Atlanta 2018

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October 10, 2018
Atlanta GA

I love Atlanta.  It’s one of my favorite cities. I’m thankful that its only a four hour drive from where I live because I can get there pretty easy and pretty often. The previous year I took a group of friends for a fun weekend in Atlanta in October, but because of some issues we felt like we needed a do over. We all had a nice time, but there were some interpersonal issues with someone who didn’t go this year followed up with some expectations not being met.  We decided to head back in 2018 to set it right. Well…

We’d gotten rooms at the Marquis Marriott in Midtown where we stayed in 2017. I like the Marriott and the Hilton across the street because they’re very convenient and easy for Lyft to get to. We didn’t want to drive this weekend. I’d requested off half a day on Friday and planned to pick up a rental car as neither my friend nor I wanted to drive our cars to Atlanta. I’d rented thru Enterprise, thankfully choosing the free cancellation option. That will be important to the story in a second.

On Friday my friend Stefan came to my house where I dropped my car off after work, then we headed to Enterprise. I’d dealt with the guy at the counter once before when I had to rent a car after someone hit mine. He wasn’t very nice then and apparently things hadn’t changed. The quoted price was originally $212 but for some unexplainable reason went to $412 with a $200 deposit. I expected the deposit, but even though my insurance (and credit card) would cover the insurance without having to purchase theirs, he tried to up the price to add insurance for the day, then some other random daily fees.

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I quickly told him to forget it. I’m not paying $400 for a rental for 2 days just to go to Atlanta. We ended up going back to my house, packing up Stefan’s car, and heading down. Unfortunately due to a local detour from a road closure caused by Hurricane Michael the weekend before, we were about 90 minutes later than I’d planned to leave. And just as fate (were I to believe in such a thing) would have it, we got to Atlanta and hit traffic about 12 miles from the hotel, which took no less than an extra 45 minutes.  Which is fine, because i just played videos of the Atlanta Housewives and made fun of them whilst in traffic in Atlanta.  You should try it some time.

We eventually got to the Marriott after parking and waited for our other 2 friends in the lobby.  I was fine because we were still way earlier than we had been the previous year.  Thus far positive things were outweighing the negative.  So when Isaac and Blake arrived we checked in and headed to the 8th floor to freshen up and find food.

I love the Atlanta food scene.  Isaac had suggested an Asian restaurant that he’d eaten at with workmates before (they had all suggested it an all eat there every time they’re in Atlanta) and we were not disappointed.  After dinner we headed back to the hotel for final preparations and then headed out for the evening after meeting up with a couple other guys for the weekend.  And the evening started off and went quite good for quite a while.  Then our good ‘fortune’ was over.  In a crowd of people I realized very quickly I’d been pick pocketed for the first time in my life.  And while I was annoyed, it wasn’t the major problem it could have been.  See, I’d stopped carrying a wallet regularly in about a year as I have one of those things on my (brand new iPhone XS Max) phone cases that holds my credit/debit cards and ID, which was in my other pocket.

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I honestly forgot to take the wallet out after dinner.  All it really had was my medical info, my insurance card, a small limit credit card (that I immediately was able to cancel on my app), a $10 Chik Fil A gift card, and my Six Flags pass (which didn’t matter as I was picking another one up this trip).  So congrats, you got a Chik Fil A gift Card.

Unfortunately, after I realized my small misfortune, Stefan realized that he’d been a victim as well.  And even more unfortunately, this mean he lost around $120 in cash, all of his debit and credit cards, and, really important to this trip, his ID.  Which meant he couldn’t get in to any adult venues or get a drink for the rest of the trip.  And it was our first nite.  And Stefan really needed a do-over.  Bummer. So after spending time cancelling everything (they eventually tried to use his Debit card at a MARTA Station, but it was already locked), Stefan headed back to the room.  I came back a bit later.

