I woke up around 6:30am, which was really 5:30 am in Missouri time. Showered, dressed, went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast offered by Embassy Suites. I've never stayed at an Embassy Suites before, unless you count the time I herded a bunch of drunk nurses there so they could sober up in a room before going home. In the grand scheme of complimentary breakfasts, I'd have to say that Embassy probably ranks highest. They had made-to-order omelets, as well as other hot foods. Naturally, this also included grits, which I had mistaken for Cream of Wheat. Silly me, I should have remembered.
The Opening Session was to start at 9am, so we haul ass over to the Georgia World Congress Center...which is roughly the size of Cuba. Everyone is carrying the large, burgundy totes we got when we registered. Interesting enough, I got a couple items in the mail before I left for Atlanta, one of which being a brochure with some tips and pointers to make our experience in Atlanta safer and more enjoyable. One of which advising us not to wear our name badges out in public so we could blend in, and not seem like easy targets to would-be thieves and all-round miscreants. I don't know, the totes large enough to smuggle a circus midget seemed to make us more obvious than a little purple name tag ever would...but that's just me. I made sure I took my name badge off before going anywhere. I just shoved it in the large tote.
At any rate, we make the long hike to where the opening session is going to be...which is the in the furthest corner, on the lowest level of the building. While I'm walking there, I notice that there's a MARTA station right next door, right across the street FROM OUR HOTEL!!. I vow to find the woman who gave us directions from the airport the day before, and pummel her in the face.
We find seats, and as an opening act, some guys from Atlanta's drum corp come out on stage and play. This pleases me very much as I am a drummer, or at least I was when I had a drum set. I decide that this is the best part of the conference. They don't play nearly as long as I would like, and the next act is about six people pounding on garbage cans and buckets in a Stomp-like fashion. One girl is more into flipping her hair and shaking her ass for us. I decide this is the worst part of the conference, and wish the real drummers would return to the stage.
A presenting of the colors and the national anthem, and conference has officially begun.
There was a keynote speaker. She spoke for an hour, and everyone was turned loose to find some classes and get some knowledge. I attended classes for the rest of the day. Some good, some I had to fight to stay awake for. Around five pm, all classes that day are finished, and we are left to our own devices for the evening.
Back at the hotel, everyone takes advantage of the complimentary happy hour offered by the hotel, with a two drink maximum. As everyone in the lobby is two-fisting their drinks, our group decides to go have dinner at some southern restaurant downtown. Which means more walking.
We get to Pittypat's Porch, which is supposed to be named after Scarlett O'Hara's aunt or something retarded like that. We were seated, we ordered. The food wasn't that great, and apparently southern hospitality is a thing of the past because the service sucked also. Another unremarkable dinner. We trudge back to the hotel and I immediately go to bed, but not before my roommate starts watching The Bachelor, and I go into a 10 minute rant about how the women are all a bunch of famewhores, and the bachelor is a tool.
Lucky me, I get to get up before the buttcrack of dawn the next morning, so I hit the bed early. So much for a fun and exciting week in Hotlanta.