Tuesday, 30 December 2014

DAY 20 - Hawkward Times On The Road

Hi all, and welcome to the Day 20 Blog brought to you from Atlanta, Georgia.

Today was another transit day.

We left our Hotel in Matthews (south-east of Charlotte) at around 0815h embarking on the 261 mile / 420 km drive to Atlanta. The drive takes us from North Carolina (the birthplace of aviation), into South Carolina (apparently the birthplace of the BBQ) and into Georgia (the birthplace of the mighty C-130 Hercules...according to me).

Fortunately, this is was one of our shorter drives taking just under four hours to accomplish. Of all of the fairly nondescript drives we have had on this holiday, this would have had to be the least interesting. In fact, at one point, I thought the car's engine was playing up, then realised that all of my passengers were snoring.

Charlotte, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia

We stopped for lunch at Cracker-barrel in the town of Commerce, Georgia. Cracker-barrel is an old style restaurant offering homely-type meals and certainly was a nice break from fast-food. My meal was a meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetables and it was real nice. Everyone else seemed happy with their meals also. Whilst in Commerce we stopped at a Tangers Outlet Centre to pick up some more stuff.

Welcome to Atlanta, Georgia

The Promenade 2 building (left) and an office building (right)

We arrived in Atlanta, mid-late afternoon and booked into our hotel which is in the downtown district, before venturing out for some food supplies. We then set about planning to travel to Phillips Arena to watch another NBA game, this time between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Bob and I had another disagreement, but it wasn't Bob's fault, he's just old and Atlanta has changed since he last had his maps updated. So when I plugged in the address for Phillips Arena which is located in the city centre into Bob (our GPS) and noticed the city buildings getting smaller in my rear-view mirror, I knew there was a problem. However, between Bob, myself and a city map (skillfully narrated by the boys) we still managed to get to the Arena just in time for the game.

The obligatory family shot with me as photographer

We had hoped to catch LeBron James who now plays for the Cavaliers, as it was his birthday, but unfortunately he was injured and out of the game. But that's okay, he showed up on the bench anyways. Also, noting that LeBron James was going to be a big draw card for the game, all attendees were given free Atlanta Hawks T-Shirts, which is a pretty good consolation.

It's Lebron James, and he seems really happy?

The match was pretty exciting and we were in good company as Usher was also watching the match with us. I kinda felt like I was Paparazzi at this match.

Usher with his Son and Bodyguard close behind

In the end, the Hawks won the game, making this our first NBA match (this trip) where the home team has won. We were beginning to think it was our fault.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand for the National Anthem

For Sal...again

Action from the game

The drive back to the hotel (a mere 1.9 miles) was equally adventurous as the trip to the Arena as the inner city of Atlanta appears to have changed dramatically in recent years. In fact where once was a road, there was a building, so Bob and I continued our issues. I think that 1.9 mile distance to get home required about 5 miles of detours as Bob kept asking me to turn down roads that no longer exist. But we managed to make it back.

So between the problems with my GPS and the Hawks win, today certainly was a little bit Hawkward. Well that's it for today. Looks like we have a busy rest day planned for tomorrow.

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