Saturday was supposed to be the morning that we got up, had breakfast at the amazing Sear breakfast buffet at the Marriott, hung by the pool for a bit, headed to Six Flags, then dinner, then out.  But that isn’t really what happened.  I got up and called Issac and Blake, but they didn’t answer.  So Stefan and I had breakfast.  He didn’t feel like doing much, which was understandable.  After breakfast we went back to the room and I eventually managed to rouse Isaac (Blake was still sleeping).  No-one was really interested in doing anything and it was already around 11am.  So as I was up and at it, I decided to Lyft over to Six Flags and try to at least salvage some of the day and get a new credit. My Lyft drivers to and from the park were amazing, by the way.

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As I arrived at the park it was…less than optimal for a nice leisurely fall day.  It was absolutely packed at the front gate.  The park wasn’t open yet but there were a couple thousand people waiting to get in.  I’d never seen this park this busy (and that’s by design).  So I headed over and got in line to redeem for my Diamond Elite membership pass and pick up my free drink cup (Yay all season drinks!).  That was about a 30 minute wait.  Then it was time to get in line to get in.  They have a Diamond Membership entrance.  That was another 20 minutes.  Then when I got in the park, it was time to get my 2 free Flash Passes that I get every visit, and that was a good 40 minute wait. The father/daughter duo in front of me were nice, and the daughter was a coaster enthusiast. 

Eventually I got in side, but was bummed to find out that Twisted Cyclone wasn’t on the list to get a free Flash Pass.  Oh well.  I got one for Justice League, since I hadn’t ridden it yet, and Dare Devil Dive, since it’s so low capacity. Next it was time to wait in another line.  So I got in for Twisted Cyclone.  The line moved at a brisk pace, actually.  I had a really cool dad/son in front of me that I was able to talk to for quite a while.  Then I got into the station.  I’ve found that RMCs tend to be best from the front, so I got in line to get a front row ride.  And thats when I found out that theres a single rider line.  And every single train was going out with about 3 empty seats because there was barely anyone getting in the single rider line.  I won’t make the mistake of not using that again, but honestly the line wasn’t terrible.  An hour is about my threshold.

Twisted CycloneThe prelift section was neat.  you head up the lift quickly, then the madness starts.  Great first drop.  I loved the ‘reverse cobra roll’ thing, it was very disorienting.  Then theres the fanturn.  I’ve become a big fan of sideways airtime in the last few years (thanks RMC and B&M!).  Then there are some banked and overbanked turns, some low hills with fantastic airtime, a few more turns, and then you hit the brakes.  The ride is on the shorter side, but boy does it pack a punch.  And while I loved the original, this is a great upgrade for the park.

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After I got off I took some pics and picked up my (included with my Diamond Elite Membership) onside photo.  Then I went over to the other new to me attraction, the Justice League dark ride to use my pass.  And I have to say, this ride was outstanding.  Very on par with any similar ride at Universal Studios, and not Six Flags-esq at all.  That is a very good thing.  I really enjoyed it.  I just hope the parks that have these keep them up.

So I walked around the park for a little bit.  The park was absolutely packed.  There were long lines for everything.  I made my way down to the bottom back half and found some food which, with my 50% off (thanks Diamond Elite Membership!) cost me around $6, much less than normal. It was getting hot out, and the lines were not getting shorter, so I decided to use my DDD Flash Pass as I hadn’t ridden this in a while.  Even the Flash Pass line was a good 15 minute wait.  I still like this ride and I’m glad it has lap bars only.

I toyed with riding Goliath, but the line was too long.  I thought about riding Cyclone again from the single rider line, but my friends started texting me about the evening’s plans, so instead I decided to head out and Lyft back. That evening we (well, all of us but Stefan, who just wanted to stay in the room because of his misfortune) decided to head out into Atlanta before heading out on the town.  It was a much more fun night without having any wallets stolen, but our second stop for the evening was too crowded, so we found a much less crowded night spot.

Sunday was laid back.  We had brunch in Decatur at Sweet Melissa’s my favorite brunch spot in the Atlanta Metro area.  Then we all headed back.  I mostly slept on the drive back.  I look forward to my next trip because when it isn’t so crowded, I really like over Georgia.  Twisted Cyclone is a definite hit for the park.  I’m glad I have 3 good to great RMC coasters within 4 hours in each direction.

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