Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Going to Gorgeous Georgia

I suddenly wake up to the sound of my dad--quickly checking my clock to only find the time to be 3:10 AM. As I try to snap out of “zombie mode,” I swiftly change into my sweats, t-shirt, and light jacket. I leave the house at 3:30 AM and arrive at El Cerrito at exactly 3:50 AM with my three bags, greeting my fellow friends who were freezing in the Bay Area weather. The cold wind would pass ever so often, and we would warm up our bodies by exercising. Staying bundled together; we were listening to Don’s last speech. He gave us the colorful itinerary and delicious snacks for the long plane trip. It was exciting to be the first group to leave the Bay Area, and I couldn’t wait to arrive at Atlanta, Georgia. When the shuttle arrived, we all were saying our last good-byes to our parents. I hugged my mom and my dad saying the last “I love you” to them and saying that I would call when arriving at the airport. Our shuttle bus had these amazing lights, with different colors such as, neon green, blue, and purple. It was very interesting to be able to stand perfectly in the bus, because the roof was a good couple feet above my head. I am talking about lights because just moments before, Don was taking fabulous, high quality pictures of us. I believed that we were models during that short amount of time. But back on track, we were on the bus heading to SFO Airport. Still tired from waking up early, I tried to get some rest on the bus but I was just closing my eyes from the lights illuminating the highway. Once arriving at the airport, we stood in line to get our bags checked in, and off we were to the security check. It was my first time going through the TSA Pre, and it was high-paced. I placed my two bags and my jacket in the machine, and voila, I was done. I waited for the others to get done, and we were going to get breakfast.

Breakfast was delicious and filling. I had a breakfast sandwich that was definitely too much for me, but it was tasty. Afterwards, we were getting ready to board the plane. It seemed forever before we actually got seated, so to pass the time, we were talking about the Hunger Games. The new trailer, along with the mentioning of our favorite movie filled the hallway before we arrived on the plane. Shanti and Helen were discussing about the monkeys, and I jokingly said that the monkeys in the Hunger Games were called “Hungry Monkeys.” They looked at me with serious eyes that I couldn’t help but continue on with the joke. Then Shanti said that the movie should have had Hungry Hippos. I found it hilarious. I imagined during the middle of an intense scene, an ad would pop up and announce, “This game is brought to you by Hungry, Hungry Hippos…” Hippos would then rise above the water and soon disappear, a sign that the action should resume. As the image replayed in my head, we boarded the plane, and lifted off. I sat with Julie on my left, and Helen on my right. The five hour flight from San Francisco to Atlanta began at that moment. 

As the flight comes to an end, we left the plane in search of our check-in luggage; figuratively across the country. It was a long, humid, hot walk from our gate to where the domestic luggage; but once we found our luggage, we left the airport to be greeted by “Hotlanta.” I was wishing to arrive at the Holiday Inn as quickly as possible, but the drive was really long. The humidity rested on my skin, a feeling that I once forgot long ago. It kept attacking me, making me fatigue with every hour until I entered the air conditioned hotel. A sigh of relief escaped my lungs, and I am rejuvenated with every passing minute. 

The Holiday Inn Haven
The moment Helen and I entered our hotel room, we were greeted by the air conditioner. It was blissful to walk in and place all of our luggage off of our shoulders. Mr. Chan-Law has mentioned that we will be able to have about an hour to relax before going back down to the lobby for dinner. Helen and I are watching Deal or No Deal, when a knock is heard. It was Julie and Shanti. They decided to come and join the blog party in our room. The show continues and we are all critiquing each player's decision of choosing, "No Deal." It was absurd to watch each contestant refuse the banker's offers every time, only leading them into a downward spiral. As 5:20 PM approaches, all six of us arrive at the lobby to Mr. Chan-Law for dinner. 

We take a van to downtown Atlanta to find ourselves surrounded by CNN, The World of Coca Cola, and the Centennial Olympic Park. Once arriving at the park, Mr. Chan-Law quickly searches for a place to eat. He suggested Ted's Montana Grill, a 4 star restaurant on Yelp. We walked in the 90 degree weather to the restaurant, and the food there was delicious. I never had a bison burger before, and I'm glad to have had it at Ted's. It was juicy, moist, and tender. The barbecue sauce dripped down from the burger, and the bacon and the onion rings added a nice crunch to the burger. I definitely enjoyed it, but I was struggling to finish my meal. The patty was really big, and took a good third of the entire burger. I really think this restaurant deserves a 5 star review for it's food, and it's service.

Chilling with the Coca Cola Captain
After the hefty dinner, we decided to walk off the pounds. We walked over to the Olympic Park to take photos and to play frisbee. I enjoyed our game of frisbee, but the true players were Helen and Justice. They had the skills and the rest of us were trying to learn their technique on throwing a frisbee. At the end of our game, I was profusely sweating. The heat was not helping either, and I was wishing to get back to the cool hotel A.S.A.P. Luckily, the van arrived a few minutes after we stopped playing and we were on our way "home." 

When we finally arrive at the hotel, we are excited to watch the Golden State Warriors v. the Cavaliers. The seven of us will be supporting our Bay Area team and hopefully Stephen Curry's shooting skills will be on point. I also can't wait to see what LeBron James has to offer, and see what the outcome of the game will be. This game will be the game to see. 

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