2005-09-29

Atlanta Business Trip

Clint had to go to Atlanta for business. It was a "leave monday, work tuesday/wednesday, return wednesday deal". But Carolyn managed to get the time off, and came with Clint, so we left Sunday instead, in order to have some extra time in Atlanta. We don't know if it was worth it, and all-in-all it was a great hassle to go on this trip. Still, it was interesting to exist elsewhere for a short period of time, even if it was coerced by Clint's employer. "Travel broadens the mind," they say, though they neglect to mention that it shrinks the wallet. Even with airfare and hotel paid (except the first hotel night) we spent something along the lines of $1000. Ugh.

Again, as usual, if the tenses sound weird, it's because this was a collaborative effort, both of us have written various parts of this and passed it between us, and the narrator as well as our writing styles can change at random, even sentence to sentence.

8/21/05 [Sunday]

This was the day we traveled to Atlanta. The airplane left at 10:30am. We got to the gate about a half-hour early, concluding that we shouldn't believe the hype, and didn't need to leave 2 hours before the departure time.... Just for some background, Clint was on 45 minutes sleep that night.

All was smooth coming from Washington to Atlanta... We had three drinks on the plane - Clint had white wine and Carolyn had Bud Light... By the time we landed at 12 NOON, we were both a bit drunk and had already spent like $30 just on the plane! We didn't need to drive, so it was a good thing. (Yes, we knew in advance we were not driving.) Of course, the intense sunlight was a bit of a buzzkill anyway.

When we arrived at Atlanta, Carolyn needed to pee, so we headed to the bathroom first. When Carolyn came out, she didn't see Clint immediately. After a second, she saw him waving at Carolyn from the ice cream line... so she went over and we both got ice cream. At some point, Clint tried to pee, but the men's restroom was closed for cleaning... We kept walking.. After the ice cream, Carolyn suddenly exclaimed, "Oh yeah! We got to get our luggage from baggage claim!!"..

On our way to baggage claim, we discovered the cleaning was done so Clint headed into the bathroom.. Carolyn called after him, "I need to go to, wait for me afterwards"... Unbeknownst to Carolyn, Clint did not hear her at all.... he was single-mindedly focused on the nearest toilet... There was a small line for the ladies' room, so it took Carolyn a little while... When she came out, there was no sign of Clint.... Carolyn looked around and thought she could see a person who looked like it could be Clint way down the hall walking towards baggage claim.... Carolyn went up to the men's bathroom and asked some guy coming out if he saw a guy with a blue shirt in there, and he didn't know.... So Carolyn decided to start walking to baggage claim, but the whole way she wasn't sure if she was doing the right thing...

Carolyn had everything -- both wallets, the tote bag, the cell phone, and no way of reaching Clint to find out where he was -- whether he had started walking to baggage claim, or was still in the bathroom, or what. Carolyn finally starts walking to baggage claim, and it took forever!! She kept walking and walking, and there was a train, but she wasn't comfortable getting on it... Finally, Carolyn went up to an airport worker and asked how much further to baggage claim, and he said a 15 minute walk, and Carolyn was like "From here?!?" and he replied "it's a 4-minute train ride" and pointed at the train... So Carolyn got her ass on the train and 4 minutes later Carolyn she was walking up the escalator to baggage claim..

Clint was too determined and focused to even give the trains second thought. He walked all the way across the airport, a 20- to 30-minute walk. Sweating by the end, wondering every step of the way if he would have to turn around and walk all the way back to get his wallet. Hitting the wall and cursing at random intervals. Catching a cute girl checking him out as he mouths "This sucks" randomly into the air in front of him. She definitely sensed my perturburance. (Did I just make a word up?)

Meanwhile, Carolyn was walking up the escalator to the baggage claim. While on the escalator, her phone rang once, but cut off...so Carolyn gets to the top of the escalator, and there's Clint, and he's LIVID. At least we were re-united. Clint said Carolyn was wrong because she abandoned him, and didn't ensure that he heard Carolyn say she was going to the bathroom. He said the last thing we were talking about was baggage claim, so after he waited around for "only" 3 minutes, and assumed Carolyn had continued on to baggage claim...

Carolyn said Clint was wrong, Clint said Carolyn was wrong, and to "save our marriage" as Carolyn melodramatically states it, we just had to let it go... But while at the airport, Clint was the one who wouldn't let it go (in the short run... in the long run Clint would say Carolyn doesn't let it go)... He kept yelling at Carolyn about it, or any other little thing that came up... (Clint doesn't remember any other thing coming up).... Carolyn wrote in my diary that "Atlanta airport sucks, it makes Carolyn and Clint fight"... Clint in particular admits really hating the hassle of travelling and not dealing with the stress or responsibility of travelling very well. "I am a cranky traveller."

We weren't sure where to go to get our bags, and the workers sent Carolyn to an Independence Air thing -- but Carolyn saw signs that said Independence Air, and they kept pointing Carolyn in the wrong direction... Carolyn had left Clint at the baggage claim area while Carolyn found out, but the baggage claim area was huge... Once Carolyn realized she was no longer in the baggage claim area, she went back, and Clint was nowhere to be seen again... Carolyn went up to the baggage claim and saw her bag, but not Clint's... Tears were rolling down her eyes (awww) because she incorrectly concluded that Clint had found the bags, took his bag, left hers, and left Carolyn behind... (Clint, just finding out about this while editing this story, is surprised she would ever think I would ever go that far! I'm hardcore, but not airport-abandoning hardcore.)

However, thankfully when Carolyn went to the other side of the conveyor, there was Clint's bag... So Carolyn now had both of these heavy bags, and was a little worried, but then Clint showed up and was mad again that Carolyn had "left him again"... it was terrible, although Clint thinks it was nothing compared to the 30-minute-walk.

We finally get our bags and go out to ground transportation and the question becomes how do we get to the hotel... Clint decided he wanted to rent a car... Carolyn said maybe we should catch a cab to the hotel and just crash. (BTW, Clint was on 40 minutes of sleep, YES -- FORTY MINUTES, and Carolyn was on two hours of sleep -- so we were both tired, cranky, and a little tipsy)... Clint asked a cab driver about inexpensive rental cars and they said the best was Payless (not the shoe store)... We had to wait extra long for a payless shuttle, but finally one came... Carolyn went to the driver of the "dollar rental" to ask the rates, and he gave Carolyn a number to call, but Carolyn didn't call... Clint had talked to payless before so we knew the rate was going to be $40/day (actually more like $70/day with the insurance... it turned out to be more than the hotel room!)

Anyway, we rented a car - a white Kia Optima that was an automatic with a manual shift option. Clint had a LOT of fun with the manual shifting of gears. And the best part is, you're playing with someone ELSE'S transmission. I think we both gained a far gerater understanding of manual transmissions than we had ever had in the past. We got to the hotel room and pretty instantly passed out from 3PM til 6PM.

When we woke up, we tried to decide where to go to eat... and we saw that Ruby Tuesday was right up the street from our hotel. We were trying to find something else.... We couldn't think of anything, so we went to Ruby Tuesday... There was a 15-minute wait so we told them we'd sit at the bar, and they said they'd come find us when our table was ready... So we were sitting at the bar drinking the hugest beers either of us have ever seen (not counting the "yard long" beers)... and the bartender asked if we wanted to see a menu and we thought it'd be a good idea to get a headstart... So we decided what to order, and the bartender took our order... Then Clint went to check on our table and saw that people who came in after us were already crossed off the list... so he went back and asked and they said they had come to the end of the bar and said our name, but of course we didn't hear them, there was no room at the end of the bar, and we were at the far end... So after much headache, we ended up having to pay our bill to the bartender and sat at a table to eat our food.. we split a Monterey jack hamburger (rare) and a sampler platter... it was good... Carolyn had another megabrew that she had to pay the waitress for, since we'd closed out at the bar.

When we got back to our hotel room, we then had to come up with something to do, so we were going to check out some clubs... we got all dressed up, and one of them didn't exist anymore, and the other was $50 and it didn't sound all that....We were conflicted as to whether we should do it or not, and we decided not to, but later think that was a mistake..... Damn. So then we were like "let's just go to the hotel and get some beers and hang out"... but everything was closed so we just went to our hotel room, no beer, and hung out..... hanging out included a lot of hot sexy sex (Carolyn's words). Carolyn slept naked and felt compelled to add this fact to this summary.

