Sunday, March 18, 2012

Days 1 & 2

I’m kind of slacking a little on this because I originally wanted to do one day at a time, as I’ve never really done a whole lot of blogging, and I figured that this would be a great way to start.
First of all, day one really doesn’t exist. We loaded the buses in Eau Claire at 4 and departed at 4:30. We drove the three hours to Madison East Towne mall where we got dinner. On the way, we did rotations around the bus and got to know some people. Honestly, I was really hoping to just get some sleep, as I’d been putting off a nap all day so I would actually be able to sleep on the bus. It was really great though to get to know the people that I was going to be spending the next eight days with, everyone was super friendly and seemed just as excited as I was. After eating at the mall, we all loaded back on the bus, and we all knew it was going to be a long night. Instead of a bed, or a floor, or anything comfortable, we got to sleep on the bus as we continued on down south. If it weren’t for Macchiato, my zebra pillow pet, I would not have gotten any sleep, so for future reference, if you ever want to spend a night on a bus: TAKE A PILLOW PET. It still felt like I didn’t get much sleep anyways, but when I woke up I saw signs from towns in Tennessee, we then stopped for breakfast in Chattanooga. Good thing they had coffee, cause I definitely needed it! Weird thing was, we ran into the Eau Claire track team at the same restaurant in the same town, my question is how does that work out? Either way, the irony was pretty cool. After we changed into our clothes for the day at the restaurant and ate a great breakfast, we all loaded back on to the bus.
We then continued on to our first actual stop which was Atlanta, Georgia. The weather for the day was perfect for what was planned. We had free time which offered many opportunities such as the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca Cola museum, a tour inside of CNN, the underground mall, walking through Olympic park and much more. I have two suggestions for anyone planning on going again. If you are planning on going to the aquarium, GO RIGHT AWAY, do not stop and satiate any hunger you may have in the CNN food court, go to the aquarium so that you have a chance to walk through it. I was going to go, but it was at capacity after I stopped and ate, but that was okay, because I still had a great day. And then the second, is if you plan on going to the park, bring something to play with, maybe a frisbee, and make some friends beforehand so that you have some people to play with! The park is absolutely beautiful, and I had a great time playing frisbee since our original plan had been deterred. After spending some time in the sun, we decided to make our way down to the Underground Mall, it was different than any mall I’ve been to before. But in a good way! My first time at an outdoor mall was over the summer when I was in Colorado, but I’ve never been to a mall that was located underground. I thought it was awesome. The shops were different than ones I was used to, but I enjoyed seeing the different style of clothes that they had there. I almost got a tarot card reading, but thenn…. I didn’t. I know that was a good story. After that we loaded back up on the bus, and went and listened to a speech given by Charles Person. He was extremely inspirational and told us about his experience being one of the Freedom Riders. The surprising thing was that a lot of the stuff he talked about were things that aren’t taught in history class. It’s the stuff that is just skimmed over. I felt honored to be in the presence of someone who had done something so important in the civil rights movement. Just because his name isn’t widely known, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a big part. I’ve learned that every person who was actively doing something had a large role in the movement. Just the fact that there was another person on their side fighting for civil rights. After his speech, I had the opportunity to thank him for sharing his story and then taking a picture with him. Afterwards, we were served a delicious dinner and then headed to a hotel. 
All I could think about at this point was how excited I was to see an actual bed that I was able to sleep in, and shower. Along with that, I realized just how great the day was because it tired me out that much. We unloaded our things and headed up to the room, which was really nice, and I was so pumped to get in that bed. We all took turns showering, and decided that we really are never in Atlanta, Georgia, so we wanted to make the most of it. Around the hotel, there were many different things to see, so we walked around. It was so relaxing and nice to walk in the cool night air, and just seeing the nightlife of the city, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. All the people were friendly, and everything was so cheerful. I couldn’t help but smile. After I took everything in, I realized that I really did need sleep, due to the lack of it the night before, and the busy day I just had. So it was time to head back to the hotel, once my head hit that pillow, I was out. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store. More to come soon!

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