Up at 0 dark thirty to play the airport game, hurry up and wait for our 8 am flight.
We did stumble upon a great breakfast at Anthony’s, in the airport, carried us through the day, a beautiful and delicious omelette served with potatoes, blueberry coffee cake and cinnamon butter; we couldn’t finish the coffee cake so, note to self – a shared meal would be perfect for us next time.
The flight took forever to board, so much carry-on luggage! Then a fellow came on with what looked like a cello in a hard shell carrying case, did he think it would fit in the overhead? At our scheduled departure time the flight attendant announced we were ready to leave the gate but first they had to deal with a luggage issue, guess who. The cello was removed from the plane and placed in the luggage compartment. We left about 1/2 hour late but arrived right on time thanks to a brisk tail wind.
It was a pleasant enough flight until we hit some rough patches over Jefferson City MO, just about the time for beverage service … all carts secured, we bumped along for 20 minutes or so and end with a very smooth landing in Atlanta.
It was a quick trip to the hotel. We had decided to spend the night in Atlanta to break up the 14-1/2 hours of travel so we would be a little more rested on our first morning.
We overslept and missed breakfast so by 1 p.m. we were pretty hungry and hopped on a hotel shuttle to another nearby Marriott for lunch, easy peasy.
Being in the Deep South I felt compelled to enjoy a little authentic southern cuisine and that means all things fried. Fried chicken was on the menu, no brainer, should hold us until dinner on the plane maybe around 10 pm. Our charming waiter delivered a plate of buttermilk, finger-licking good, southern fried chicken with devilishly good mashed potatoes, and green beans cooked to perfection with bacon AND a big serving of southern hospitality … I can feel my arteries clogging … but oh my it was good. At least 20 years must have passed since my last plate of fried chicken and this was worth the wait yum.
We walked outside into rain, a bit of a surprise, hopped on the airport shuttle where we were entertained by a driver who must have been a DJ in his former life; he played a whole track of rain songs – Who’ll Stop the Rain – Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head and so on, you get the idea. It became a sing-a-long.
They say timing is everything and so far ours has been really good. We got to the airport early and breezed through security. If you have not been to Atlanta the airport is enormous and you are guaranteed a lot of walking just to find your gate. Once settled near the right gate we decided to snuggle up to the bar for a glass of wine and we met two delightful travelers, a young man from Montreal, heading home and an older lady from Birmingham, Alabama traveling to London to stay with a daughter battling cancer, both were good company and helped us to pass the time.
Finally on the plane we were uncomfortable almost immediately, my legs are too long and my knees jammed into the seat back in front of me, not a good sign when you are looking at 10 hours in the seat. My daypack fit very snugly under the seat but there was barely enough room between my seat and the one in front of me to cram it in or to pull it back out . . . no overhead room, as usual. How many movies can I watch? Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation and Mr. Holmes. I did a few rounds of meditation tapes trying to sleep but it was just too uncomfortable, so happy we had a good sleep last night.