The Hellhole

Monday, May 27, 2013

On Saturday, after a lovely night's sleep on a comfy bed with high thread-count sheets, we returned to the club lounge for breakfast.  Alan had pancakes and sausage; I had scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms, a croissant, smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese - uh, quite a lot of smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese, if I'm honest - and we both had some fresh fruit.  Remember, all this decadence is free if you spend a little extra to stay on club level.  Club level just might be my new "thing".

Then we got ready to depart for the Georgia Aquarium.  It's a few blocks up and over, a bit of a long walk but yet so close that you'd feel silly driving, and the weather was perfect - neither too chilly, too hot or too humid.  The tickets were free, thanks to a friend of The Boss, so that was very cool.  The aquarium is a marvelous experience.

See the widdle sea-dragon?

 He was having fun scooting around his tank.


I got all excited thinking I would get to pet one, because as we were watching I saw a hand break the top of the water and pet one's head.  We climbed a flight of stairs but apparently it was a handler reaching into the tank, and we plebeians are not allowed to pet the Belugas.

This saddened me.  Petting a ray is not the same as petting a Beluga.

No offense to you rays out there.


The aquarium makes a big point of the fact that they are not, in fact, fish, so they refer to the various species as "jellies" instead of "jellyfish".
I was a little disappointed not to see this bright red guy that we'd seen at the aquarium right after it opened.  He was this small fellow that was so brilliantly red, he looked like a child had colored him with a Crayola.  He was neat.

I could have sat in the Barrier Reef exhibit for hours.  I mean that quite literally.  The bright pink guy was one of my favorites.  He's a painted anthias.

As were the blue devil damselfish.
This was taken looking up at the [acrylic? lexan? some majorly strong thick plastic] ceiling where waves break over your head periodically.  It's fun to watch the near-to-the-surface fish react to that.

I didn't get a picture of the unicorn fish.  I shall have to consult Alan.

Seriously, I could have stayed there all day.  We've kinda talked about getting a very very very much smaller salt water aquarium, but I think it might upset me too much when the fishies die.  As I understand it, there are quite a lot of casualties when first setting up a salt water tank, until everything gets balanced.  Although I love watching them, and even have two DVDs of simply aquarium scenes with fish swimming about and water burbling (they help me sleep when I'm troubled), it would sadden me to think I'd killed somefish.

After a nice lunch here - and I don't want to sound snobby, but I eat here from time to time with The Boss or take our employees to celebratory lunches, like for birthdays or work anniversaries - I was kinda tickled when the hostess said, "Oh, Ms. Bowman!  Hello!  Just two today?"  Lunch was housemade bleu cheese chips appetizer, cheddar burger for Alan, grilled grouper for me (no, don't remind me of what I wrote about killing fish - someone else already did it) we came back to our room to relax for a bit, read some books or iPod, depending on one's preference (you guys can guess) and then we had dinner at Atlanta Grill, the restaurant at the Ritz.

We had the three cheese appetizer (wonderful, particularly the goat cheese offering), split an Atlanta Grill salad, I had filet mignon and he had boneless beef short ribs with chard and goat cheese/mushroom ravioli.  Everything was as gastronomically fabulous as it sounds.  Since the weather was so perfect, we ate outside on the patio.  A guy down on the street (the restaurant/patio is on the 2nd floor of the hotel) was standing out there and singing - "Under The Boardwalk", "Cupid", "Another Saturday Night", "Life's Been Good To Me" - he had such a fabulous voice, it was unbelievable.  This guy belongs on a major record label, he was that amazing, just singing a capella whatever fancied him.  At one point he saw me smiling down at him and told Alan that his next song was for Alan's pretty lady, so I left the table, went down to the street and slipped him a twenty.  Hey, he wasn't begging, he was providing a service.

After stuffing ourselves way too full, we went back to our room and found this.

Pink rose petals strewn all over the bed...

 A silver ice bucket containing a very good bottle of champagne...

The note behind the goblets read thusly:

We had talked to the club lounge concierge the night before; she'd asked where we were from and what brought us to Atlanta.  We answered, just making conversation, not expecting anything - especially not anything like this! - that we were staying downtown to celebrate our anniversary, eat some decadent meals, visit the aquarium and get our relaxation on.  And while we were at dinner, the staff did this.

Even our housekeeper left us a 'happy anniversary, enjoy your stay' card.  This postcard photo is from the December 15, 1939 premier of Gone With The Wind at Loew's Grand Theatre here in Atlanta.  Point of trivia:  on the flight out of Atlanta after the festivities, Laurence Olivier proposed to Vivian Leigh and she accepted.

We went back down to the club lounge for dessert, even though we were both stuffed to the gills.  But after seeing the magnificence of their cocktail hors d'oeuvres, I knew I'd regret it all my life if I didn't sample their desserts.  Chocolate fondue, raspberries in brownies with dark chocolate sauce, cheesecakes plural, mousse, cookies...seriously, how long do you think I could live at the Ritz before The Boss fired me and my credit cards cut me off?  It might be worth it.

Then it was back to our room for our anniversary champagne.  Mmmm, champagne.  I don't often drink champagne and hence forget how much I like it; mediocre champagne gives me a headache, usually behind my left eye, but good champagne is so good, light and delicious.

The next morning during and after another decadent breakfast at the club lounge, featuring much more smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese on someone's part, and French toast and sausage on someone else's, we watched the Monaco Grand Prix (yay for Nico Rosberg, winning that race 30 years after his dad did!) we departed for home.  I was sad to leave, but glad to see our puppies.  We also had our usual errands to run before the work week started but it was nice to have time to do that and also relax at home (I had a nap!) before resuming the usual routine.  I hope that we will be in a position to make the Ritz an annual anniversary tradition.  I could get used to this!


  • Fantastic photos! Made me wish I were there.....

    So glad you and Alan had this wonderful experience.

    Love you both,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:31 AM  

  • How perfect! I love the patio dinner scene with the singer below. :-)

    By Blogger Nancy H, at 9:39 PM  

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