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Atlanta Recap

So after sitting on the plane for an hour on the runway in Newark, we finally left for Atlanta and got in around midnight.  When we got to the hotel (Staybridge Suites Perimeter East) there was a group of college-aged kids blocking the path to the front door.  There were maybe 12-15 of them, sitting on the bench and the ground, surrounded by bear cans and liquor bottles.  None of them attempted to move so that we could get our luggage into the hotel to check in.  I asked the desk clerk if she was aware of what was going on out there and told her we had to walk around them to get in and she said yes. 

We checked in, met up with Mike and Jeff.  Hung out for a little bit and crashed.

Woke up early for the hotel's breakfast.  Hung out.  Went to the Outback for lunch with Mike, Jeff and Iowa.  Went to Target for supplies and got Nathan and cute Falcons 3-piece set with a onesie, a jacket and sweats.  Got  Jerseys for Andy and Joey.  Also bought Mirrormask-- I can't wait to watch it.  Mike was taking a little too long perusing the DVD section so I said (loudly), "MIKE!  THEY DON'T SELL PORN IN TARGET."  It was pretty funny. 

After shopping we changed clothes and headed over to the Marta station to go to the Thrashers game.  Stopped and ate and had a couple beers at a place called Jocks and Jills at the CNN center.  I was all psyched to see a Cartoon Network store but it was closed.  I wanted to see if I could find any Bloo "It's Hot In Topeka" stuff. 

The Phillips Center in Atlanta is GORGEOUS.  We were in the upper level and could still see the faces of the players.  It's STEEP but amazing.  And when the bird head things shot fire, you could actually feel the heat. SO FREAKING COOL!!!! 

Saturday we got up early for breakfast again.  We went over to the Perimeter Center Mall to go to the Falcons 365 store for falcony gear.  I got a cool tee shirt, we got a cheerleader outfit for Lexi, a license plate for the front of the car and a flag for the front yard.  Wayne's friend/former boss, Stettler, met us at the mall and took us out to lunch and to his new place in Smyrna, birthplace and home town of Julia Roberts.  Wayne and Stettler started playing Halo 3 and I fell asleep.  I am such a loser. 

From Stettler's we went back to the hotel for the Falcons Message Board Get Together BBQ, in which I was the sous chef.  Last year I had to cut onions and garlic with one of the dull hotel knives and it took forever.  This year I brought my fave santoku knife, my food chopper and a garlic press.  Burgers were ready to be shaped in like 5 minutes and they were sooo good.

Everything was fine until around 11 o'clock, the snotty "night manager" of the hotel came out to the pool area where we were and said she'd had complaints and we had to be gone in 15 minutes.  Seriously, we were WAAAAYYY louder last year.  We were actually kind of quiet.  Whatever.  Ten minutes later, she stomped back out and said she'd called the police!  Huh??!?!?  What?!!?!?  Wayne was really tired so we went up to our room and figured we'd hear about it in the morning. 

Sunday morning we were up at 7.  Got dressed and ready for the game and had breakfast.  Wayne went to the front desk and asked for the shuttle to take us to the MARTA station.  Bitchy desk clerk said 25 minutes.  The shuttle kept us waiting. We needed to be at the Dome by 10:30 for the Falcons giveaway.  So, another one of our group members from the area, drove us over to the station.  Got to the Landing, won a replica Crumpler jersey, bought some more gear, had a blast, went in to watch the game.

The Falcons won their first game of the season and we went down to the players exit to get some autographs.  Met a bunch of the guys.  Met the QB and his wife.  Grady Jackson, #90, grabbed my Crumpler jersey and signed it, even though I didn't ask him to.  You don't argue with a 400 pound man.  Crumpler signed my jersey.  So did his mom!!!  She was awesome-- wearing a jersey with her son's number and "Mama Crump" across the back.  She belongs in Chunk Soup commercials.

We got back from the game, cleaned up and hung out with the guys for awhile.  Wayne asked the bitchy desk clerk for a shuttle ride to the restaurant, maybe 1/4 of a mile away.  I'd been on my feet all day so I couldn't walk it.  She got all head waggy and said that the shuttle runs only on the hour and we'd have to wait 40 minutes.  Okay, whatever.  It's never worked that way any other time so we asked the guy who drove us to the station earlier if he'd give us a ride again.  As we were walking out, she said to have a good evening.  I flipped her off and told her to bite me. 

