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-   -   Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Day 1 (https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=240771)

ariel2006 8 Sep 08 11:03 PM

Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Day 1
 
Day 1 ~ Flying on a Jet Plane...to Atlanta. And then on to Chattanooga (Choo Choo baby)

We were up at 7.15am, got showered and dressed and then went over to Mumís room. We took over some champagne and orange juice so we could all start the day in style which they loved.

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We went down to the Garden Restaurant for our buffet breakfast which was included with our rooms. The buffet was really good and they had a really good selection of food, there was a section with smoked salmon, cold meats and cheese and fruit, one with pastries, cereals and juices and then a section with all the cooked food. We were brought fresh orange juice and coffee to the table and helped ourselves to the buffet, it was all really good.

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After breakfast we went back to the room to finish our packing and then all met up in the lobby. We walked to the South Terminal and then caught the monorail to the North Terminal where our flight was from.

A couple pictures of our frequent flyer (I love these, although the second ones not the best quality)
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We went and found the BA check-in desks and checked all our luggage in which took about 15 minutes. We then headed through security, where I got stopped. I had chucked a bottle opener in my bag at the last minute and stupidly forgot to move it in to my suitcase, I did feel rather stupid but the man was very nice about it :nonono:.
Once through Nick and I picked up our dollars from Travelex and then had a look around the duty free shops. I got myself some Lacoste Touch of Pink perfume and a YSL Touche Eclait and got Mum one too as well as a Clinique eyeliner and an Elizabeth Arden beauty set.

Once that was done we didnít have long to wait before walking down to our boarding gate, which was, for once, surprisingly close. This time it was Mumís turn to get searched but after that we were boarding within about 5 minutes. We were seated in 34 A-E, about 9 rows from the back. Sophie, Nick and I sat in the window seats and Mum and Dad sat just across in the middle seats as Mum doesnít like to be near the window was she doesnít really like flying. We had to wait for a while before we took off, Sophie and I filled the time by taking some funny pictures and eating nearly a whole bag of haribo.

Messing about with the camera
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Eventually we took off about 10 minutes late, Sophie loved taking off and we watched out the window as we flew over England and into the clouds.

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Pretty soon into the journey we were served drinks and some pretzels. They had a couple of good films on including Kung Fu Panda, Made of Honour and Drilbit Taylor but my eyes were too tired to watch anything and Nick couldnít get any sound out of his. He did tell the flight attendant who told someone else who tried several times to get it fixed but with no luck. He apologised several times and said he would pass on the concerns to customer services and offered him some champagne; they were very good about it. Dinner was served soon after and there was a choice of salmon or sausage and mash, which Nick, Sophie and I had. It came with a salad (which was really weird), a mini Twix, chocolate profiteroles, a bread roll, a bottle of water and some wine.

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ariel2006 8 Sep 08 11:04 PM

After dinner I tried to sleep but couldn’t get comfy, Nick, dad and Sophie were all playing on their DS’s which kept them amused. At 1.15pm Atlanta time we were given some juice. Sophie and I watched out the window as we flew over Canada, there was lots and lots of water but we wanted to see Whales, he he.
About an hour before we landed we were served little boxes containing very yummy lemon and black pepper chicken sandwiches, a chocolate brownie, melon, water and tea or coffee.

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After that we filled in our immigration forms and then it was time to land.

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Our first sightings of Atlanta
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We landed at 4.25pm, the landing was very smooth but unfortunately it was raining as we came down, I swear it is always raining when we land. We managed to get off the plane fairly quickly but then had to wait ages to get through immigration. Then we had to collect our luggage, only to drop if off again. We started walking towards baggage reclaim only to find that there was a monorail going there after we had already walked 2 stops. We got onto the monorail and got to baggage reclaim but nothing had started coming through yet.

Excited to finally be there
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Mum and I went over to the Thrifty car hire desk to pick up our car, there were only 3 people in front of us but there was only 1 girl on the desk so we ended up waiting about 45 minutes. When we eventually got to the front the girl sorted our car pretty quickly, great that was easily sorted, or so we thought. Mum had been told by the person she booked the car through, another company, that we could add Nick to the insurance so he could just drive on certain days. However the woman told us that we would have to go back to the airport every time we wanted to take him off or add him on which obviously wasn’t possible as we were going out of state. Then she gave us directions to get the shuttle to the car hire place. Now when Mum had booked the car she had also asked about whether the car hire was onsite so we wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere to get it. The man that booked it had told her it was offsite but there was no problem getting it delivered to the airport to meet us. When we had joined this queue today initially the woman had told us we could get the shuttle straight over to the office to check in but we had said about being told we could pick it up here and she said ok that’s fine, but now she was saying we had to go over on the shuttle and get it, ahhhhhhhhhhhh. She could see we were slightly annoyed with all the mix ups so she phoned ahead to make sure our car was ready and told us when we got there not to join the queue but to go to the front of the office and that it would be waiting. So 2 hours after we had got off the plane we were on the shuttle to pick up our car...

...When we got there however there was no car waiting and no-one around to ask :nonono:. Mum and Dad joined the queue inside but it was double the size of the one we had already been in and people were saying they had already been there 30 minutes, by this point we were pretty annoyed. I went and found a girl outside who said she would find someone, which she did about 15 minutes later. When the manager finally came out he saw to another woman first even after we said we had been told the car would be waiting and then when he finally got to us he spent about 15 minutes looking at his computer, phoning people and making us sign the same forms we had already signed. Eventually we got a 7 seater minivan, like we had booked, but it was pretty dirty still even though it was now 2 hours after we had put down to pick it up.
We always seem to have problems with our car hire; it’s so frustrating after a long plane ride to have all these problems. Especially as we still had a 3 hour drive ahead of us and it was already gone 7pm.

