Monday, July 24, 2006

Journey to Atlanta

My friend Cindy and I arrived in Atlanta around lunch, a little worse for the wear, but not bad.

Our limo service couldn't make it to pick us up this morning, so my husband had to do the 'ole wash 'n rinse shower job and rush us to the airport. We were a little later than we had expected to be so we didn't have time for breakfast. The flight was clear, non-bumpy and relatively short (1hr 45 min). Then the real fun began. We walked probably half-mile (at least) in the terminal following the sign for baggage claim - only to get there and not see American Airlines listed anywhere. We finally locate an airport employee and he sends us back the way we came and down an escalator. Another half mile later we found the baggage claim, clearly labeled with a tiny sign that was posted directly before the walkway from our gate. Needless to say, our bags beat us there - a new airport record.

So we claimed bags and, you guessed it, went back the half-mile to the other baggage claim because that's where all the ground transportation was located. By this time it's 12:30 and we're hungry enough to eat our laptops. We had been told that the local rail system transport (called MARTA) was a fast easy way to the hotel. And cheap - only 1.75 for a one-way ride. So we take the plunge and the two least-likey-to-be-urban girls buy tickets and board the train. The train was fast. The train was cheap. However, there were three sets of escalators to ride in order to get to the street level. I have one huge roller suitcase (weight 50 pounds) and a roller briefcase packed full of electronics (weight unknown). Not the easiest things to negotiate escalators with, but I was game.

Then we got to the middle escalator. This thing was at least half a football field in length and had a vertical rise steeper than a ski slop.

I took one look up and said "Holy Hell, look at that sucker." Cindy was too busy managing baggage to pay attention and finally looked up about half-way through the ride. She then echoed my "Holy Hell" statement. I would love to see statistics on the injuries on that lift. I looked closely for the tell-tale signs of left-over clothes in the teeth of the steps, but someone had cleverly done away with the evidence. (but we're onto you, MARTA)

Once at street level, we were informed by a very nice attendant that it was a mere two-block walk to our hotel. Unhuh, two blocks and we still hadn't eaten. So we start treking. The second block was the worse than the first because it was downhill. Why is downhill worse, you say. Uh, remember those two suitcases, you know the ones that weighed 50 pounds and "weight unknown?" Well suitcase 1 & 2 thought descent would be better done faster than owner can walk so I spent that block doing the locked knee trudge with two suitcase handles poking me in the rear.

Finally arrived at hotel - room is nice - with nice view. (see view below)

Okay, scratch the view - Blogger has attitude and refuses to upload my photo. I'll try again tomorrow. And why will I try again tomorrow and not again today - why that would be because the Marriot charges for internet access. FYI - Hilton doesn't and usually has wireless capabilities in every room. So I'm blogging from the mall next door because they have free access and it was the principal of the thing that irritated me. They actually charge 10 bucks for 12 hours. Not a day, mind you, but 12 hours. So if workshops start at 8ish and your day ends around midnight, exactly which 12 hour span should you purchase?

More tomorrow from the mall!


Jaye Wells said...

Thanks for the tips. Might just spring for a cab after your MARTA story. Can you imagine the mall on Thursday? Hundreds of romance authors with laptops.

Jana DeLeon said...

Horrors! I may never access the internet again once the descent begins. :)

Cindy and I took MARTA again today, but we've already decided we're not doing it again with luggage - so it's definitely cab time when we head back to the airport.

See you soon!

Cari Manderscheid said...

Oh, what a great view from your hotel room! I'm missing you guys! :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Cari - wish you were here! We'll have to fill you in on all the scoop when we get back to Dallas.

Cari Manderscheid said...

I'm counting on you filling me in on all the scoop! I miss you guys terribly & it sounds like you're having a blast!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Jane & the others on the Ritas & the GH, so be sure and let us know if any of our group wins!

Have fun!

An Austin DesignWorks Production