We got in his car and as we pulled out, we saw the shuttle ahead of us, driving to the restaurant where we'd asked to be taken.

GRRRR

We went to Fire of Brazil for a meat festival and ate waaaaaay too much.  Hung out with the guys afterward for a couple hours in the lobby/common room and went to bed.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sweetjezebel
Oct. 4th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC)
Sounds like fun except for the college kids (I woulda kicked them and drove my luggage over them!) and the desk clerk. I do hope my friend Jules who writes SUCH great letters of complaint will be sending one out? :)
sweetjezebel
Oct. 4th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Awwwww YEAH! THATS my girl!!! I expect nothing but the best out of you! :) Tell me how they respond please :)
purplejuli
Oct. 4th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
We were staying at the hotel for a “family reunion” of sorts—the 7th Annual Atlanta Falcons Message Board Get Together. This was to be the second year that the event was held at Staybridge. Last year we found it to be the perfect location for us and everyone who attended enjoyed their stay. People came from around the country to socialize with people they know from the Falcons Board. We traveled to Georgia from Pennsylvania for this event and we also stay at the hotel several other times per year to utilize our season tickets.

This year, from the second that we got out of our taxi, there were problems. We arrived at the hotel shortly after midnight, and arranged in the entranceway to the hotel there were somewhere between 15 and 20 young people sitting on the ground surrounded by beer cans and bottles of spirits, blocking the entrance to the hotel. Despite seeing us struggle with our luggage and heading toward the door, no one moved. We had to walk between parked cars to the sidewalk surrounding the hotel to move behind these people. While we checked in, I asked the desk clerk if she was aware that there were people blocking the entranceway. She said she was yet did nothing to remedy the situation.

On Saturday, our group was scheduled to have a barbecue in the pool area out behind the hotel, as we had the year previous.

Around 11 pm, the person who’d been behind the front desk that evening (I’m told her name is Desi) stomped into the patio area with a stern look, searching for someone in charge. She told our cook at the grill that he had fifteen minutes to finish and clean up, that we all had to disperse back to our rooms. Our organizer, James Stammer, asked to speak to a manager and she informed him that she was the manager on duty.

Normally, we are a loud group. However, on this occasion, everyone was quite subdued. Most people were standing in small groups conversing and some others were gathered around the grill.

Ten minutes later, Desi stormed back to the patio area and loudly announced that she’d called the police and that we all needed to leave immediately. I was stunned that a representative of the hotel would call the police on paying guests. She was incredibly rude to everyone she came in contact with. Mr. Stammer reminded her that she’d given us fifteen minutes and only ten had passed. I then heard Mr. Stammer call the person with whom he’d arranged our get together and leave a voicemail regarding how displeased the group was.

Before dispersing, we cleaned up not only every piece of trash that we’d made, but also what was there upon our arrival. The party was over by 11:20, when the year before people had enjoyed the hospitality of the Staybridge until well after 3.

As if our vacation to Atlanta weren’t spoiled enough by having our barbecue cut short, the next morning, we asked Desi to put us on the list for a ride to the train station. She told us it would be 25 minutes. Half an hour later, we begged another guest for a ride so we wouldn't be late to the game.

After the game, we’d planned to go to a restaurant half a mile from the hotel and again asked for a shuttle ride. It was 7:13. Desi said that on Sunday nights, the shuttle only ran on the hour and we’d have to wait. We’ve never had an issue with the shuttle during any stay we’ve had at the Staybridge. During our other stays, the manager would go out of her way to accommodate us and our needs. Again, we asked another guest if they would drive us. As we were pulling out of the lot, we watched the shuttle leave and go in the direction of the restaurant at 7:25.

I am extremely disappointed. I feel like our vacation and “family reunion” was ruined by this manager whose attitude and demeanor seem the antithesis of the IHG sentiments expressed on your website that your hotels are “the perfect place to stay” and that your goal is to “create a hotel that guests love.” I don’t feel like Desi at the Staybridge Perimeter East worked to ensure that we received “outstanding service” and I am afraid that while our experience was “memorable” it was not in a positive way.
sweetjezebel
Oct. 4th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Great letter, I'm not surprised! :) Me thinks Desi will be looking for a new job soon ;)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )