Sunday, January 04, 2009

Adventures in ATL

A month or so ago, Melissa L. that Nikki works announced that she would be visiting some Ukrainian orphanges during Christmas while on the way to England to visit her parents. Nikki and I love Melissa- she makes me laugh at absolutely nothing and for no reason- she just makes me laugh. She had a way to the airport, but she needed someone to pick her up. Thinking we could make a day of it in the city, Nikki volunteered us for the pick-up.

At the same time Paul G. was home for Christmas and wanted to take a trip to the mall before returning to FL. He decided to go with us on Saturday to have some mall time, dinner and a movie and he would depart from there the next day. His mom was going to play too, so realizing that Melissa's plane did not get into the ATL ariport until midnight on Saturday, Nikki and I decided to get a hotel room as well across from the mall of GA. Pauls mom was going too- she and Paul would get a room and Nikki and I would get a room that we would share with Melissa.

We left the big town of Franklin around 11:30am on Saturday- met Paul and his mom at the Whistle Stop and then began our convoy of three mall bound vehicles, but first stopped for a wonderful lunch at Chic-Fil-A in Clayton. Love Polynisian sauce... five out of four stars! Love Chic-Fil-A... a billion out of four stars!

We arrived at the mall around 1:30ish and hit the isles shopping- great sales, evne better than te day after Christmas. Nikki and I were both on a mission for jeans. I found one pair, she found three- shocker. We made returns, ate cookies and went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button... four out of four stars. Finally, a movie with an actual story with a climax and an arch to the characters. It lasted almost three hours, but was worth the time spent sitting in the dark. Movie ended at 10:30pm, but before we ever went into the theatre, Melissa had called and said her flight from Charlotte (where she would connect and then fly to Atlanta, where we would be waiting) had been cancelled. Uh-oh. She was on stand by for a direct flight to Atlanta from New York, but wasn't sure. During the movie Nikki watched her phone and kept in contact with Melissa. Towards the end of the film, we found out that Melissa was on the flight and would be arriving at the Atlanta ariport about 12:45am. So what to do while we wait? Eat. Nikki, Paul, Brenda and I went to On the Border for a late dinner. Exactly- mexican at 11:00pm. Thank you Lord for Nexium.

We had a nice dinner with a waitress from Poland. At 11:45pm, Nikki and I left the restaurant for the big city in rain and heavy fog. Driving was slow, so we got to the airport around 12:30am. We waited. We waited some more. Then we waited a little longer. At 1am Melissa called and said she was there and getting ready to get on the subway to baggage claim. We waited. We waited some more. Then we waited a little longer. Now realize, poor Melissa had been on countless flights from the Ukraine, all of which had had delays and had now been awake without any sleep for over 24 hours. When she got on the subway she got on the wrong one and had to circle the entire airport before getting to baggage claim. Finally, the British lady had made it back to the Home of the Brave and was ready to head to her own nest. We went to bagage claim- no luggage. Melissa's bag was red and she was delirious from lack of sleep, so everytime a red bag would go by on any of the carriers, Melissa would say maybe that is it and I would run after it. No luck. We had no idea where her luggage would be on any flight from NY because of all the last minute changes that had been made in her flight schedule. 2am we go to the Delta desk and after waiting in line we discover that Melissa's bags are still in NY. They will ship them on Monday.

On to the hotel! Yea for hotels! But wait, Melissa had no clothes or anything. Luckily we knew there was a 24 hour super Wal-Mart near the mall of GA. We go there, get Melissa some sleep gear, grab some muffins, doughnut holes and apple juice and we start to go. Melissa had only eaten airline snacks and as we were walking out the Wal-Mart suddenly says, "Wait! I'm hungry!" She runs to the bakery and grabs a large turkey sub.

We get on the elevator about 3:30am to go to our room and break open the doughnut holes and apple juice. Melissa has her sub which is extremely dry. At one point she threatens to dunk her sub in a cup of apple juice. We don't know if she was serious or just suffering from fatigue.

We all get calmed down, Melissa has her bed and Nikki and I ours. Finally 4am, going to bed. Now when I get tired, I get giddy. And I was tired. For some reason, I started laughing and so did everyone else- uncontrollably. After laughing out all of our exhaustion, we go to sleep.

At 5:30am, Melissa's phone started ringing. It was an alarm. Melissa didn't hear because she was so tired, so Nikki staggers over to Melissa's purse and tries to turn it off. For the past three weeks, Melissa had spent time in a very poor region of the Ukraine. Imagine being really tired and waking up after an entire day of travel and seeing someone in the dark digging throug hyour purse at the foot of your bed. Too funny! Melissa settled from her start, Nikki still asleep stumbled back to bed and we all got quiet again for about three minutes. Phone ring- again. Turn it off. Go to bed. Sleep till 10:30am on Sunday.

Paul left for FL. Brenda went to Target and then home. Nikki, Melissa and I ate lunch/breakfast and then went to Targetto pick up some supplies for Seuss and then came home. It was a long weekend by so fun. Between hanging out with Brenda and Paul to waiting in the airport to seeing an overly fatigued Melissa crash into things at Super Wal-Mart at 3am, I haven't laughed so much in forever!

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