8/22/05 [Monday]

We had no idea what to do or where to go.. we checked out some stuff online. Some of the things we thought about were Stone Mountain, horse carriage ride, the zoo.. we had decided on Dixieland amusement park, but for some dumb reason, it was closed on weekdays after August 7th..... Clint & Carolyn agreed that that seemed dumb to us because August is a big travel month. Isn't it?

So, Clint had left a message for his half-aunt Tatiana who lives in Atlanta, and she called back.. She suggested we check out Little 5 Points, which she described as the "Grenich Village of Atlanta".. So we were trying to find that, and we drove buy this huge store that had this huge mural -- lots of colors... So we turned to check it out along the way, and hey! This is what we were looking for... We were in little 5 points... We didn't know it at first.

We went to Criminal Records first, and Clint found an awesome shirt of George Bush as a vampire sucking the blood out of the Statue Of Liberty. (Because Bush IS a power-hungry madman who thrives on taking our liberties away for his own gain, just like a real vampire.) He had just gotten that picture online on Friday, so he had to get the shirt.... We then went to Junkman's Daughter, which is the huge store with the mural. Inside was very VERY huge... with LOTS of neat stuff. We had to resist buying more clothes for Carolyn, because Carolyn have so much clothes already... we did get a couple of shirts for Clint, and also had to buy a welcome mat that said "Go Away"... we got a couple of belts, a Misfits ashtray, a Misfits lightswitch cover. We checked out the headshop in the back... we went upstairs (the stairs were a giant, 2-storey high high-heel), but all they had were shoes... Some of them were interesting, but not interesting enough...

Clint was in the dressing room trying on his shirts was when Tatiana showed up... so we hung out in Junkman's Daughter a little longer and then left... We checked out some other stores in Little 5 Points, but apparantly most closed at 7. By then, we were pretty hungry, so we went to the Vortex to eat. The Vortex is a biker bar with the best food in Tatiana's opinion, and she proved right... Carolyn had southwestern eggrolls, and Clint & Tatiana split a reuban and nachos (usually Carolyn and Clint do that, but this worked out because Carolyn wanted the eggrolls, and Carolyn got to have tatertots and nachos too, and Clint still got an eggroll).. Clint had a $20 shot of 150-year-old Grand Marnier (that's 1855, folks) that was very very VERY good... we each tried a bit of it... it was funny, because before the waitress gave us our bill, she looked at it for a second, then looked at Clint and asked him how the shot was. It was damn fine.

After the vortex, we went over to Tatiana's & her boyfriend Marcus's house... we met Marcus's dad Randy and his cousin, Chris... We hung out talking for awhile, and then played Skip-bo.. Carolyn hadn't played that since she was a kid, and Carolyn probably played it wrong as a kid... but it was a really fun game. Clint had never played. Marcus's dad had interesting stories about working security at Phish shows, confiscating bootleg Phish shirts, and how they are sent to 3rd world nations, and somewhere in Africa there are some poor 3rd-world people wearing bootleg Phish tee-shirts! After Skip-Bo, Carolyn decided we had better get back to the hotel..... Earlier, on the way to Little 5 points, we picked up some beer so we wouldn't have a repeat of Sunday night.. so we had a couple of beers and went to bed... Monday night, Carolyn felt like a headache was coming on, but thought sleep would cure it. Unfortunately, she woke up Tuesday and still had a slight headache. So Carolyn bought some Advil to take care of that.

8/23/05 [Tuesday]

Carolyn had been all concerned about she Carolyn was going to do on Tuesday and Wednesday while Clint was at work.... So at some point Monday, it suddenly occurred to Carolyn as to what to do on Tuesday - go to Stone Mountain. On Monday when we discovered it, Carolyn thought it sounded cool, but Clint wasn't all that interested... so Carolyn decided that was her plan for Tuesday... She woke up and had the complimentary breakfast (a muffin, a danish, 2 cups of decaf coffee, and a hard-boiled egg). Carolyn was upset that there weren't anymore bananas. Clint had gotten his breakfast at 1 in the morning... Carolyn forget why he went to the front desk at one in the morning, but the guy had apparently set the breakfast out because he had a slipped disk so he wanted to get it taken care of in the low-stress time. When Carolyn went back to the room, Carolyn discovered Clint had left a banana for me!! Yay!!! The complimentary breakfast also had a waffle iron, and already-measured out waffle mix... Carolyn was tempted, but didn't make a waffle for myself... Clint had one and it was fabulous.

