I wake up as Danny pulls off the interstate north of Atlanta. Hotel time. It's just after 6am. The person who normally handles our check-in's is the tour manager, Claire. She fell ill yesterday and was left behind in Louisville to recuperate in her hotel room for a couple of days. So one of the other goobers is doing it, with the help of Claire's assistant.
About an hour after we pull up, I finally get a room key. I notice that the original name on the packet was scratched out and replaced with someone else's name, which was also scratched out and replaced with mine. Not a good sign.
I've seen this movie before, so I ask on of the desk clerks to confirm that 627 is a non-smoking room, which of course it is not.
Ten minutes later, I finally have a key to a non-smoking room, and off I go. Drop bags, and head out to walk around to see what's here.
In one direction, a Carraba's and a Chick-fil-A (sp?), in the other a Kroger and a bunch of fast food, nothing worth mentioning. I stop at Kroger to grab a couple of items and wander around for another hour or so.
Back at the room, I read a couple of papers, then I call my buddy Chris Hendley. He's the Marketing and Media Manager at the Gwinnett Arena, where our game is being held on Sunday. More importantly, he was my personal trainer in Raleigh back in '97 and '98. He was an awesome trainer, but I'm glad to see him with a much better gig.
I'm having dinner with he and his (second) wife Leslie tonight. Really looking forward to it. He is such a funny guy, always a blast to hang out with.
Go next door to the Laughing Leprechaun (an Irish Pub, or so they say) for lunch. Absolutely horrible fish 'n chips. Geez, even Arthur Treacher's was better than this crap.
Chill in the room all day. Chris calls later and suggests meeting at the Leprechaun around 6 for some starter beers. Hey, ya don't have to twist my arm (as long as I don't have to eat their food).
So we knock back a couple there, then head out to meet Leslie at a damn good Italian place in Norcross called Dominick's. Stuuupid sized portions. One entrée could probably feed a family of 4. Chris' lasagna is bigger than his head, just like he said it would be.
We eat, and yak, and drink, and yak, and the time flies by. Leslie is overflowing with personality (just like her husband), so I'm having a blast. The night ends way too soon for my liking, but they gotta get home.
Chris drops me back by the hotel, but I'm not ready to retire, so I scoot next door to the Leprechaun for a nightcap.
Whoa! It's karaoke night, but Terry Beal's nowhere in sight. Whassup widdat?!? I watch some of the worst singers this side of the Northside Billiards karaoke gang for a few songs, but pack it in and head home.