We aren’t fancy people. Really, we aren’t. Bacon wrapped hot dogs are among our favorite things. But you wouldn’t know this about us, today, this launch of Plucky Survivors, when Rick came to pick up Mary in a stretch limo. He wasn’t even driving it. It’s all part of that slot machine jackpot—he wanted a splurge, and that’s how he did it, by sending us off in style; with a car that has a roof with little twinkle lights that changed color.
An uneventful flight got us to Atlanta where we picked up this year’s Plucky Mobile. Well, we tried to pick up Plucky Mobile but when we got to the space where it was supposed to be there was a different car there than the one we had reserved. So it wasn’t exactly like that scene in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” where Steve Martin finds nothing but a pair of skid marks, but it was close.
A bit of hunting and pecking and proclamations from the Avis staff that the original car must have been stolen and we secured the official Plucky Mobile, a Ford Escape Hybrid, which is both us being a little bit environmentally responsible and also really comfortable. Leather, sunroof, power everything. It’s nice. Plus Rick’s CD road mixes are a thing of the past—that is, the CD’s are, because we have moved into iPod territory. Armed with satellite radio and that, we shouldn’t lack for a good soundtrack every mile of the way.
It being us, we made a beeline from the airport to the Varsity, the world’s largest drive in and an Atlanta institution, where we each ordered a hot dog (pretty darn good), split a burger (eh), some onion rings (justified the hype) and some French fries (good but not great). The whole darn thing was gone in milliseconds. We would tell you more about what the Varsity is like but that would imply we got out of the car and looked at it as opposed to hovering down our food. The only reason we even slowed down the car is because they couldn’t get the food fast enough to throw it through the window.
Seriously though, the Varsity is a must-see (or eat as the case may be) for many Atlanta visitors, complete with the car hop service we availed ourselves of and a huge indoor dining room we didn’t (see slowed down above). The menu is drive-in heaven with the aforementioned dogs, burgers, shakes, and much more. If we hadn’t been so darned hungry both for food and a spiritual boost from that “first cheeseburger tastes like freedom” mantra we state so often, we would’ve taken more time to experience the whole package. We give it the thumbs up anyway.
And now we are continuing the we-aren’t-fancy-but-we-sure-are-acting –like-it-on-the-road-thus-far -theme, we are ever so happily ensconced in the Glenn hotel, smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta, around the corner from CNN headquarters (we got a brief tingle but then remembered everyone including Anderson Cooper is at the convention in Denver) and with a view of Centennial Park from the window.
Major kudos to the hotel designers; they took what was clearly an older drab dated establishment and spiffified it; splashes of bright orange in the shimmery curtains, big thick beds with flat screens waiting at the foot, even a stuffed lion for you to sleep with if you so choose. (Mary may; she misses the husband and the dogs.)
There are impossibly thin and gorgeous people populating the lobby bar, which is why we are in our hotel room where its safe, Maxim magazine runs the steakhouse and there is a free copy of that men’s magazine in the room, and there are cocktail shakers in the honor bar. Which is to say, we totally don’t fit in with our Varsity dining selves, but we actually like it quite a bit.
In addition to the aforementioned nice rooms and lobby bar there’s also a rooftop bar with what we presume offers great views of the Atlanta skyline but a very strict dress code and a lack of will to change clothes to meet it after a full day of traveling quashed our hopes of seeing it. If the finely attired young party crowd that was waiting behind the velvet rope for admittance (on a Wednesday no less) are any indication, it’s very nice indeed.
Plucky Survivors really begins tomorrow as we journey to Savannah, which having both read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil twice we are very much looking forward to. But those oinion rings, ah, they already tasted like freedom.