Ramble On

Monday, November 21, 2016

Back to Atlanta

I’m just back from Atlanta, where I was on a business trip for most of last week.  It had been more than 10 years since my last business trip down there – I estimate that I’ve been there 10-12 times as a consultant, and another three or four times as a tourist.  On this trip, I was able to pursue both objectives.

My goal for the business part of the trip was to attend a conference about architecture, engineering, and construction, which is the industry I’ve been consulting in since 1998, when I got my MBA.  After doing this work for so long, I have a lot of professional associates, and it is inevitable that I would run into a few of them at a conference like this one, which previewed what’s likely to happen across the Department of Defense over the next few years.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting a chance to visit with one of my USC MBA classmates, Attila, who landed at Coca-Cola after graduate school and has been here since.  Mary and I went to his wedding to Cindy a few years ago, and I saw him again during one of those previous business trips. 

This time, they invited me to their house for dinner.  I got to meet their 3 children, and learned about how they’ve travelled around the country in an RV (they’re not the only friends who have adopted this form of recreation – see post here).  Plus, Cindy made a great dinner that just happened to serve one of my favorites for the main course, and their youngest celebrated her birthday with me, so we had an excellent cake for dessert!

In the photo of us, Attila is showing off his license plate from the car he bought in LA.  He bought the car from Takuo, one of our Japanese classmates, and then drove it to Atlanta.  When he finally sold it he saved the license plates and sent one to Takuo in Japan!

In the years since I had been there, Atlanta has really grown.  Unfortunately, it’s a sprawl situation, and the neighborhood where the conference was held is squarely in the middle of all this uncontrolled growth.  My hotel was situated on the same street where they are building the new Braves baseball stadium, so it is only going to get worse in those part. 

From my hotel window, the view included a freeway and then just across it the conference center.  It was less than a half mile away, but the walk was a mile because of the traffic and construction.  I tried that once, but afterwards took the hotel shuttle over for the rest of the week. 

It was a small world thing, but after looking at this view for the first time, I realized that one of the events for Attila’s and Cindy’s wedding had been held at the really nice hotel adjoining the conference center.  That was a pretty nice coincidence and I was really happy to have been able to meet up with them during the stay.  

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