So, anyway, Carolyn talked to her Uncle Mark to make plans for dinner that night, and she told him she was going to Stone Mountain. He commented that Carolyn was getting off to a late start... but Carolyn mentioned the park didn't open until 10, and it was only around 10 right then.. Carolyn thinks it was a little bit after 10... but anyway, Carolyn ended up arriving at the park at around 11am... the first thing she saw was a huge stone mountain... then she noticed it had a carving on it... as she walked to the park, Carolyn kept trying to take a picture of that carving, but the pictures didn't do it justice.

Once Carolyn got into the park, the first thing she decided to do was the "4-D" imax theatre.. (What makes it 4-D rather than 3-d?? Carolyn still don't know). Carolyn went towards it, and stopped in some shops along the way.. they had an awesome glass blowing shop... she looked at some jewelry.. Carolyn wanted to get something for her mom, but didn't find anything she thought she'd like.. The closest were hummingbird earrings, but they didn't seem quite like her to Carolyn... so she was a bit disappointed.. Carolyn finally made it to the theatre, and the next showing wasn't until 11:30... it was only 11:10ish, so Carolyn said I'd come back rather than wait the 20 minutes... so Carolyn went and glanced at the blacksmith, and then went into the outfitters store... She saw something she thought Vicky would love, but it was high up on a shelf and looked expensive and so Carolyn didn't get it.... She did look to see if they had a smaller cheaper version, but didn't see one... It was a mallard duck candle holder, so it wasn't worth spending a lot of money on... Carolyn went on down the strip of shops to the Stone Mountain souvenir shop and bought Vicky a postcard... much cheaper than the mallard duck candleholder, and Carolyn knew she'd LOVE that. Carolyn got Clint a shotglass only because it was marked down to $1.

After the souvenir shop, it was about 11:20 so Carolyn decided to make my way back to the theatre. When Carolyn got there, this older family was asking questions about it... and the worker told them to wait by the doors.. So Carolyn meandered on over as well... one of the men looked at Carolyn and asked if she was by myself. She said yes and he told Carolyn she was a brave soul... hmm.. the movie was short, and a little lame, but the special effects were cool... when Carolyn had gotten in and sat down, Carolyn started to put our digital camera on the seat next to her, and noticed it was a little wet... at first she was a little confused, but it didn't take Carolyn long to be like "oh yeah, let Carolyn put the camera under the seat where it'll be safe"... good thing, because the water effects happened a lot. The movie and pre-show only lasted 15 minutes...

After that, Carolyn decided to go up the skylift to the top of stone mountain. After walking to it, Carolyn got in line and walked all the way through the Disneyworld-like maze only to realize she had gone the wrong way... confusing.... So then this mom & dad and daughter came in, so Carolyn watched where they went and then followed them... the wait was a long time because they wanted to have more people.. but then we finally get on, and it was beautiful...you could really see the carving in great detail... Carolyn tried to take a couple more pictures... At the top of the mountain, the whole ground was stone... it was pretty neat... Carolyn walked down the mountain a ways... they have hiking trails that you can walk all the way down the mountain on, but Carolyn only walked a littleafter awhile, Carolyn went back to the skylift to go back down the mountain.

The last thing was the Discovering Stone Mountain museum... It was pretty neat, but not as exciting as the other things...

Carolyn headed back to the hotel. Carolyn talked to mom on the phone for awhile, and then she had to get off the phone suddenly. Clint came back right after that... so when mom called back, Carolyn told her Clint was back, so she let Carolyn go. So then we just took a nap.. we woke up around 6 to meet Uncle Mark at 6:30-7... but we were a little late.. We got to Uncle Mark's a little after 7... so Clint said Carolyn was rude that Carolyn didn't call Uncle Mark to warn him of the lateness ... Carolyn didn't so, so she'll learn from that one.. Anyway, we saw where Uncle Mark is living... it's a nice house - with very VERY high ceilings..

Then we went to this restaurant/bar called Six Feet Under. It was called Six Feet Under because there was a cemetery right across the street. It reminded Carolyn of the other place Uncle Mark took the family to that Dad had described as "a dive". Mom reminded Carolyn the name was something like Beyond The Sea.. anyway, it had the same type of seafood - baskets of fried shrimp... but it also had some weird stuff -- Uncle Mark jokingly said the catfish tacos were great... Clint was intrigued by the taco part, so he ended up getting the catfish tacos. He also got the chicken fajita soup that Carolyn shared with him... Carolyn took the first bite and told him it needed hot sauce... They had some on the table... Clint was like "if Carolyn's saying that, then it definitely needs some!".. so he spiced it up and made it better...

