Day 11: Assume the tortoise position

April 24, 2009


DAY 11: Smyrna, Georgia
Miles traveled: 1,542
States visited: 7
Weather: 79, hailstorm of the century

I spent the past two days with my couchsurfing host Stephanie just outside Atlanta. On Wednesday we checked out a local bar in Smyrna called Varner’s. We got there too late to join in their weekly poker game, so we waited around for trivia night to start. This was a lot like any other trivia night, except it was adult trivia night. Two-thirds of the questions were about movies and the other third dealt with obscure sexual terminology (the “tortoise position,” anyone?)

Our team managed to take second place, though I was no help at all. (I need to find a trivia night that focuses more on music!) Our prize was a $20 bar credit, which helped defray the cost of our food and beverages, of which there were many.

On Thursday we headed into Atlanta proper to check out Piedmont Park, a park downtown that is similar to Central Park. Lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife, including turtles (but apparently no tortoises.)


We went to Little Five Points for lunch at Vortex, a restaurant with lots of attitude. Their menu contains a full page of rules and regulations, detailing their “no whining policy” and “no idiot zone.” Their food was outstanding – the chili cheeseburger & tater tots I got were big enough for two meals.

We got hit up by a spiky-haired individual named Casey to contribute to some environmental cause. I thought Casey was a guy but Stephanie insisted she was a girl. I suppose we’ll never know. Unless this blog catches fire throughout the internet and Casey stumbles upon this post.

Little Five Points is a really funky neighborhood, but it’s small. It is definitely the hipster capital of Atlanta but I don’t know if I’d want to live there, necessarily.


Last night I encountered the hailstorm of the century. I always hear about golf ball-sized hail, but I’d never really seen it until now. The storm, and an extended invite, prompted me to stay an extra night in Atlanta, where I spent the evening playing poker with Stephanie’s roommates. We played Texas Hold Em, which I hadn’t played before, but a combination of beginner’s luck and an unlikely series of flushes allowed me to emerge victorious.


Stephanie and her roommates were very accommodating. I’m glad I chose to couchsurf in Atlanta. Today I’m off to Knoxville to meet some family, and then to the Smoky Mountains to do some hiking this weekend, before heading to Nashville and New Orleans next week.