Weekend Travel to Atlanta
Atlanta is only 1:45 hours from JFK. When I got off the Marta from the Airport, I was surprised to see how close the Westin Hotel was — it was a half a block away from the station!
I walked inside and went to the front desk to check in for the weekend. I was handed a key to the 35th Floor, walked over to the elevators and went upstairs.
The view from the room was magnificent. There was floor to ceiling windows with a panoramic view of the city of Atlanta. It was gorgeous!
The room had a king-sized bed with a desk and plenty of room to move around. Sometimes when I go to various cities, I get a very small room and you can barely move around the bed. This room was large and comfortable.
I even liked the bathroom. It was small, but it had a walk-in shower.
The Westin is accessible to everything downtown and if it’s not, the Marta is right there.
While I was in town, I didn’t go to many restaurants, but I did frequent the hotel’s Sundial, which is certainly worth mentioning.
Interesting Elevator Ride
I was starving when I got into town on Friday afternoon. The last time I ate was at 6 am that morning and all I had was a tiny bag of almonds and two small cookies on the Delta plane. I saw there was a restaurant in the Westin hotel. I walked over.
There was a couple looking at the menu. I didn’t even want to look, I was so hungry I didn’t want to walk around Atlanta for a place to eat. (Sometimes, you just have to eat when you’re ready to eat….)
The woman behind the desk took my name and told me to get in the elevator. I walked in. “Oh, it’s all glass,” I thought to myself. This will be a nice ride.
I was alone. The elevator doors closed and soon, I was traveling up. I could quickly see the entire city of Atlanta below me. The elevator continued to travel up.
I passed the tallest building in the city. Now I started to have a “freak out” in my head.
“Are we going to stop?”
“Oh my God, this is ridiculously high!”
“Oh Lord, when will this stop?”
It felt like an eternity when the elevator door finally opened. I was unsteady and quickly exited. I saw a young couple as I was getting out. “Oh my God, that was scary!” I said.
They laughed. The hostess showed me to my table which overlooked the entire city. I saw the new Mercedes stadium and some other interesting buildings.
At the Restaurant
I ordered a sandwich – Turkey, Swiss and Cole Slaw. I never saw cole slaw on a sandwich, but I figured that’s how they roll in the south. They had some interesting items on the menu, but none really struck my fancy. So, I went with the old standby, turkey sandwich and salad.
After the meal, I walked around the walkway. The restaurant was in the round and I was able to walk all around on a walkway. It was beautiful.
I had the choice of taking that same crazy elevator down or taking the inside elevator. Believe it or not, I chose the outside one. It was much better going down than going up!
At the Galloway Meet Up
Jeff Galloway and his store Phidipidees is located in Atlanta and he was organizing the Double G that weekend – a 5K run on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been feeling great leading up to the race, so I just ended up running the 5K.
The rest of the weekend was filled with seminars and meetings with Jeff Galloway and his team.
Meeting Billy Mills
We had the opportunity to shop in Phidipedees, his running store and was offered a discount. After a little shopping, the program directors and I sat and listened to a moving speech by Billy Mills, the first Native American to win the 10,000 meter run in the 1964 Olympics.
Billy talked about how challenges are lessons.
“The Journey not the destination empowered me as an athlete”
“Daily decisions choreograph our destiny”
“Unity through Diversity”
All resonated with me. He talked about how he was spit on as a child and told he was no good. So could you imagine the feeling he got when he surpassed every runner in the ’64 Olympics?
It was highly emotional. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Check out this video in case you don’t know who he is.
The other highlight of the trip was meeting incredible people from across the country. I finally met Anna from Sonoma County, California. Her whole neighborhood was destroyed in the fires. (I sent a care package to her when I heard the story. Actually, all of the Galloway program directors stepped up to the plate to help out.)
I also met Cheri from Ventura County, California, who is experiencing fires now. Lisa and Tom from Jensen Beach were amazing. I found that I have so much in common with Lisa and she had a friend who lived on the same block as me. Small world! I also met Tom from Philadephia who told me he does ultra marathons. I ended up running the 5K with Tom, Lisa and Tom. We had a blast! Meeting Shannah and Kelly was also an absolute pleasure, I found that Shannah and I are in the same line of work.
I just found it amazing that I was there with these strangers and yet, running brought us all together and helped us bond. It was so powerful.
Since I didn’t run the half, I decided to call Delta and get an earlier flight home. They told me no problem and even gave me a $30 credit. Now that’s real service…
After the weekend:
I got to the airport early. It was packed! My plane was delayed 15 minutes but we made it up in the air. After I was back in my home unpacking, the phone rang, it was Derek, my son. “Did you hear about the shut down in the Atlanta Airport?” he asked me.
I hadn’t heard. He told me that 15 minutes after my flight took off, the airport shut down. If I had taken my original flight or the one I was thinking about taking right before that, I would have been stuck. Thankfully, I moved my flight! Thanks Delta for being so accommodating!