- The car I rented didn’t have cruise control and it teased me with promises of Sirius XM Radio only to find out there was no subscription. That’s five hours of my foot on the gas and praying the radio had something good on and my mp3 player didn’t decide to die despite me charging it the night before.
- Payment issues forcing me to pay everything in advance unexpectedly.Luckily, I saved for this trip, but the inconvenience was there anyway.
- The Westin nickel and diming everything.
- The Westin turning into a club on a Saturday night. Would’ve been nice to have a head’s up that was going to happen.
- The pillows at the Westin. There really is such a thing as too damn soft.
- The A/C at the Westin was bipolar—didn’t know if it wanted to work consistently or at all.
- The cabbie taking us on an unwanted tour of Atlanta to go basically three miles down Piedmont to Smith's Olde Bar. I got us to around there in five minutes driving blind the next day.
- Not being able to connect with my cousins. L Damn vibrate mode!
- The Waffle House in Downtown Atlanta full of rude-ass college students blocking precious parking. Rude. Like, I had no words for the rudeness, so thus explaining why there is no Waffle House photo or reflection coming (I was so flabbergasted I forgot to snap a photo…and I had to drive all the way back to SC less the waffle I had anticipated all damn weekend. My consolation is this wasn’t the Waffle House I’d envisioned in Reconstructing Jada Channing anyway).
- Getting to and from Atlanta safely in my non-cruise-control-having car, praise be to God.
- Someone actually coming to the Meet and Greet! *shout out Courtnie & her peeps and please learn Javier’s real name!*
- The Sun Dial Restaurant being delicious (if slightly overpriced) with gorgeous views. Gorgeous. Though, as it turns out, there is no dance floor per se, I figured out what Jada Mae will be craving when she’s pregnant.
There may be shorts.
(Jada's sweet tea...with vanilla and orange - yum) and cheesecake. There was also a shrimp fondue-type thing in which you dip toasted bread and just yum, yum, yum!)
- The cutie bouncer at the pub next door to the Westin. He wore the mess out of a black Security T-shirt.
- Learning I like Baileys Irish Cream. A lot. I’m sure both Aaron and Patrick are proud of this.
- The photo shoot. Had “I Feel Pretty” playing in my head. Sevan Photography, shout out—can’t wait to see the results and Shannon is good people. Thanks Nuri for hipping me to them! If you need photos done, go to them, seriously.
- Smith’s Olde Bar had some tater tots that brought me to a happy place, yes. Also, after fighting off some sleepiness, enjoyed the first band that performed that night (bonus Trent from The Way That You Play It). Favorite parts of the band: the
hottieBlack T-shirt!Rhythm Guitarist and the Percussionist—both of whom couldn’t even give the slightest of damns. It was hot.
- Traveling to the spots featured in our novels. My favorite has got to be the “underwhelming” Island Def Jam Music Group location, but apparently it’s a recording studio so…welp? I literally thought the GPS had led us to someplace we should’ve never gone but nope, there it was! That was a cool surprise. Piedmont Park is large and it was ridiculously hot. My favorite, though, was probably the Plaza Theater.
There may be shorts.
- FINALLY MEETING BJ!!!
- Finally meeting BJ (it beared repeating.)!
- Breaking out of my shell slightly (This is includes wearing one of BJ's dresses a dress I’d bought over a year ago but not having worn until this trip…1.) I’m not a dress person and 2.) this is a dress that’s grown and, dare I say, sexy, and I’m still working on being both; although I apparently failed a test because a guy was waving at me (I was not wearing the grown-and-sexy dress; I was wearing my birthday dress…incidentally a dress that I’d also purchased last year and hadn’t worn out until my birthday, heh) and I did not notice it at all. Almost 12 hours later BJ deigns to tell me some guy was trying to let me know his interest. Well, hell, I can’t be blamed for this because BJ was looking fierce so I naturally assumed any attention would go to her. Lesson learned.).
(le white dress. Apparently, it was a hit...)
- Ironically realizing it’s much harder to do marathon conversations in person.
- A very tacky flashing Cinderella pumpkin-esque horse-drawn carriage.
There may be shorts.
- Realizing someone you’ve been fangirling for years is actually someone who calls you a friend and being extremely humbled by that.
- BJ realizing I really am a sports girl. Hee.
- BJ accusing me of holding out on her re: my sense of humor. I call shenanigans on that, although my NASCAR analogy was pretty awesome. Don’t ask me what I was comparing, however; I’d just had alcohol and I was sleepy.
- Having two camera-averse people tasked with taking pictures for their respective blogs…BJ did a better job than I did, admittedly. I was even a good sport and didn’t run away from the camera (that wasn’t the photo-shoot!camera. Y’all be proud).
- Friendships being affirmed.
All in all, I consider the weekend a success; as first-times go for something like this, there were hiccups and disappointments, but I think if this is done again, it’ll be far more laidback and chill. I realized I’m personally not a huge Atlanta-as-a-city fan, although I do like it as a choice as a hub for my characters’ in the universe that’s being created with them. I do hope to do more trips like this with BJ and other author friends; and hopefully with more readers too.