Play It Pretty for Atlanta

16 Apr

This weekend, I did something that I never envisioned doing. I went to market, the industry name for a women’s clothing convention. My fiance, owner of Beauty Boutique, needed to attend because that’s what boutique owners do. I needed to go because, well, I just wanted to. Life is full of experiences, and this would probably be an interesting one.

Shockingly, we got a late start, but, once we hit the road, it was smooth sailing. Actually, there was one rough patch. When we crossed Monteagle Mountain, I serenaded her with the theme from Smokey and the Bandit. She laughed hysterically and wrote about it on Facebook. Did I mention that I hate Facebook?

My sentiments exactly.

My sentiments exactly.

We arrived in Atlanta, and, after some fancy driving on my part, we made it to the hotel. She immediately wanted to head to market to check in and browse before they closed for the day. I had no idea what to expect, but I felt like that I had walked into the cantina on Tatooine at closing time.

The girls all get prettier at closing time.

The girls all get prettier at closing time.

There was some strange-looking creatures hanging around, and they all looked worn out. That’s not totally correct because there were some fair looking creatures there, too. However, they looked just as tired.

We went back to the hotel and started wondering about dinner. We didn’t want to venture too far out, so I looked up the hotel restaurants. That’s when my eyes bugged out. The lower level of our hotel housed Trader Vic’s. I only knew two things about Trader Vic’s. It is a hangout for werewolves who like pina coladas, and I had to go there.

I didn’t see any werewolves. However, I felt like I had walked into a 1950s postcard from Hawaii. I don’t even have the words to explain this surreal experience. Imagine getting swallowed up in a song by The Ventures and being served an umbrella drink. That’s Trader Vic’s.

How can you go wrong with a menu with this cover?

How can you go wrong with a menu with this cover?

The next day, we got up bright and early for market, and it was a completely different experience. The cantina crowd was ready to go and buyers from stores throughout the nation were cramming the aisles between the booths. They had everything that a woman could possibly wear, and there was a thousand varieties of each item. Heck, there were ten stories filled with stuff. As a crowd watcher instead of a buyer, I started to figure out the difference between the serious buyers and the sightseers. I could also pick out the guys who were doing the exact same thing that I was.

However, that was just the appetizer for what I really wanted to see, the runway fashion show. I couldn’t wait to see a bunch of models strut their stuff on the catwalk. I wasn’t disappointed because they looked like I imagined. But, there was a problem. There was a woman in front of me wearing cat ears, and she was blocking my view. I promise that there is nothing worse than sitting behind a woman wearing cat ears at a fashion show.

After the show, we needed to eat. There wasn’t much around, so we ended up at The Hard Rock Cafe. The cheeseburger and 80s videos were great, but there was another form of entertainment. Atlanta’s version of The Amazing Race was going on. Some teams were taking it serious, and other teams were coming into the bar to get drunk. After this much activity, I needed a nap.

I slept most of the afternoon and woke up hungry. I didn’t want Trader Vic’s or a cheeseburger.  I wanted something good. Not knowing anything about Atlanta dining, we searched for Atlanta’s best restaurants and found Rathbun’s. I have written about Nashville’s booming food scene and know that we have some great restaurants. Rathbun’s would fit right in. The duck breast was awesome but not as good as the appetizer. If you ever go to Rathbun’s, then you have to get the Pan Fried Kefalotiri Cheese. It’s the most awesome thing ever.

Yesterday, we packed up to head home but not before going to Lenox Square Mall. I have heard of people going to Atlanta just to shop, and now I know why. It’s a cool mall. Wait, I went to Atlanta just to shop didn’t I? Weird. Anyway, we drove back to Tennessee and crossed Monteagle Mountain once again. This time I just hummed.

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7 Responses to “Play It Pretty for Atlanta”

  1. Sarah April 16, 2013 at 02:25 #

    I didn’t realize you were engaged! Congratulations!

    • Rick April 16, 2013 at 02:44 #

      Thank you. It happened about two weeks ago.

  2. darkcargo April 16, 2013 at 16:49 #

    no way! trader vic’s is a goofy place! We’ve been there for DragonCon, you can’t hardly get in the door, and the Tub ‘o Iced Rum with Two Straws is just ridiculous.

    Mucho Congrats on the engagement!

    I like the association of a fashion market with the cantina on tatooine. Heh!

    • Rick April 16, 2013 at 17:11 #

      I am glad to find a kindred spirit in the Trader Vic’s experience. We had no trouble getting into this one. I didn’t know what to expect, but the Mai Tai was pretty good.

      Thanks for the congrats! Maybe I can recreate the cantina at the reception.

  3. sittingpugs April 16, 2013 at 21:33 #

    After the show, we needed to eat. There wasn’t much around, so we ended up at The Hard Rock Cafe.

    I had no idea The Hard Rock Cafe still existed (anywhere). Somehow I thought Hard Rock Cafes and Planet Hollywoods all went bankrupt and only had the flagship store still operations.

    You abhor facebook, and rightly so; what do you think about yelp? Would you say the first couple of well thought-out reviews of Trader Vic’s in Atlanta was similar to your experience?

    • Rick April 17, 2013 at 00:13 #

      Planet Hollywood is gone, but Hard Rock is everywhere. We have one in Nashville. Trader Vic’s is actually a cool place to get a drink, and the Mai Tai is really good.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hilton Head – Driving Down the Musical Highway | Surrounded By Imbeciles - October 23, 2014

    […] Of course, driving through Chattanooga brought to mind “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, but the route through north Georgia made my mind go musically dead. Atlanta played a big role in that. It does not matter what time you drive through Atlanta. The traffic is always bad, and your focus needs to be on the road. However, it still heard Ronnie Van Zant telling Billy Powell to “play it pretty for Atlanta.” […]

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