Back From Atlanta!!!

Bet you all thought I died! I’m starting to wish I had.

The trip went well, but I have officially hit my burnout mark. Thats the point when I don’t want to converse with anyone under the age of thirty. Every time I hear a prepubescent voice, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It’s definitely time for a break.

We arrived in Atlanta to stay at a beautiful home with our cottage sponsors. They were amazing hosts, and we never went hungry the entire time. One night of the trip they laid out a great BBQ dinner for us, pure heaven. But I know none of you read my blogs to hear about the good stuff (Kinda like NASCAR, everyone wants to see the big crash) so here’s the dirt….

On Saturday we went to the Atlanta Zoo. If you never been to the Atlanta Zoo, you should go. It’s a large, very modern Zoo located in the hood. You and your family can see hookers and Pandas all in the same trip! For a few extra bucks I’m sure you can get some crack to go along with your $3.00 small soda. 

To be fair, the immediate area around the Zoo is in the process of being cleaned up. Town homes are in the process of going up and it looks like they may try and turn it into a artsy kind of place. But it’s still the hood at the moment. 

Anyway, as we pulled up to the front gate, I discovered there was no place to park a bus. So I dropped the wife and kids off and proceeded to find a nice vacant lot somewhere to park. I soon began to realize that I underestimated how popular this particular Zoo was on a Saturday. Eventually I found the perfect spot, two miles away. 

So I began my walk back to the Zoo. Unfortunately I did not take time to research which part of Atlanta I was in, just in case I needed to flash the appropriate gang sign. Nothing worse than a dumpy, middle aged tourist dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops making a “West Side” hand gesture when I’m clearly on the South side of town. The $500 digital camera hanging from my neck wasn’t making me feel much better either. 

So I decided to act nonchalant and just walk thru the hood like I did it every day. I called my old buddy Ollie in Alabama to make some small talk and help keep my mind off the situation. As the journey back to the Zoo continued a very nice lady that looked like she had been beaten about the head with a piece of firewood asked me if I wanted a date. I politely declined and told her my wife and eight kids were waiting for me at the gate by the zoo. I don’t think she believed me because she rolled her eyes and said the “%*&^^& Zoo was *&%&&* two &%$#@ miles ^^*&(%$%$# the other way”. So I started walking the other way. Soon I arrived to the entrance to a very anxious wife who looked she was about to start choking one of the boys. 

We walked around and saw the Pandas, Guerillas, some birds and Elephants. All the regular Zoo fare. It was now time for me to make my way back to the bus. I took a shot of courage from my water bottle and began traveling due north, with the baby and stroller. 

After what seemed like a rather long walk, I looked at the Zoo map and discovered I went the wrong way when I came out of the gate. So I turned around and headed in the right direction. On the way I crossed paths with the lady that I had talked to earlier. This time she introduced herself as “Joy”. She asked about my daughter in the baby stroller and we had a brief conversation about her son, who ironically is in a group home in Georgia. Go figure. 

We made it to the bus and I checked the GPS. Final tally- 2.5 mile walk to the bus and 5 miles back. My chubby thighs were chapped and hurting. 

Once we got back to the house, we all walked down to the lake and the kids went on the jet skies and I decided to pull up a chair and have a seat. As soon as I sat down, the chair flipped over backwards and my Crackberry cell phone flew out of my pocket, off the dock and into 5 feet of water. It was fried before it even hit bottom. I decided at that point to take a self imposed time out on the bus. 

The rest of the trip was awesome, except Sunday school when some of the boys decided to put on a wrestling exhibition for a very confused and frightened Sunday School Teacher. 

I am very glad that all of our major trips with the boys are out of the way for the rest of summer. I am planning a new summer vacation strategy that involves a Disney Cruise and me sitting by a pool as the Cruise staff takes the kids to enjoy different activities. But I’m in the early stages of putting it together.

Now time to find some peace and quiet! -Launch