Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quick trip to Atlanta

To complete all the necessary details to head to India, a quick trip to Atlanta was in order.

Atlanta is around a 5-6 hour drive from my adopted dad's home plus you lose an hour. I drove down on Tuesday, but forgot about the hour difference so was an hour late to the Tuesday night contra dance. I'd expected a good gathering since Atlanta has a couple big contra dance weekends, but it was a puny little group. The band far outnumbered the dancers.

Even so, I had a good time and danced my heart away.

Then it was on to meet my couch surfing host. Boy, do I get lucky with couch surfers and hosts. My host was so kind, thoughtful, and helpful. Meeting my new friend was the highlight of my trip.

The following day I drove up to Walmart for a quick turn-around passport photo since they like current ones and the last one I'd had taken was a year ago and it wasn't one I wanted to see on my passport for the next 10 years. I had called ahead and the store said the photo department opened at 9, so I walked it at 9:05 only to be told the machine had just been turned on and it would be a half hour for it to warm up before they could print my pictures. That threw off my timing, so instead of being able to park cheaply near my host's home in Midtown and walk downtown, I waited for the pictures and then hurriedly drove downtown, parked at an overrated lot and made it to my appointment only a few minutes late.

Not having made an appointment to renew my passport before I didn't know the details. Had I known, I would have not bothered rushing. After walking through security, I gave the person at the first set of windows my paperwork and then sat and waited for 45 minutes until my number was called. It was only then that I was told the agency was only for expedited passport renewal. The lady I'd spoken with on the phone hadn't mentioned that when I said I only needed a regular renewal speed. So I'd just wasted money on parking and time sitting. Arg.

Oh well, it was a nice day so I walked back outside and ate a quick lunch so I could have 20 minutes to nap in the car before walking to my next appointment. That all went smoothly and I returned to my car to drive home. Since I had extra time I was able to find FREE parking!!!  And still more time enabled me to get an Insanity workout in before my final appointment of the day.

Then it was back to my host's home where I spoke the honest truth that I'm a terrible cook and that if there was to be any edible food tonight, it would not be made by me. So I serenaded my host on my violin while supper was prepared. I think it was a good trade off :)

The next day was all about the music. I woke up and prepared to have a long day of rehearsal and recording. Unfortunately my accompanist wasn't prepared and so after a few hours of practice we discussed options and went our separate ways. After a leisurely tour through a nice store, Health Unlimited, where I found this card that I now need to print up and put in my violin case so I see it every day,

I returned home to meet my host, walk to Piedmont Park (where I played Death and the Maiden on my phone and zoned out figuring my next plan of attack), grab some tasty Mexican food, and do my Insanity workout. Wasn't the day I had planned but the Duck Pond 2012 Pinot Noir was quite tasty that night!

The next day's plans were to return to Nashville in the evening and since my morning/early afternoon was now free I hopped onto the Meetup website to see if there were any good sports groups I could join for a fun time. Turns out there was a beach volleyball meetup happening at the same park I'd walked to the night before (which is a fabulous park by the way). It was nearby and proper level of play for me. I was thrilled. After saying goodbye and thank you to my host I left for the park. When I arrived (10 minutes late because I couldn't find my contacts), no one was there. So I sat down on a park bench and checked on my phone to see if I was in the right place only to discover that the meetup had been canceled. Boy, my luck this trip wasn't so hot.

So instead of a romping and vigorous game of 2 on 2 beach volleyball, I walked around the park, headed back home to shower and return to Nashville.

A bright sunny day in the active oval at Piedmont Park.

Nibbling away but watching me none the less :)

Not a soul in sight, but some high rise buildings.

Beautiful green lawn as far as the eye can see.

Walking along 10th St. next to Piedmont Park, the streets are lined with flowers and unique houses.

I loved the artsy blue door!

This is one way to never have to mow your lawn...just use ground cover.
It was a rather frustrating trip in many ways, but I now have questions answered and curiosities assuaged. It's time to move forward and focus on what's next: hopefully India, hopefully a couple of symphony concerts, and the day to day improvements of mind, body and soul.