6 August: Arriving in Atlanta

Author: Mr A

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

We had a smooth trip down from the Smoky Mountains right to downtown Atlanta – all freeway bar the last 3km – I couldn’t help but contrast with driving down from the Blue Mountains to Sydney – a similar distance that would have taken 3 or 4 times as long.

We dropped off the luggage at our hotel – and wow – to stay at a “fancy” hotel again with people who carry your luggage – quite a treat. We really appreciated the luxury after all but one of our motel/hotel stays on this trip have been pretty ordinary. A short drive and we dropped off the car – there was some confusion as we had changed the odometer to read kilometres and they thought we had driven thousands of miles…all became clear and we settled into our lovely hotel for two nights.

Lunch was required, we wandered up the road, guided by Trip Advisor, to consume our first burger of the trip. We have resisted so far, but the lure of a “bison burger” was too much. We dived in.Catherine spent the afternoon preparing for her presentation tomorrow. I went for a wander, heading for Centennial Park. A bloke sidled up to me and said “Give me 20 bucks or I’ll cut you!”. Not an ideal situation, to say the least. Doesn’t he realise the shocking exchange rate?

I told him to f@!k off, really without thinking, and he did, which was good. I retired to the hotel…Dinner was a very pleasant affair with two of the people we have met already on our travels who come to Atlanta for the conference Catherine is speaking at (Deborah from Pasadena and Kim from Yosemite), and two people who work for Vanderbilt University (Cheryl and Kate) who are organising the conference and providing support and guidance for the research team.Travel for me is so much about meeting new people and getting a glimpse into their lives. Tonight was a great example of how rewarding that is.

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