Uncle Mark had a hamburger... they didn't give us extra napkins, so Uncle Mark had mustard all over his hands and had to ask insistently for napkins.. Clint considers running out of napkins even once to be enough to cut a tip from 15% to 10%. Carolyn had a basket of shrimp... oh yeah, their hush puppies had a hot pepper in them... that was interesting, but good... and their potato chips were hand made and the best potato chips any of us have ever eaten.. After we dropped Uncle Mark off at his house, we went back to the hotel. We couldn't decide what to do after that, so we had some more hot sexy sex and then went to bed......

Here's what Clint said at 1:31AM (in a web-based complaint-system run by the hotel) about what happened Tuesday night:

"WinGate Inn. 2020 Sullivan Rd, College Park, GA 30337. Original reservation was Aug 22-Aug 24th. Arrived a day early and asked if Carolyn could have my room a day early, and they let us. Then on the evening of Aug 23rd, our keycard did not work and we were caught in the rain and had to walk all the way around the hotel. They said they had to add the next day to the computer.This is a business trip. Have to wake up at 6AM. THEN, AT 1:15AM, OUR DOOR IS OPENED WHILE WE ARE SLEEP. We yell "HEY!" and they go away. We are scared to death and try to call the front desk and there was no answer. Who was that? What were they trying to do? How did they get into the room? Clint tried calling the front desk back 3 times. He WAS ONE RING AWAY FROM CALLING THE POLICE TO REPORT A ROBBERY ATTEMPT, because we have no clue who would just open the door to a used room that has a "Do Not Disturb" sign posted! Let's see how our service went: A noisy alarm clock that makes loud noises spontaneously in the middle of the night, keycards that strand you in the rain, staff that raids your room -- We HAVE BEEN ROBBED OF HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS OF STUFF in the past from maids, and we don't like staff in my room. Any hotel gets a "Do Not Distrub" sign from the minute we check in til the minute we check out. Not happy. Wont be coming here again, ever. Be wary of WinGate in!"

8/24/05 [Tuesday]

The night before, Carolyn had woken up when the security came bursting in, but she had no problem going back to sleep.. Clint however was very upset about what had happened and had a horrible time getting back to sleep... so he was tossing and turning until at least 4AM... and he had to wake up at 6AM. He finally drifts back to sleep, and then happens to wake up and "Hey! The alarm clock never went off and I'm late!".. so he had to rush around in the morning getting ready to get to work... including coordinating with the taxi. (Yes, we had a rental car, but since Clint's company wouldn't pay for it, we absolutely were not using it for work purposes. The taxi cost more per day than the rental car! Their loss.)

Meanwhile, we realize how much it sucks that Clint's on basically no sleep (again -- remember, 40 minutes on a previous nite, and 2 hours that nite). Our checkout time was 11am so we won't have a hotel for Clint to take a nap in afterwards.. So Carolyn was going to have to get everything packed and in the suitcases (it would be a miracle with all the stuff we bought). Carolyn tried to set a wakeup call for 9:45AM, but there was no way she was going back to sleep.. She kept going from trying to sleep in the bed, to packing up a bit, to wondering what the heck She was going to do that day... and then finally she was just like "Ok, no hope, I'm just going to get this packed up..." But Carolyn did call the front desk and tried to get a later check-out time... They said the latest they can give was 2PM, but that wasn't going to do us any good as a place to nap after clint's work is over.... The lady said she couldn't authorize later than 2PM, because the check-in time is 3PM. but the manager comes in at 9:30AM... Carolyn decided to just go for the 11AM check out time since she was not getting back to sleep.

