Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Down Under

Well, if you consider Atlanta, being from Raleigh, as "down under", that's where I am this week.

I get to go to a conference and meet people in my field, learn what others are doing, yadda yadda yadda.

I actually LOVE these things because I am the perfect attendee: I am a sponge to listen to everything. I find everyone's presentation as inspiration and rarely ever doubt what they say. I get annoyed with other attendees who seem to act like they know more than the presenter. They probably do, but since they aren't presenting, they annoy me and lose credibility with me. I always go back to work, inspired, ready to try new things, or revisit old ploys with a new vigor. And in a few weeks, work will bring me back to reality and all is for not BUT in the interim, the inspiration is a *wonderful* experience for me.

This year I am in Atlanta, Georgia.

It's great to take a flight to ATL without it being a layover for another flight. An hour and a half flight and I'm at my destination. I didn't have an annoying seatmate. Although, in order to move my chair to a reclining or upright position, I inadvertently touched his thigh...which could be considered awkward for some but not me. I _did_ apologize.

I walked and walked and walked the airport to get to baggage claim only to end up being directed to the 'rail' system to get to baggage. I would have been better off to just take it from the get-go but the good thing is by the time I got to baggage claim, my bag was actually on the carousel.

I found a shuttle system to take me to the downtown hotel I'm in. I rode along with an entire group of folks that were there for an education conference. The driver was awesome, as he gave an account of touristy places that we passed. He was awesome.

My hotel is really supposed to be nice. The Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. But it's under construction, so that affects the user experience *a lot* for me. There's plastic barriers floating around...the elevators in the main lobby do not work for the bottom two floors, which are the floors for the conference (starting tomorrow). I know it's difficult for hotels to undergo renovations and have guests but they MUST know how much it detracts from quality. It makes me think the conference got a MAJOR discount to host here.

My room rocks. It is huge. Sing "All...by...myself!" in this big room. BUT, I have to pay for wifi and I think that is one rule that a hotel should never break, which is to provide FREE INTERNET ACCESS TO YOUR GUESTS. I mean, in this day and age? Seriously? It's just lame. But my job will pay for it...

I decided to tool around the hotel area to "see" Atlanta. I wasn't quite sure what to hit but I noticed that Atlanta Underground was nearby. I had heard about it so I thought "I'm here I should check it out! Grab a beer and eat there..." The concierge mentioned that it was a seven block walk away so I thought I'd huff it over.

Well, despite the fact that there are signs that claim downtown Atlanta is "safe", I sure didn't feel that way. One of the first people I passed by on my walk to the Underground was a homeless? man, wearing a hospital gown, opened in the front, carrying a clear to-go box.

Then I passed several other people that, no offense to anyone, appeared to be "bums". They were everywhere. And all I could think of was that homeless dude that just attacked, and beheaded, the woman at random. Was I next?

I managed to survive. I made it to the Underground and I was just about to grab my camera and take a picture of the sign when I noticed a man across the street from me just yelling at me. WTF? I was trying to ignore everyone during my seven block walk but this guy was incessant. Finally, I stopped and asked "what?" when he approached me and asked "Can I buy you a bottled water?"

Huh?

So I said NO THANK YOU and just started walking past him, once I realized he was hitting on me. He mumbled other inappropriate things and then said "Can I buy you some ice cream?" which actually made me laugh...on the inside. What a pick-up line: can i buy you ice cream? What is he? Justin Bieber? I'm looking for alcohol and you want to get me ice cream? He definitely wasn't Justin  Bieber...

The Underground was a flop. It's just a bunch of stores *and a food court*. I did see a very empty looking area that had, maybe two bar-like places? but they didn't seem to be, um, well-suited for someone like me, so I left.

I thought about taking the MARTA back to the hotel...one stop, the concierge had told me earlier but all I could see were rails and not buses, as the concierge told me. So I huffed it back and totally dissed anyone that attempted to stop me (several folks trying to sell something). I'm pretty good at being a snotty bitch :).

I stopped at one hotel, with the idea of eating at their hotel's restaurant (it was on my list from the conference) but the hostess was the ULTIMATE in elitist hostess and I thought, really? You want to be a douche about food that you're charging triple for? If there's anything that annoys me more, it's elitism. Of any kind. I don't care if you're the hostess, the waiter, the chef, the owner. You. Are. No. Better. Than. Me. (I am a self-proclaimed hypocrite as I prefer to be an elitist over elitists.)

I left and man, my feet were killing me. So...as bad as I hated to do it...I ate...at my hotel's restaurant.

I prefer taking in the local landscape. And despite trying the _other_ hotel's restaurant, I prefer NOT to hang out at the hotel eatery. But I was pooped. I didn't want to venture out anywhere else after what I had experienced. So I enjoyed a nice meal in a nearly empty restaurant in the hotel that I'm in.

So that' my day one in Atlanta. I have an all-day tutorial tomorrow and I'll have more time to figure out where I can go to experience the culinary side of ATL, hopefully, without meeting more hospital gown folks or men who want to buy me ice cream (or cold bottles of water).

Where are the sugar daddies???

1 comment:

  1. As soon as you said you were going to the Underground, I thought, "That doesn't sound like Cindy at all!" :)
    Are you going to have time to go to the Aquarium? It is so nice. I went to a reception there during a conference a few years ago, and it was so neat. I can't help you much with restaurants. I was pregnant when I was there, exhausted, and ate a lot of room service with my feet propped up!

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