Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Trading Places

Dawn and I went to Atlanta this past weekend to celebrate my birthday. My main reason for going to Atlanta was because it wasn't Valdosta. I needed a break from my town and my life, and Atlanta seemed as good a place as any to get it.

I've had good luck with Priceline.com, once staying in the downtown Atlanta Westin, a four star hotel with a revolving restaurant on the top, for only $70 per night, so I decided to hit Captain Kirk up for another cheap room.

If you've never used Priceline before, let me explain how it works. You pick a town, an area of that town, and a "star level" hotel you would like to stay in. Then, you make an offer of how much you are willing to pay for that room. To entice you to make your best offer up front, they won't allow you to make a higher offer on the same town, area and "star level" once your original offer has been rejected. You've got to change one of those criteria, so if you have your heart set on a four star hotel in downtown, for example, you'd better not lowball too much, or you won't get a room.

I selected Downtown and Buckhead for my request, asked for a four star hotel and offered $90 per night for it. Minutes later, I got word that Swissôtel had accepted my offer. Yippee! When we arrived at the hotel, we discovered they had given us a deluxe corner room, which meant a corner, wrap around window view of Buckhead. We slept with the curtains open and enjoyed the blinky lights of the city from high above it

The most noteworthy event of the trip came the next day. We walked from the hotel to the Lenox Square Mall and after shopping for a while, we sat at the Panera Bread Company for a dose of caffeine. There, sitting at the table next to ours was Vern Yip from my favorite TV show, Trading Spaces. Dawn didn't believe it was him until several people stopped and told him how much they love the show.

Dawn was dying to use her new Canon G3 to take pictures of us with Vern, but I managed to dissuade her, saying "Leave the poor guy alone." Dawn has a different view on celebrity, thinking that if they are in the public eye, they give up any expectation of being left alone. I, on the other hand, think it's rude to insert yourself into someone's private time, even if you have watched them on TV.

I won the argument. Yippee!

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