Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


GPA Conference: Atlanta, GA

This year's Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Conference was in Atlanta. I co-presented a session on social media with D, a woman I'd met at my first GPA Conference in 2014 when we ran together in the dark Portland morning with the running/walking group. Unfortunately, D was on crutches this year due to a possible hip stress fracture (!), so she came down in the morning to greet the runners and walkers but couldn't come out with us. I joined M and J to run the route towards Centennial Olympic Park and did two loops around the venue before returning to the hotel and then heading a few blocks farther north on Peachtree Street to complete our 5K workout.

Of course I had to make time to visit the Capitol Building, in line with Mr. E's and my affinity for capitol cities. Since I was staying at the downtown Hyatt Regency, just a bit more than 1 mile from the Capitol, I was able to enjoy a walk in the sunny afternoon along Peachtree Street on my way south to the Capitol. I passed by Woodruff Park, which has some great public art celebrating the city of Atlanta.

And once I reached the Capitol, I did a self-guided tour of the interior, where I was particularly struck by the beautiful portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I also circled the exterior grounds, which are full of statues depicting historical figures and events in Atlanta's history, including Jimmy Carter and an artwork commemorating the expulsion of a number of black legislators due to racism.

I was pleased to discover that Atlanta has a fledgling bike share program, although I didn't get an opportunity to do any cycling during my visit.

After the conference wrapped up for the day, I headed up to Polaris, the 360-degree rotating restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. I enjoyed a tasty roasted beet salad and a Negroni cocktail as the sun set and the view of the city slowly passed before my eyes.

The next evening, I planned to take a ride on Skyview Atlanta, the big Ferris Wheel near Olympic Centennial Park, but it was closed due to some sort of power outage. Darn! Luckily, I had gone with a GPA colleague to Sundial, another rotating restaurant much higher than Polaris, at the nearby Westin Hotel, so I still got to enjoy a great panoramic view of the city.

I had an early morning flight on Southwest back home to Sacramento on Saturday, but the beautiful sunrise view outside the plane helped to redeem the 3:30am (yawn) wake-up time.


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