Carolyn finally realized what she was going to do that day -- go to the zoo! That was another thing we had thought about doing on Monday that Clint wasn't interested in and Carolyn was... So then Carolyn put everything into packing up, and suddenly she realized her wallet was gone.. She started tearing the room apart looking for her wallet.... Both of the room keys were there and the car keys were there, so Carolyn wondered if Clint had picked up my wallet by mistake... it was her only hope -- even if that would be a miserable pain... so Carolyn wondered if Carolyn should call the client contact cell phone number which was the only way Carolyn could dream of to get a hold of Clint, who does not use cell phones... She didn't have much of a choice, so Carolyn called the lady... Carolyn apparently interrupted the training session Clint had flown down to assist, but Clint said she understood.... Anyway, Clint gets on the phone so Carolyn asks if he has my wallet... he did... He had a black leather wallet in each of his pockets! He had picked up his wallet, forgotten, then picked up Carolyn's wallet afterwards. Serves us right for using identical wallets.

So then Carolyn asked him where he was so she could come get it... Carolyn needed her wallet for the zoo...She went down and had the complimentary breakfast (a muffin and a danish and a cup of decaf coffee, and 2 sausage patties). Carolyn told management that Carolyn she was going for the 2PM checkout time. So Carolyn had to go to Clint's work and find him.. The receptionist said she wanted to come with Carolyn to the zoo.

Carolyn mentioned to Clint that they gave us a 2PM check out time, but Carolyn was going to check out when Carolyn got back anyway... Carolyn just told them 2PM because she wasn't sure how long she was going to be running around the world retrieving her wallet... when she got back, Carolyn put the rest of the suitcases into the car and then checked out; it was 10:30am. Carolyn got to the zoo at 11AM...

The flamingoes were right by the entrance, so Carolyn watched them for a minute... They had some cute baby flamingoes that were standing on one leg... Carolyn got the Violent Femmes 'Flamingo' song stuck in her head... then she made her way to the African plains... She checked out the two elephants, a sleeping rhino (these kids were yelling at it trying to wake it up), an elk, a crane... But didn't see the zebras anywhere. But there was a giraffe eating... Carolyn tried to take some pictures of it but there was a sign in front of it, and Carolyn couldn't get a good angle.. There was also a crane standing next to the giraffe, and it walked right up to the fence... so Carolyn got some pictures of it... then Carolyn moved on... She didn't see the lion at all.. She walked by a stage and saw some people gathering. It said next show was at 11:30, so Carolyn glanced at her watch, and "hey, it's 11:30".. She took a look at the guide to see what the show was and it was Animal Encounters. Sounded cool so she sat down to watch... the lady comes out with three animal carriers and is doing her introduction... talking about the rainforests and how there are three of them... suddenly, "Meow! Meow! Meow!"... damn, how embarrassing Carolyn get a call in the middle of show... At least the cell phone ring is animal-themed so it seemed more in place in a zoo.

Carolyn answered and clint's getting out of the training -- gee a 2PM checkout time might have actually helped us take a nap! D'oh... so we decide to meet at the enterance of the zoo at 12:30.. Clint didn't want to take away from Carolyn's zoo time, but Carolyn didn't want Clint waiting at the entrance for a long time.. so then Carolyn go back to the show... Carolyn had missed the first animal, but the second one was a millipede... Carolyn was very interested in the third one, because it was in a substantial carrier -- the size of a cat.. But the lady was droning on and on about this millipede, and so then Carolyn was worried she wasn't going to see the rest of the animals, so she left..

She saw the gorillas, the monkeys, the orangutan... but because Carolyn thought Carolyn didn't have much time, Carolyn skipped the giant pandas. But she saw the tiger -- he was sleeping way in the back so it was hard to see him... and Carolyn saw a certain type of Leopard... he was soooo cute! It was up in a tree with all his limbs (including his tail) hanging down... And he was having a very hard time staying awake... he kept falling asleep, and then would open his eyes... then would close them again... it was so cute.... Carolyn got a picture of him. Then Carolyn saw the kangaroos... Carolyn skipped the petting zoo, but the goats were cute.. She saw a red panda... that thing was very cute.. he was sleeping on top of a treehouse... he looked similar to a raccoon... Carolyn took his picture....

By this time, Carolyn had gone around and still had plenty of time.... So she went around the african plains again... This time there were three elephants... and Carolyn saw the lion on top of the rock... it was a perfect picture, but while Carolyn was floundering for my camera, the lion got up, and walked to the other side of the rock... damn, now Carolyn can't see it... so Carolyn quickly ran to the other viewing area, and snapped a picture RIGHT before the lion went into a cave and laid back down to sleep... so Carolyn did get a picture of the lion standing.. Not a good one... This girl came over and said "wow! She was awake and moved! That's the first time she's been up, and I missed it! You're so lucky"... but she wasn't up for very long. Carolyn eventually saw the giraffes again -- this time there were two of them..

