What if my friends hate each other? Hey, what if they don’t?

A photo of me and Joe. Can you see us?

So, I blogged recently about running a race in Atlanta and how much fun and motivating that was. What I didn’t really tell you was that it was such a fun weekend that I had a hard time choosing which parts to share with you.

The background: It really wasn’t my trip to plan. Scott and Jeff were the ones taking the trip, I was just lucky enough to be able to tag along. Add that to the fact that the trip was planned just a few weeks before I fainted, and I had so much on my plate that planning a trip to run a 10K that I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to run was a completely overwhelming concept.

Not to mention that I have several friends in Atlanta, but none of them really know each other … so there were about 3 local groups of my friends that needed to be coordinated, plus the group that was traveling to there, which is technically two groups because we were coming from Charlotte and Glenda was coming from Birmingham. Overwhelming, indeed. So, I decided to leave all the planning to those who were supposed to be planning the trip, and I instead focused on my recovery and catching up on work and various other things that were going on in life (not to mention the super whammy of my grandmother Mia passing away, which has completely taken the wind from beneath my sails.)

I told the three local groups of friends the dates that I would be there, and nothing more. In fact, I was so intent on not planning the trip that I wondered at several bends if people thought I wasn’t interested in going or didn’t want to meet up. Not true at all, I was just overwhelmed. So, I’ll admit I was slightly stressed about the whole thing.

But, the second I got into the car on Friday … which was a task in and of itself, dealing with Mia’s death and family in town and of course I didn’t do any work for about a week and so I was behind and suddenly it was time to leave. Talk about overwhelming … but, as I was saying, the second I got into the car on Friday, everything was better. I was not only going to Atlanta, but from there I would be flying to Phoenix, and from there going to Vegas, and from there going to Chicago. And I was packed and ready for six weeks away from home.

And suddenly, I was realizing that this Atlanta trip couldn’t come at a better time. With everything that had happened with Mia, I had been mourning for two weeks. And the family that lived out of town had returned home. And I’d been left with quite an emptiness. I kept reaching for the phone to call her, and then it would hit me all over again. So completely changing up the scene was just what the doctor ordered.

I won’t repeat what I’ve already written about the weekend; you can read that here. And I won’t go into every detail about what we did because you’d be bored unless you were there (and if you were there, you know about it already.) What I will say is that one group of friends (which is actually only one friend, Dan) ended up sick and unable to attend the race or anything else we had going on. Poor guy! The other four groups coordinated beautifully. There was Glenda, who arrived from Birmingham about an hour after our group (Scott H., Jeff, Allen and me) arrived from Charlotte.

Scott F. met us when he got off of work at the same bar that Glenda met us at. Joe and Shawn and Jessica took us to a wonderful breakfast and pointed us and Scott F. in the right direction for dinner the first night (literally the best burger 6 people have ever had. How many times to you go to a restaurant and have 6 people agree it’s the best ever?), and Joe and Andrea and Katie and Scott F. came over for dinner the second night.

Joe took us on a grand tour of the city including what’s probably the most memorable and awesome coffee shop I’ve ever been to. I’ve been craving their coffee ever since … I’ve spent a little time in Atlanta, but not a lot. And the time I did spend made me only want to spend more there.

I’m not gonna lie. I thought about Mia a lot. Mostly random thoughts that included wanting to tell her about what we were doing or show her a photo or … Glenda and I had some good heart-to-hearts, and her story of losing her grandmother was very similar to my story. It helped to be able to talk about it. Joe and I joke that we are twins because when Heather introduced us she told us we were just alike, but I’m not even sure she realized how right she was! The more time I spend with him the closer and closer I feel to him and I didn’t even know that was possible.

I’m sitting in Vegas writing this blog, and I was in Atlanta two weeks ago. I can’t help but think about how wonderful that weekend was, though, and that first blog I wrote about it just didn’t seem to give it justice. Next year, to my five groups of Atlanta friends, and anyone else? Who’s in? P.S. I still refuse to plan anything, but now I know it can be awesome even with everyone else doing the planning!

Jeff hangs out at Criminal Records, one of his favorite Atlanta stops.
The back of Junkman's Daughter in Little Five. Junkman's Daughter = even better than the one in Athens!
Octane Coffee Shop. I will never again come to Atlanta without coming here.
A movie set in Decatur, about a block from where we were staying. The movie will feature Billy Bob Thornton and Brad Pitt. The sign proclaimed "See Jayne Mansfield's death car!" We didn't know it was for a movie at first. Was totally weird ...
Jeff and Scott H in Decatur. The trip planners!
Me and Glenda in Decatur. We should all meet in Atlanta more often!
Scott F and me in Decatur. He just moved to Atlanta a few months ago from Charlotte, so Joe's expertise in the city benefitted Scott F. too!