Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grateful in Atlanta June 20-22

As I’m writing a travel story for Brisbane News on the fabulous city of Atlanta, I’ll be keeping my thoughts on ‘touristy’ things for that publication. But I’d like to share with you some of my general experiences and feelings and what I’ve been grateful for since arriving on Sunday evening.
1. SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: from the moment I was met at the airport by Katrina Griggs holding a sign with my name on it – you know the kind that makes you feel like a rockstar - to the gentlemen serving at the train stations, and everyday people in the street I ask for directions, I have been overwhelmed by what is commonly referred to as ‘southern hospitality’. I’m grateful for how at ease I now feel being a new city alone.
2. NORTHERN SUMMER: at 30+ degrees everyday it’s hard to remember how cold it was when I left Sydney last week. I’m grateful I’ve thawed out and am enjoying the sunshine.
3. MY BLACKTRACKING SKILLS: After learning to ride the New York subway, the MARTA public transport system is a breeze here. I’m grateful for my skills in getting myself around the city, especially given my hotel is on the city perimeter and away from many of the tourist attractions I need to visit.
4. MARTIN LUTHER KING Jnr HISTORIC SITE: I am still processing my thoughts and feelings after visiting the area in downtown Atlanta yesterday. The experience was very powerful and emotional, although I’d been there once before in 1992. I am grateful that there is a whole district recognising the life and work of MLK Jnr and also a facility where students from across America and the globe can also learn about the history of the US. More in my travel article later in the year.
5. MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE: Wow, what an experience it was to go on a tour through the house of the author of Gone With The Wind. It was useful for me to get some context in terms of Margaret’s social and political life and how that affected the work. More also in the travel story. Today’s pic – me at a replica typewriter in the MMH. I tell you, the experience inspired me as a writer.

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