Monday, September 20, 2004

Photo Diary/Atlanta, Georgia

(Try adjusting the slideshow to about 5 or 6.)

I began my first day by having coffee on the balcony in my boxers and taking phone calls. The first was from a friend who had to cancel our lunch plans at her favorite restaurant and the second was my mom asking what my first impressions of the city were. After spending some time talking with both of them, I eagerly stuffed my camera into my backpack and set out for a much anticipated walk along the street I was staying on. Having no destination, I strolled up one side and down the other taking in my surroundings. I had no idea where I was going but there was plenty to see along the way and the weather was nothing less than perfect. It had been almost two years since I had taken a trip and I was overwhelmed with delight.

This is the grocery store we stopped in at on the way from the airport. It’s in a parking garage and the only entrance is through the parking garage. I had trouble understanding and accepting this. It’s called Publix and I mistakenly referred to it as Pubic’s in the car on the way over which was sort of awkward in front of my older sister. This is the same older sister who just weeks earlier witnessed me spewing coffee all over the gift bags at Party City during a fit of laughter.

This is the charming little bistro where the bridal shower for my sister was held. And this is the vase of flowers which I later held between my legs on the ride home. See how much water is in it? Enough to really flood the floor board when my sister braked suddenly. Since I was pretty tipsy from drinking several glasses of wine and champagne, I found the incident pretty hilarious. Lucky for me, after inspecting her wedding planner and determining it was still dry, my sister laughed a little too. (Mostly, at my laughter.)

The most amazing part of my entire trip was seeing Chihuly in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I had only enough space on my memory card for twelve more pictures. You just can’t imagine how I felt as we began our walk through the grounds and I realized this. I was sick with disappointment. It was an enormous exercise in restraint. One I hope I never have to repeat.

With hurricane Ivan making landfall hours earlier, I decided to take one last walk before my flight was scheduled. The light shower was so peaceful.

It hadn’t really registered that Atlanta was going to be affected as well. The drive to the airport was hectic and long and once there, I found people sitting everywhere waiting. I wondered what was the longest any of them had been stranded. Every restaurant and bar was packed. I felt a little guilty for taking photos of their predicaments, but I was delayed too. In line at the coffee stand only every other person was getting their drink. They kept handing out orders in pairs and customers seemed happy to grab both of them. I watched a man walk away with my small coffee of the day. Inside of Popeye’s I had my coffee with dinner. I never realized how yummy their spicy chicken strips were.

It’s good to be home, although I’m not entirely content. I’m looking forward to my trip to Baltimore in a couple of weeks.

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