Then Carolyn saw the lady who was doing the animal encounter show pulling her animals back on her wagon... so Carolyn glanced into the cat carrier and saw the third animal was an anteater... this 10ish-year old kid walked by an exclaimed "Wow! An armadillo!".. The lady said "no, it's not an armadillo.. it's an ant-eater.."

So, by this time, it was about 12:10, and Carolyn had worried that Clint was going to be early and waiting for a long time... so she decided to go back out to the entrance... they didn't have a person around to stamp her hand, so she figured she didn't need a stamp and left.... Carolyn waited at the entrance for awhile... Carolyn saw a cab loop around, but it wasn't Clint.. then at 12:35, Carolyn got a call from Clint... his cab still hadn't come! So we decided to meet at 1:15... Carolyn told Clint she'd be in the McDonalds by the entrance.... That was the most expensive McDonalds meal ever! 5 piece chicken tenders were $4.XX! Sprite and fries sounded good so Carolyn said yes... then the total was $8.. geeze that's an expensive combo... Carolyn was pissed but didn't say anything... Carolyn had dr pepper with my meal, and then refilled it with sprite.... Carolyn ended up waiting for a loooong time.. It started to rain, then stopped... Carolyn finally decided to wait outside... Carolyn went over towards the cyclorama and read about it since Carolyn had no idea what a cyclorama was (Clint still has no idea)... then when Carolyn turned around, there was Clint....

After we discussed what we should do all day until the airplane leaves at 9:40 (we checked to see how much it would be to get an earlier flight, but it would have cost $220!!! Yucky)... We decided to head back to little 5 points... we went to the other bar that had invented their own drink called the pain-killer... it was just a coconutty-pineapply drink... Clint didn't like it because of the coconut, and Carolyn wasn't a fan of it because of the pineapple... What a bomb. After that we went into some of the shops that we had missed on Monday... then we stopped at another bar where Carolyn had a couple of drinks... then we just decided to go to the airport and maybe lie down somewhere there... so we got to the airport a little after 6 or 6:30... a full three hours before our flight (which was delayed).

Carolyn played games on her laptop and PDA, talked to the guy next to her, and watched the CNN news, while Clint laid on the airport floor and slept... It got very cold.At one point, Clint woke up and looked at the guy next to me... he kinda gave Carolyn a quizzical look and asked if we were in Atlanta.. Carolyn said "yes".. then he looked at the guy again and said "Isn't he in dc?" and Carolyn looked at the guy and was like "Oh no, do I know this guy or something? I don't think so".. so Carolyn told Clint "no"... He went back to sleep... when he woke up later, he told Carolyn he thought the guy was Jay (Carolyn's brother, who lives in Woodbridge, VA, not Atlanta, GA) and so that's why he was confused and wasn't sure what city he was in.

The guy next to Carolyn, and the guy next to him were on the flight before ours to Chicago... Carolyn thought they had a bit of a delay -- the pulled a plane out of the hanger and it was hot so they were working to cool it down... their crew was flying in from somewhere at some other gate so they were waiting for them to land and unload their plane... they were working to get a reserve crew so they can start boarding, but they didn't have confirmation... They never said another word about the reserve crew.. They finally said the real crew had landed and were hurrying as fast as they could to unload that other plane.... And we were told that our flight was delayed about a half an hour (9:40 to 10:10 Carolyn guess). But there weren't any Independence Air workers there, and the air tran people didn't have any information about the Independence Air flight... so when the Chicago plane finally got out of there, we found out our plane wasn't leaving until 11PM... wow, what a delay... 4.5 hours in the airport! When the crew landed, the pilot came out and apologized for the delay and said that it was Atlanta's fault because they wouldn't let the airplane land due to weather... weird...

Anyway, on the plane Clint had the window seat as agreed... so it was hard for Carolyn to look out it.. and Clint was just sleeping anyway.... Carolyn tried to sleep, but Carolyn kept waking up because her ears would pop... they didn't serve alcohol at all on this flight!! (They serve alcohol at 11AM, but not 10PM? What bizarro world have we stumbed into?) So Carolyn didn't have a drink or food... that McDonalds had held Carolyn over.. Carolyn had a couple of clint's french fries from Burger King at the airport, and a little bit of his chicken fajita salad from the bar that had the painkiller. So Carolyn was good food wise... Clint didn't have anything either.... We finally got back into D.C. (DULLes Airport) around 1:40am...

