Getting to Philadelphia was no problem. It was leaving that seemed to be the sticking point.
I had a long layover in Philadelphia – over an hour and a half. The Embraer Regional Jet to Atlanta was in on time. We boarded on time. And then the announcement.
The pilot came on from the cockpit to tell us thunderstorms around Atlanta were going hold us up. It would be an hour until he found out when we’d be!” And, since the gate was needed for another plane, he’d drive to a quiet spot for us to wait.
I’d like to tell you the passengers protested, or the wait was interminable or some other tragic story of passenger pain, but it wasn’t that bad. We left Philadelphia about an hour and a half late.
I actually found the plane, an ERJ170, reasonably comfortable. Just like the Dash-8 I took from New Haven to Philadelphia, this plane had plenty of legroom in narrow seats. The interior was spartan and somehow European. The interior actually reminded me of a Fokker-100.¹
Is it just me or is it weird to be on an airplane designed and built in Brazil?
The trip to Atlanta was bumpy, but uneventful. Getting off in Atlanta was another story. The terminal looked like a mall on the weekend before Christmas. It was jammed – as busy as any airline terminal I had ever visited.
Helaine had found a great deal for a medium size car from Avis. That ended up being a Chevy Malibu. It is possible there is a car that has less style, but I doubt it. It looks like it was designed and built with absolutely no anticipation anyone would actually want to own one. They were right.
My hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn – Perimeter in one of the many exurbs that ring Atlanta. This is actually a fairly nice hotel and a good value. And, along with everything else, there’s free high speed Internet service (though not enough signal at the desk in this room to use it from there).
This evening (a late evening) I joined Mark and Annie, both of whom I worked with at Channel 8, for dinner. I left it up to them and we went to Ted’s… owned by Ted Turner and featuring Bison meat!
We all had Bison burgers, which were very good. I also had New England clam chowder (could have been warmer and larger, but it was very tasty). This being Atlanta, Coca Cola’s world headquarters, I broke down and had a Coke, which was served from the glass bottle.
Next stop was CNN, where Mark and Annie now work. This is interesting because there are familiar views in the CNN Center that I’ve seen for years.
Visiting CNN at night, there were no on-air types to be seen. Most of their nighttime programming is from New York or Los Angeles (Larry King).
Actually, that gave me more of an opportunity to look around. Their newsroom, directly behind the news set, may be the most photogenic TV space I’ve ever been in.
Busy day. I’m going to bed.
¹ – The Fokker 100 is a small, though older, regional jet. USAir used to fly them to Buffalo. They were quite comfortable, except for the low ceilings. They were low enough that I once asked a flight attendant if her assignment in this particular model was penance for something she had done?