Monday, June 15, 2009

A song of you comes as sweet & clear as moonlight through the pines... the road leads back to you.

So when I promised that I would do this, I did it with the understanding that generally speaking, these trips and experiences would be a delight to recount. Little did I know that the inaugural trip of my summer would be such a disaster.

I was late getting out of DFW, due to and I quote "cloud cover" (which I later found out meant some storms in the area), which meant I was late getting into Atlanta. As much as I travel, I'm not the best flyer. I especially hate landing. It doesn't matter how long the flight has been, I pretty much want to just plummet for a few thousand feet, then even out for a smooth landing. I'd much rather just get it over with quickly. I loathe the "initial descent" - it takes too long and that sudden slowing feeling in the air makes me more than slightly nervous.
So you can imagine my already heightened nerves going berserk as we came right into Atlanta and learned that the airport was "closed down" due to "Tornadic activity". I didn't know whether or not airplanes could be struck by lightning, but I was sure we would be.

So after doing donuts around Atlanta for over an hour, we were finally able to land in the torrential rain. I shuffled in my heels through that absurd airport and made it to the rental car counter just as they were closing. Thankfully, the attendant was kind enough to check me in before pushing me off in the rain to the shuttle.
I made it to my hotel around 10pm only to find out that not only had they messed up my reservation, but the corporate card my room had been booked on was declined.
So here I am, coming down off my nervous high, feet aching, soaking wet, starving, and for the time being, room-less. The next hour and 45 minutes consisted of a LOT of back and forth between myself, my bosses (who happened to be in LA), and our hotel's fax machines. I tried to maintain a professional & calm attitude, but around 11:30, I couldn't do it anymore and I sat in the lobby a cried a little - DYING for a place to be able to just take my shoes off.
Finally, and by the grace of God, I made it to a room just as I was hearing from a precious friend I'd been worried about all evening. (I tend to have the WORST timing with these trips as far as happenings at home are concerned!) It made me cry all over again to just hear her voice! You know how it is when you are having hypoglycemic outbursts of emotion, fueled by exhaustion. My evening finally ended around 12:30, after another phone call with a voice that usually makes me sleep better. And I slept pretty great once I was finally able to take those darn shoes off.
I found out that Atlanta is characterized by three major enterprises: Delta Airlines, Coca Cola, and Chick-fil-A. So I made it my business to seek out the original Chick-fil-A, which was a terrific way to start out a new day.

It had been decided that after the worst night ever, I'd be having the best day ever, and even with the outrageous Georgia humidity, it was pretty good. I had just over 100 miles to drive that day, and in a not-lame-for-once rental, I really enjoyed the drive. I enjoy driving anyway, but the Georgia roads turned out to be delightful.

It's really not a bad way to travel. I was ill prepared and had to rely on the radio, which turned out to be not so bad. I rolled the windows down and turned up the volume - laughing at the rare gems that found their way through the radio waves (Californication, My Life Would Suck Without You - among others). Again, by the grace of God, I managed to not have any major fiasco's this day - which was surprising considering how badly I just wanted to come home and see the faces I miss most during the week.
I found myself sitting across the aisle to a pretty attractive & intriguing fellow (I always hope the ones who carry on guitars are seated next to me) on the flight back. As much as I tried, he was not nearly as interested in chatting with me as he was chatting with the 10 year old sitting on the other side of him (which, was actually very adorable of him). He did the courteous thing, and let me walk off the plane ahead of him, so I was doing my best to walk in those absurd heels and carry my bags like it was the easiest thing I'd ever done.
I was pretty successful until my heel sank into a hole on the jet bridge and I kerplunked straight to the ground. Bless his heart, the only conversation he was interested in having with me was reminding me to be careful and asking if I was alright. "I'm fine, this happens all the time." Was all I could manage.

Atlanta was a complete bummer on my Pedamundo festivities, and I'm convinced it's a black hole of sorts. Too bad I have to go back two more times before this tour is over.

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