doze as we curled up in bed and watched The Two Towers on tv.

Sunday March 1/09

Cris and I went down to the hotel restaurant to have breakfast, taking our time as we didn't have to meet up with Jay until 11:30 or so. I got my pancakes this time. :) Up to the room and then out again after packing and checking out. Stopped briefly at the kiosk in the lobby to print out our boarding passes, and started the worrying as it was snowing fairly heavily and the departures listing was filled with cancelled flights. At least we had reserved seats on our flight, and I tried to leave it at that, just signing up for flight notifications via text message. The GPS seemed to be off by about a block or so, we parked on a side street behind the main bulk of Atlantic Station and had to coordinate by phone with Jay to get around and into the area where Dialogue in the Dark was being held. He actually ran out to escort us in, which was good, as we had to go up an escalator to the second level to go in. Snow was still coming down enthusiastically, and sticking. There was some confusion in the waiting area, we put our stuff in a locker and waited, and then heard an announcement that they were running at half capacity due to a leak in the roof, and we'd be delayed about an hour. Good thing we had lots of time to kill before our flight! We went back down to the first level and went to eat at the first restaurant that we saw, Boneheads a fish place. Good stuff, grilled with a neat salsa, and my beloved sweet potato fries. :) Finished eating and then went back upstairs to an announcement that they were shutting down the exhibit and we could get a refund or a rescheduled time. :/ Jay got the refund and we trailed outside, still being snowed upon.

We tried to go and see a movie, but the theatre there had already started a slew of shows and we'd have to wait over an hour to get into the next set. Cris and I walked back to the car, and Jay got his and met us there. We followed him back to his place, losing him in the subdivision and he came back out and let us follow him to a bookstore, where we got some snacks at the cafe and then got sucked into browsing. I picked up a stack of discounted books and barely managed to get them stuffed into my carry on. :) Becca's flight had been cancelled and she was flying out the next day, so he took off to see how she was doing, and Cris and I got back into our rental to begin the effort to get home that night. Ryan and Jay had offered us crash space if our flight was cancelled, but both houses had cats so I was hoping we wouldn't have to take them up on it.

I pulled into a gas station to fill up before heading to the airport and returning the rental, and managed to get us on the highway with only minor confusion. :) The Enterprise rental office had also experienced a roof integrity failure, a part of the tent covering the returns area was down. :/ The snow was mixed with rain now, and was tapering off from the huge snowflakes of earlier. Shuttle to the main terminal building and then we got through security with only Cris pulled aside for extra checking (due to a suspicious bottle of cough medicine). We kept seeing more and more flights delayed and cancelled, and our flight was running at least an hour late, but ... we got out! Apparently our plane had come in from Nicaragua after the snow stopped and didn't even need de-icing. We ended up boarding early even, it was odd. Lots of relief in the boarding area when people would get moved from the standby list (about 35 people long!) to the confirmed list. The flight was a bit bumpy, but we got home okay. Took the T home and collapsed.

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