We landed early in Atlanta, but had to wait for our gate to be free. Then it was a fast in terms of speed but a bit long in terms of time shuttle train ride from terminal E to the main building where baggage claim was and Jay was waiting. I was feeling pretty horrible by the time I got off the plane, the dry air had done a number on my barely healing airways and I was coughing and feverish. :/ My suitcase came out as we walked up to the carousel and we were soon out of there. Jay stopped at a Kroger so I could pick up more cold meds and an apple and soup and water, and then got me checked into my hotel room (at the Wingate by Wyndham Atlanta Galleria Center, near his house). It had a microwave, so I was able to heat up the soup and sip it directly from the container. Note to self: travel with silverware. :) A long hot shower and many glasses of water helped rehydrate me a little and I was able to sleep fairly comfortably.
From there, we went straight to Stone Mountain, aka the redneck Rushmore. Turns out that the parking lot ($10) was at around 1000 feet, so walking up the mostly gentle rock face to 1686 feet only covered about a mile. The geography was really interesting, with slabs of rock forming a natural staircase and black sand filled divots near the peak that were the results of lightning strikes. At one point my hiking poles made a hollow tocking sound on the rock and we mapped out a bit of the face that was going to break off soon. There were a couple of other people with hiking poles, and some doing laps jogging up and down the mountain, but it was mostly families and friends out for a quick trip. A group of gi clad young men were practicing on the summit with their nunchucks and one of them came by to offer Jay a brochure (hrmph, guess it was no girls allowed). The weather was warmer than expected, but I was glad of my wool underlayers and rain jacket to cut the wind at the top. There were two steep sections, one with a long railing installed on the stone face, and we stopped for me to take pictures and take in the view (and rest, as he was coming down with my cold now too). He pointed out the start of the AT, and the high rises of downtown Atlanta and Vinings.
By the time we were done, we were a bit hungry again, and Jay drove us to R. Thomas for some uber healthy food. We both had juice, his was so gingery it burned my tongue when I tried it. Between the parking lot and the door was a row of cages with birds in them, we stopped to admire and play a little with the parrots and toucan. A bit of food coma and exhaustion set it and we relaxed in my hotel room, looking at youtube videos of MovNat and talking about books and generally not moving around a lot. I was feeling a bit better by the time it was getting dark and time to think about dinner, so I took another hot shower and put on my comfy knit dress and braved makeup and heels. Jay drove us to his house to get his dressy outfit and then downtown to The Iberian Pig. I couldn't resist the lovely cocktail menu and ordered an Aviation (lemon juice is good for colds, right? and cherries?). The diver scallops were perfection and our section was next to a server's who had worked with Jay before. He and his girlfriend (she also worked there) took some extra care of us, we got a lovely cheese plate with dessert. Unfortunately I was feeling worse as the evening progressed, and the stupid reason was a wardrobe malfunction and an underwire pressing into my torso at just the right painful point, which I didn't figure out until we'd left. I still had a great time and wish I'd been feeling better to take more advantage of the delicious food and drinks. That night sleeping wasn't really an option, I was coughing and feverish again despite the medication I was taking.
Jay couldn't recall the name but had the address of Holeman & Finch Public House but we
were having a hard time finding it. We were actually at the right place on
the first try, but then thought it was on the other end of that road. The
number didn't exist there, so we called them and the answering machine
told us it was right beside the hotel restaurant we'd thought had taken
it's place. Turned back, parked, and found the door locked, they'd closed
at 3pm. :/ Second choice, Figo
Pasta more than made up for it, I had an amazingly creamy mushroom
rissotto. But as we finished up, it was time to head to the airport. He
dropped me off and I had an uneventful flight home, well, except for the
excitement of going through the metal detector again instead of the xray.
:) And I had another man comment on my boots taking a while to lace.
Hrmph. I had a longer layover in Philly, I grabbed some tea and sat in a
rocking chair in the mostly deserted concourse. Airports after 10pm are
really quiet, most of the stores had closed down. I got back in to Logan
around midnight, collected my suitcase, and when I was faced with a long
taxi line and an arriving Silver Line bus, I ran for and made the bus. The
Red line was somehow stil running and I took it to Central Sq and took a
taxi home from there, still spending $10 but ah well.