I flew into Atlanta a day early before the official start of the TPR trip, to meet up with friends, since I have a lot of them in Atlanta.
My flight got in really early (by 9am) and I was at the hotel by 9:40. Despite asking for early check in, they didn't have a room available for me yet - as there was a large Church group that was just checking out.
How do I know they were a Church group? 35 or so elderly black women in giant hats, dressed to the nines, wearing TONS of perfume - and apparently I look like I need to be saved, as at least 3 of them attempted to give me Church literature. (HA)
I politely declined, tipped the desk agent 'if there's anything he could do to get a room ready for me as quickly as possible', and then just hung out in the lobby with the strong perfume smell for about an hour until they buzzed me that they had a room ready for me. Actually ended up perfect, since my friends didn't come to pick me up until ~11:30, so by then I was already in a room, and changed and ready to go for the day.
Mike and Lisa picked me up at the hotel and took me to a fantastic local dive/fast food place called "Martin's". . best chili dog I've had in years, and we met up with Mike's brother Chip - who also is a friend of mine.
Despite having been to Atlanta 23+ times in the last 25 years for Dragon*Con, I’ve never actually taken time away from Con to go to SFoG, so was really excited that we would be going there on the TPR trip.
So of COURSE, where did my friends and I decide we would go for the day? Yep. We went with their kiddo, so really it was more about wandering around with my friends and them showing me the park / layout – tho we did sit down to watch an “entertaining” (?) comedy gunfight show called “ShenanniGuns”. . . it was so brutally awful, that we stayed and watched the whole thing
We mainly wandered around, riding a few of the smaller coasters, basically whatever the kiddo wanted to get on, so the Swings, Monster Mansion, Skybuckets, and once I found out Lisa had never been on a LarsonLoop, we got in the short wait for the Joker “chaos coaster” – short wait, HA. . with Six Flags operations, what should have been a 5 minute wait stretched out to almost a ½ hour. . in the sun. Oh they had the posts, with the eyehooks, for the hanging cloth covering over the queue, but nothing was there! So we stood in the sun sweating, while the ops chatted on their phones, talked to each other, and occasionally just stared at the line of people without getting up from their chairs to check restraints.
At least my friends loved the ride, and it was fun (and we got to watch someone lose their phone during the ride. . wonder how long it will be until cell phones are banned from all rides, because people are just too stupid and ruin it for everyone).
they tricked me into riding Blue Hawk, since the kiddo wanted to ride, and they claimed they had ridden it so much that I should take her. Dang liars, it hurt. . . (it’s just Ninja with a paint job, and signs everywhere CLAIMING it's a smoother ride). Stinky friends.
I also got to experience ZERO airtime on the Great American Scream Machine – which seemed to be due to the trains they were running with – although it did seem to be running faster, and got a little air on my ride two days later with TPR).
I did spot a really cool souvenir from the Justice League gift shop, that I picked up the next trip to the park (a Harley Quinn Santeria candle). We didn’t’ ride the ride (line was too long), just went into the gift shop, I made them go in as penance for them tricking me into Blue Hawk.
While walking around the park, we did bump into both Sylvester (no Tweety tho, which was odd), and Bugs Bunny, who nodded “yes” when I asked if I could rub the bunny’s tummy” resulting in a hysterical picture set that we laughed about for the rest of the night.
So I got my fill of meeting a costumed character, even tho we didn’t make it to the Carousel. It was great seeing my friends, and it gave me a nice idea of the layout of the park.
After meeting up with Brianna and gabbing dinner at a great local hole in the wall, called Eat's (right up the street from the famous Tea Room) that had some wonderful down home south and Cajun food, they dropped me back at the hotel, just in time to meet up with James – my roomie for the night whom had just flown in from England.
We went down to the main sports bar to grab a drink and bumped into Michael – my roomie for the TPR trip, who happened to be staying in the same hotel. .and we hung out and visited for a bit, before giving in and crashing for the evening.