X-Terra at a Race Trac, Corvettes and home to Brissie

OK, I’m home all nice and safe now, but figured I should update about the last little part of the trip.
 
Saturday was a sort of do-nothing fill-in day, waiting for my 17:30 flight out of Atlanta.
 
So, I decided to just take a bit of a drive around Alpharetta…. strangely I ended up taking the X-Terra to a Race Trac !!!
 
Not quite what you might think – Race Trac is just a brand of Gas (Petrol) Station they have in the US… complete with checkered flag signage, the whole deal. The X-Terra needed a bit of a drink after the amount of driving I’d done, so what better place ???
 
I also stumbled across the local Chevy dealership, which just happened to be having a Corvette Club day. Now, I’m not a big Corvette guy – I prefer my GM’s to handle as well as go, like the Aussie version of the GTO (Monaro) does – but even so Corvette’s are kinda cool. Serious money being spent on the cars on show too – who said the US was in a recession ???
 
Afterwards was the series of airports, security checks and long flights to get me back to sunny Brisbane… where it was raining as I landed.
 
Oh well – it’s still nice to be home.
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Thrashers over Sabres, 3 2

My trip’s kinda coming to an end now – Gregg headed back home to North Carolina on Tuesday, Juli’s back to Missouri on Thursday and then I’m back to Brisbane on Saturday. Still a few opportunities to do some cool stuff though, so Wednesday night one of the engineer’s from the office Bryan took Juli and I to a hockey game (or ice hockey as we’d call it).
 
The fun started off with an experience at buying from scalpers… apparently almost no-one buys their tickets normally here, and scalping is actually legal providing you pay less than face value on the tickets. Still considered a bit dodgy though, and although there was a ton of local cops around watching no-one said a word. It worked well for us since we ended got 4 tickets together and only paid $30 a piece for $78 tickets – can’t complain about that !!!
 
The game itself was a blast – the rink is in the bottom of the CNN tower, so is a pretty fancy sort of place. Nice bars, plenty of food places, and VERY steep seating so guaranteed a good view (though we did have pretty good seats). Bryan is from Buffalo so is a big Sabres fan, but his girlfriend is a big Atlanta Thrashers fan… made for an interesting time with them alternately boo’ing, cheering and generally abusing each other.
 
Totally enjoyed it – hockey is a game I think I could be a big fan of… well if we played it in Australia that is… it varies between physical, brutal and technical very quickly, and there’s a heap of stuff they do to keep the crowd entertained during breaks.

Atlanta, March 2009

Atlanta… it’s cold in March !!!

I haven’t updated my blog in over a year… no good reason – just a combination of laziness and that I hadn’t travelled anywhere much !!!

Anyway, that’s changed for the moment since I’m in Atlanta again for work. Just a short 2 week trip, but have still gotten to do a bit of sight-seeing. I’m here conducting some training and workshops for two people from one of our large customers, and since we’re all staying in the hotel it’s been a it of a group thing with Juli, Gregg and myself travelling around together.

Saturday (22/3) was the Atlanta Aquariaum and the RMS Titanic exhibit… sure I’d seen both before, but they were interesting enough to go again. Particularly since it was cold and rainy most outdoors things were ruled out. After those it was a short trip over to the Fernbank Science Center to see an exhibit about SpaceShip One… the Bert Rutan / Richard Branson low orbit passenger vehicle. Unfortunately this turned out to be a bit more exciting (and shorter) than planned, as a roof leak caused an electrical fire and led to the place being evacuated not long after we arrived !!!

Sunday (23/3) was even colder (like less than 10 deg C), but since the rain had cleared we ventured outside to Stone Mountain, which is about the biggest tourist attraction in Atlanta. Stone Mountain is a VERY large piece of granite… the part that’s exposed is 800 odd feet tall and about 5 miles around it’s base, which is only 1 percent of the rock itself. Probably the coolest thing about it is the relief carving of the Confederate leaders on one of the faces… sort of the South’s equivalent to Mount Rushmore if you like. The carvings are MASSIVE – about 9 stories tall, and in places sticking as much as 45 out from the rock.