Friday, October 26, 2007

A Whirlwind of a Weekend (literally)

Click now for JiffNotes

This is what happens when you hand your camera to a random man in the Louisville airport. You get the best picture ever--everyone looks great, all eyes open, all smiles natural--but it's completely out of focus. This is Judy, Teresa, The Colonel, Jill, me and Jean. We met Judy there, but Teresa (who was coming from FL) blew me away by showing up at the Atlanta airport while Jean, Jill and I were eating lunch. I think I said something intelligent like, "Ahhhh..." whilst doing a fine imitation of a fly-catching frog. It was a nice start to a fun weekend. Even though I did resemble an amphibian.

From the airport, we proceeded to the Seelbach Hilton, a historic hotel, where "historic" translates into small, bizaarely shaped rooms and a confusing maze of hallways. If your room is 450, which way would you head given this sign:

Jill, my roomie, successfully headed to the left while I boggled about the overlapping intervals. After checking in, Jill and I set off to visit the EGA museum, because ASG won't be returning to Louisville next year, and this was our last chance. Also, because it's our last year, the weather decided to be glorious. You know, kind of like how your hair looks the day of a haircut. It's been bedraggled for the past week, but suddenly you're ready for the cover of Vogue. The past three years, it's been disgusting: 45F and rainy all weekend. This year it was about 70F and sunny. I had a crisis trying to pack; I couldn't really believe it'd be that nice. But it was.

Wait, why are we at the river? Well, we decided to walk down there after discovering the museum was closed for installation of a new exhibit until the day after we left.

Do you think they could have mentioned this on their web site? The bonus was that we scoped a French bakery to check out for breakfast the next day.

Thursday night after listening to Jean complain that her roomie Teresa wouldn't let her watch The Weather Channel (foreshadowing: your key to quality blogging), we hailed the hotel shuttle and headed off to Lynn's Paradise Cafe. Lynn's has a kite tree in the middle of the room.

It's got ugly lamps and legs on the wall.

It also has great food (Pan-Fried Pecan Chicken in Woodford Reserve Mustard Maple Cream Sauce, anyone?) and a fabulous quirky store in the front. This is what I brought home for Michael. The small bandanges are skulls, the large ones are pirate flags, and the "treasure" was the pirate duck. We love that the pirate duck 1) is black 2) has a pirate "logo" on its chest 3) has an eye patch on AND 4) has horns. It's like a design by committee where everyone's ideas got approved.

But maybe the best part is the amazing staff. They are so attentive and fun, and...hey, wait a minute. Why have we been standing at the hostess's station for, like, five minutes with nary an acknowledgment of our existence? Ann starts to tell me it's because she is invisible. Oh, wait, here comes the hostess. She's answering the phone. She's hanging up the phone and walking away. Hunh. Oh, good, here comes a waiter. He'll help us. What's that he's saying?? "...tornado warning and we need you to either leave the building or come down to our basement. We'd prefer you come to the basement." OH, so that's what those sirens we heard when we were getting out of the shuttle were for!

I must mention at this point that I had completely forgotten that we were practically in the Midwest. In downtown Atlanta, tornados don't seem like that big a deal. I know that one had hit our loft building about 12 years ago, but usually the big storms hit in the 'burbs, as our smog shield holds firm. I also vaguely remember tornado drills in elementary school in Mississippi, but in the Midwest, things are more serious. On the way home, I noticed there's even a tornado shelter in the airport by the women's bathroom. So, even though I thought we were all being just a little overcautious, I followed the waiter, along with the rest of the restaurant, down to their basement, where we checked out all the industrial-sized food...

...called everyone to let them know we were OK...

...and snarfed down some great food. The staff brought down all the orders that were "up" at the time we had to go down there, gave us all silverware, and said, "Share with your friends!" They also handed out Cokes and lemonade, and every body dug in. It was like a party, really, with a bunch of strangers. The staff kept apologizing, but we were amused at the whole thing. At least, I was. I think a few others may have been a bit more traumatized.... They had a radio down there for us, and every half hour or so, they would announce, "There's going to be a twenty minute period of clear weather, so if you can get somewhere in that time, you might want to try it." By the end of the storm, there were only three groups left. Finally, they came down and told us that we could go upstairs and order whatever we wanted, on the house, but they asked us to take care of our servers. We, of course, tipped them about the cost of our meals. Our waitress was fabulous, and the food was just outstanding. The only downside was that we couldn't stick around for dessert.

And that was just the day we arrived!! More to come....

I'm always "blown away" by the food at Lynn's. And don't ask strange men in airports to take your picture if you want it to turn out well.


Jean in Georgia said...

Ah yes, you managed to get a pic of me stuffing my face with the great food... well, I was *traumatized*, you know...

TeresaB said...

Why is everyone making such a big deal of me not letting Jean watch TWC. Seriously, I knew things might be happening but it was cool and no one got hurt in the process of getting fed...really yummy food.

Erin (moviemuse) said...

That was just the first day? The remainder of the trip was either absolutely nuts or quite a let-down in comparison. LOL

Susan @ Real Girl Designs said...

Sounds like a great trip - can't wait to read more of your adventures!

Old Geek-outs