It took Dad a bit of time to adjust to the car and then we were off, pretty slowly to begin. We only drove through the suburbs of Atlanta so we didn’t really get to see much of it but the rest of the journey was pretty straight forward, Sophie and I just sat in the back and watched a DVD on our new portable DVD player. About 9.30pm we finally arrived in Chattanooga, it looked so much bigger than we expected as we drove through and saw all the lights of the city. We found the Sheraton Read House pretty easily thanks to sat nav and valet parked the car. We checked in straight away, the man on check in was very friendly and had a really cool Southern accent. He gave us some history of the hotel and told us all about Moon Pies, which he gave us a box of.

The beautiful lobby
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Some other areas of the hotel
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We then went to our rooms which were on the sixth floor, the Starwood Preferred Guest floor. The rooms were next to each other which was handy, they were very big and very nice, they had 2 big beds, a couple of comfy chairs, and area with a coffee maker with Starbuck’s coffee and take-out cups, a big desk with a huge leather desk chair, a massive flat screen LCD TV and a really nice bathroom with lots of nice toiletries.

Not the best picture but it shows the room

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After we had checked out our rooms and dropped our luggage off us headed out for tea. Nick and I stopped at reception en-route to ask about breakfast vouchers and champagne and cheese plate we were suppose to get as part of the package we had booked, the man was very nice and told us he would sort it out for us and gave us 5 breakfast vouchers (instead of 4 which was good). We walked down the road, where our hotel was it was very quiet but soon we came to the main restaurant area about 6 blocks down which was much busier. There was a Chili’s, a Sticky Fingers, a TGI’s and more. We had planned to eat at the Big River Grille and Brewing Works; it seemed quite busy and was buzzing outside.

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ariel2006 8 Sep 08 11:04 PM

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We were told there was a 15 minute wait for a table, we were all tired but decided to stay so we could have a nice first meal. We were seated in about 15 minutes and ordered pretty quickly. Nick and I ordered cocktails, a mojito for him and pomegranate margarita for me which was delicious, and Mum and Paul had a beer each which had been brewed on the premises.

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It was only now I realised that it was the same chain as the restaurant they had on the Boardwalk at Disney, I knew they had one in Orlando but thought it was on I-Drive. Our meals didn’t take that long; we all had appetizers as our mains apart from Nick. Paul had the soup which was chilli with a side of fries, Mum had the cheese, spinach and jalapeno dip with tortillas, I had the nachos and Nick had the BBQ bacon cheeseburger. It was all really good, Mum’s dip was so, so good and my nacho’s were huge and loaded with 2 different cheeses, jalapeno’s, black beans, tomatoes, spring and red onions and chicken. Sophie just picked at ours as she was so tired.

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After a lovely first meal in America we paid the bill and walked back up to the hotel. It was still quite hot outside, it made us realise we were really here :spin:.

When we got back to our room we had a lovely tray waiting with an ice-bucket and a bottle of champagne in, 2 glasses and a big plate with cheese, grapes, strawberries and crackers on, it was lovely.

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They had only delivered the one though to our room so we took it in to Mum and Dad’s room. Mum loved it. We sat on the bed in our Sheraton dressing gowns and nibbled at the cheese and fruit and discussed our plans for tomorrow. I gave them a piece of paper which had the confirmation for our river boat cruise on which was a surprise for the three of them, they were very excited, well Sophie was fast asleep but she was when she found out. It was then time for bed after a very long and tiring day :zzz:.

Guest 8 Sep 08 11:18 PM

A great read, thank you. The inclusion of the many photos adds a great deal also. I look very much forward to the further reports.

The "Orlando" reports are good too BUT its lovely to hear of people going further afield.

Quick question: What camera were you using..ie: Make and model number please.

Cyclospora 8 Sep 08 11:22 PM

What a great day with lovely surprises!

Can I adopt you? I'm 50 in 6 years time!

ariel2006 8 Sep 08 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by duggs (Post 2702102)
A great read, thank you. The inclusion of the many photos adds a great deal also. I look very much forward to the further reports.

The "Orlando" reports are good too BUT its lovely to hear of people going further afield.

Quick question: What camera were you using..ie: Make and model number please.

Thanks for your nice comments.
My camera is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H3. It is pretty good, its 8.1 mega pixels and has a 10x optical zoom.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyclospora (Post 2702108)
What a great day with lovely surprises!

Can I adopt you? I'm 50 in 6 years time!

Yes you can adopt me, but can I have a puppy:d:

smythy21 9 Sep 08 12:45 AM

Great trip report and what lovely photos ;)

Strommie 9 Sep 08 08:15 AM

Your hotel looks lovely. Very nice photos :smile:

Guest 9 Sep 08 08:40 AM

Lovely photos Sammie and another brillant report.

I seem to encounter car hire problems everytime I travel too, such a nightmare after you've been travelling when all you want to do is get your hire car and finish your journey!

truesdpr 9 Sep 08 08:44 AM

I'm loving your report and the pics - it's really great and the excitement is just oozing from it! Your little sister is just gorgeous! She reminds me a bit of my DD who always has a soft toy with her too!

Pam.
:wavey:


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