You were hot. So hot. I regretted flying in wearing my cowboy boots. So much. I suppose it didn't help that I was coming from San Francisco, where it was cold, so cold. So I had on skinny jeans and sweaters and socks. Oh Atlanta, you devil you, you ripped me a new one when I was walking down your cracked sidewalks, trying to take back control of my suitcase, that thing had a mind of it's own when it hit those cracks. You got me to sweat in places I didn't know I could sweat.
But I fell in love with you.
Your iced tea? Was that laden with sugar or crack cocaine? Either way, fine by me, say I. Your people? Some of the most genuine and kind-hearted I've encountered. Except that one bus driver. But I'm willing to overlook that.
I think my favorite citizens of yours were the electric guitarist in the revolving high rise hotel bar that we thought we were sneaking into (turns out, not), who recommended a restaurant, and then, upon us asking for directions, said he wasn't sure, he was supposed to play a gig there the night before but his car broke down on the highway, and he never made it. I'm willing to bet his car isn't there anymore.
The kids playing in the fountain were incredibly entertaining, thank goodness there were scores of them and even more adults watching, so I didn't feel like a creeper.
The woman in the pizza shop, who told me all about her husband and his obsession with salon visits and buying new wigs. And also the gentleman making the pizza. He was a charmer.
Sharlene, the woman who I rented the car from. We ended up chit-chatting for fifteen or more minutes. Sorry people behind me in line, but I had to convince her that she wouldn't need to cross any bridges to visit San Francisco. And she had to convince me that hurricanes are no big thing. According to Sharlene, you just go down to the basement, drink for three days, and then surface to see what happened. Her words. No big thing.
Then there was the man at the gates of the car rental company. He remembered me when I drove through a week later. I had remembered his name at the time, but now it's gone.
But the best, THE BEST, was Roberta. When we returned our rental car after a week of exploring, and were planning on checking out another car from another company, Roberta won a gold star. I pulled in to return the car, she directed me where to park, and then, when I hop (literally) out of the car on crutches, Roberta comes running. Baby, I didn't know you was on CRUTCHES! Roberta let us bring our new rental car from another company to her side of the parking lot so that we could load our stuff straight from one car to another, instead of us trying to lug two suitcases, two backpacks, two sleeping bags, purses, snacks, and big ass floppy Southern hats we bought from the Walgreens down the street from our hostel. We also bought a bottle of wine, a bottle opener, and face masks from that Walgreens so we could spend an evening on our third floor balcony being lazy.
Lia called you Hotlanta. I refused to. But you were. You were Hot. Lanta.
I loved you, Atlanta. I loved your people, your food, your cocktails, your houses, your parks.
I did not like your hostel quite as much.
Mainly because your hostel had cockroaches. And mattresses made of springs, and springs alone. And I kept imagining that a murderer was lurking in the shadows. Because there were a lot of shadows and not many light switches, you know.
I've never been a screamer, Atlanta, but you got me good a few times with those nasty ass cockroaches of yours. Those things just roam the streets, no shame. I couldn't handle the one in my hostel room. I trapped it under the plunger. Then, remarkably, the next morning it was gone. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?
And what was up with that farmer's market that was supposed to exist but didn't? Not exactly cool, Atlanta.
But oh, Atlanta, your houses. They were beautiful. Dream houses. And your park swings overlooking the lake. And your people, have I mentioned your people? And your live music? That sax player and I are now best friends. Fo life, fo sho. Your popsicles were tastier, too.
Someday I'll return to you Atlanta, and I'm for damned sure drinking a few more of those Torched Cherry Mojitos.
my travel buddy, Lia
the cutest little boy who was obsessed, obsessed with that scooter.
Lia wanted to take him home. I wanted her to not say that aloud.
we keep things classy
our revolving cocktails