Carolyn wondered if her brother Jay was working, but didn't try to hard to find out.. we got our bags, and then went out to catch the shuttle to the parking lot... Carolyn's PDA had just enough battery to remind us what lot and spot our car was in... yay, that was close... We had to catch the green shuttle, and our car was in 2c... the bus stop was at 6c... we didn't realize how long the row of cars in 2c were!!! So the shuttle dropped us off where we told it to ,and then we had to walk a long time to find our car... which was actually in 4c... Clint was walking up the 2c aisle, but Carolyn had remembered kind of that Carolyn had backed in, and the 2c aisle didn't seem right to her.. so she walked up the 4c aisle.. Our suitcases were so heavy we abandoned them and continued walking.. Carolyn finally find the car, and yell for Clint, then Clint told Carolyn to go to the bags... so Carolyn got his and walked it over towards Clint, who stopped to pick Carolyn up.. then we are finally on our way home.... Yay.

When we got home, our front door was completely unlocked due to the brilliance of the employees of Virginia Design Builders, someone nobody should ever be forced to deal with even with a gun pointed at their head. The work they had said they were going to do while we were gone was not done at all. We had turned off our computers, sacrified about 20 gigabytes of downloads due to them being off, covered everything with garbage bags, locked up, taken off of work early during a deadline crunch -- all this for nothing. Fuckers. Cost me bandwidth AND [house] security.

Anyway, the trip was fun, but I don't think either of us would go back in time and repeat it.

Now our Honeymoon (Las Vegas, 2/12/2000), we would probably go back in time and repeat.

2 Comments:

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9/29/2005 01:21:00 PM 
Blogger compn said...

hey clint! i love losing people in bathrooms be it amusement parks, large stores/malls, airports, etc.

a funny travel story... i was going to get on a return flight home from tampa florida, but the weather was bad, so it was cancelled. a guy standing in line carrying his child starts cussing at the airline staff. so i decide i dont want to get on a bus to a hotel full of these annoying loud asshole people, and then try to get on a plane with these same people (all during busy holiday season with flights packed to capacity).

i get on the phone and see when the next train from orlando > michigan is, then i rent a car from tampa > orlando. the drive is nice during the night and very relaxing vs bussing to a hotel with fussy people. in orlando we get a hotel room. 8am we get on the train and continue our Planes, Trains, and Automobiles journey!

in georgia the weather has already hit and so the train got stuck for an hour or two... a very nice train ride, talking to a family with a couple kids bouncing off the walls. anyways, the train gets to wash dc depot, which is a cool station. but our stopover isint very long and we find out its not a train from dc > ohio, but a bus!

we get on the bus in the night time, i cant remember the time now... but the bus driver and passengers are friendly, and the passengers pass out the dinners that the train company has gotten us, then we watch a movie on the bus.

damn sandra bullock movies on airplanes/busses will kill me! i was on a flight to japan, they played 3!!! julia roberts movies! 14 hour nonstop! yikes!

anyways, we arrive at the train depot in ohio, take $40 cab IN-CITY ride from train/bus station>airport, and find our car in -10 degree 30mph winds and snow at 4am. then proceed to drive back to detroit.

anyways, i learned some things, and i want to share them!

1. if you can, take the train, much MUCH MUCH!!!! more nice people, they accept delays, they arent crazy like airplane people. they dont complain if you play cards on the traytables on the backs of the chairs in front of you.

you can walk around, you can step off the train at every stop and have a smoke. it may be a small bit more expensive, and longer travel time, but well worth it. and the food is always better!

2. if you think you can save $40 by taking a diff airport (e.g. ohio instead of metro detroit) , dont, just pay the extra and use the closer airport!

3. cabs are fucking expensive! always rent a car, or use subways!

4. if you dont fly because your flight was cancelled, you can get a refund! yay! also if you miss your flight, you can get tickets for the next day! amazing!

5. if your flight is cancelled, there is no reason to yell at the airline staff at the counter, they cant start the plane for you. take a deep breath, find a hotel, or a car, or a train or a bus, and settle!

10/18/2005 11:24:00 PM 

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