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Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Atlanta, Georgia

Aren’t they cute? They are mini-mugs! Souvenir demitasse or Atlanta cappuccino cups! I chose these as the last mug shot for 2008 because with the big peaches behind the skylines on the little cups it just fits the New Year theme!

I welcomed the new year twice in Atlanta, but the first time was the party night to remember! It was planned all year in 1995. John, Jeff, Jeanne, Heather, Tracy, Rich and I were planning to celebrate the birth of the Olympic year in the Olympic city! We flew out together Friday night, December 29. I had carefully packed my bag and checked it, praying it didn’t end up in Spokane. As good fortune had it, it ended up in Atlanta. So did I!

We checked into The Suites Hotel at Underground, at that time it was a very nice hotel right at Underground Atlanta, which was where the New Years Eve festivities were, so we wouldn't even need to get on the subway to get back to our rooms. Tracy went to visit her Grandmother in metro Atlanta after we got in and she got back to the room very late with a care package that included the absolute best made-from-scratch cake I’ve ever tasted!

Saturday was that fateful day that we met my brother and his family at The World of Coke. After the World of Coke visit, Jeff, Jeanne, Rich and John went to Hooters to have lunch and watch a football game while Tracy, Heather and I went to lunch with Dave, Dee and the girls to Bertucci’s. Bertucci’s is actually a New England based franchise that makes great pasta and the locals called it “the only place in Atlanta where you can have a Pepsi!”

We spent New Year’s Eve at Underground, where the New Year’s Eve party had pretty much already started. You didn’t have to be 21 to enter the mall yet, but there were definitely people getting a head start in the bars! At 6 PM, Underground would transform from a mall to a 21-and-over party. You’d need a wrist band to enter and open alcohol was allowed as you walked through any part of the mall. Of note that I remember from that day, wine tasting at the Habersham Winery store, a candy stop at the penny candy barrels, a few stops for cappuccino at Barney's, taking advantage f the kiosk that did while you wait engraving on plastic key chains and getting my name on a baseball key-fob and discovering Fat Tuesdays!

Fat Tuesdays was a slushie stand! But the slushies were slushies for grownups! A huge selection of yummy fruity slushies that made great use of having a hotel room within walking, perhaps by the end of the night stumbling, distance!

We had an early reservation for Dante’s Down The Hatch, a great fondue restaurant. It was the first time I’d had a full fondue meal and it was great! You ordered the meal you wanted and it was served raw, to be coked in the fondue pot of hot oil. (This was my inspiration for my broth fondue recipe) After dinner, it was a stop (again) at Fat Tuesdays!

We’d later comment that it was the drunkest any of us had been since college for two full days! But in truth, we weren't really THAT drunk, no, we weren’t in driving condition, but we were just silly, punchy buzzed. Jeff’s Atlanta-based brother joined us for the evening too. Much fun was had by all! The center court at Underground, in Kenny’s Alley, where all the bars are was a giant mosh pit! Yes, “I-don’t-like-crampt-crowds” me was part of that! We all, drinks in hand, moved into the sea of people to dance to Devo’s “Whip It.” I got totally separated from Heather and Tracy who were with me when I entered. After I danced my way back to the side, I met up with them when they danced out of it too. We decided that was fun to have done...once, and moved on to the area where the giant peach was to be dropped at midnight. They had live music there. We stopped at Fat Tuesdays for a refill before we went there.

We remet with everyone in our group at about 11:30 for the peach drop. It was at that time that we remembered the champagne we’d bought for midnight was still in the room! Rich was out mad dasher! The elevators were slow and crowded. Not wanting to miss the peach drop and wanting to make sure the champagne was there, he ran up 10 floors of stairs, grabbed two bottles of Asti and ran back down! He was SO out of breath when he got back, just 5 minutes before midnight! But, when we got to the countdown. Rich had caught his breath back and was ready to pop the cork on one of the bottles!

At the stroke of midnight, the giant peach fell in a flurry of sparklers and fireworks started above the hotel. We popped the corks and passed around the bottles. drinking right from the bottle. (Appropriate for such a party, right?) Then after we’d all sipped from the bottles, we offered the to neighboring revelers and that seemed to start a trend as there were bottles of champagne and wine being passed all over the crowd!

After the celebration ended, about 1 AM, Underground was closing and crowds of people were once again “moshng,” this time through the exits. We went into the hotel and waited for the elevators to take us back up. We retired to the guys’ room for more partying and plans to order a pizza.

Remember, to a bunch of Detroit kids, ordering pizza after midnight on New Years Eve is almost a tradition! But here is where the convenience of the hotel location worked against us! We called Dominos to have pizza delivered. They said “NO WAY!” There streets around the hotel were a parking lot. It wasn’t possible for a deliver guy to get there. Jeff was on the phone explaining that we were all drunk and needed food. We’d already tried to see if there was anyplace open Underground or the hotel kitchen to get food and there was none. How could a pizza place turn us down? “Let me talk to your manager!”

He was told that the manager was at a party himself and ot available. Jeff was being impishly ornery and said he wanted to talk to a manager. They took the number and the call ended. Looking out the window at the cars below, we knew that we weren’t getting pizza, so all of the nuts and candy in the mini bars from both rooms became dinner for 8! (Yes, pizza would have been WAY cheaper, especially than the ten-dollar macadamia nuts!))
We got a phone call - it was the Dominos manager calling from the party he was at and asking for jeff! In classic Jeff fashion somehow only enhanced by several stops at Fat Tuesdays and some beer, he had a calm conversation with the Dominos manager. During the conversation where he said, “Oh, I understand but..” a few times, he informed the poor manager that he was from the Ann Arbor, Michigan area and was seriously thinking about stopping by the home office and filing a complaint about Georgia managers who were starving drunks on New Years EVe. He said that with such a smirk on hs face but I guess not in his voice. Nex he was giving his address and the saying goodnight.

Jeff addressed the group anxiously looking at him. They weren’t sending pizzas tonight, but for the inconvenience of us having to empty the mini bars, they were sending him coupons for free pizzas at home.

Jeff and Jeanne are living in Georgia now. I’ve never asked him how often he orders pizza...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE - Party safe, and stock up on your after midnight munchies before midnight!

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