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Here it is...the Atlanta update!

So gents,

Here it is, the Atlanta experience in full and all its glory!

Amazingly, my flights down were no problem, not even a single delay...how's that for unusual!

I got in Monday afternoon and went for a little walkabout around Peachtree Street, down to 'Atlanta Underground' and finally back to the Hard Rock Café for some dinner.

Tuesday was officially my 'play day'. I was up fairly early as I wanted to get down to the Georgia Aquarium before it got too busy. It was only about a ten minute walk down from the Atlanta Sheraton to the aquarium, I'm glad it wasn't too hot on Tuesday though.

Boy oh boy that aquarium is something. I like fish by the way and keep a mixed community tropical tank at home (only a 30 gallon but I don't have space for anything else), so I love to go to aquariums.

Well, the Georgia aquarium is pretty special guys and I highly recommend giving it a visit. Their large tank displays are just unreal, I've honestly never seen tanks that large. The largest one just about blew my mind. It holds over SIX MILLION gallons of water - yes that's right...6,000,000!! The main viewing wall had to be 50' x 30' at least but the tank is so big you go through a tunnel right in the middle of it so you are surrounded by all that water. They've used acrylic instead of glass as it's stronger and you can't see the seams where they join it, which gives the large viewing windows even more impact, there are no seams anywhere to be seen. There was also a chunk of the acrylic out on a stand so you can see how thick it is, 18"!! That's some serious heavy duty stuff.

The whale sharks in the the main tank were simply breathtaking, as one of only 3 aquariums in the world large enough for whale sharks it was simply amazing to see those beautiful creatures gliding along over your head. I loved it and had a great time as well as getting some reasonable photographs. Man, it is hard to take pictures of those suckers tho', they just won't sit still long enough.:biggrin: The best picture I got was actually of a couple of jellyfish, I'll see if I can post it or link to it if I remember.

I had a little walk through Centennial Park on the way back to the hotel, very nicely done. I worked on my presentation a little in the afternoon before Khari picked me up around 4:00pm.

Just a reminder to folks, Khari didn't know me from Adam but kindly offered to meet up with me and take me up to Jonpauls for a shave after I posted about going to Atlanta on this board. I was just tickled that someone would be so kind to effectively a complete stranger.

After reading the warnings about long black cars and anyone wearing a black suit I was most relieved to see Khari pull up in a rather snazzy looking truck (sweet rims once again dude!). We set off for Jonpauls and were soon yapping away ten to the dozen. I don't know about Khari but I felt we got along great and really enjoyed the conversation the whole time.

So, Jonpauls.......what a great little place that is! they've done a really great job of capturing that "Gentleman's Club" feel and it hits you as soon as you walk through the door. Dark wood beams and supports, white walls, tiled floors, teak and mahogany dressers, deep leather armchairs....the place just oozed class. Bear in mind I've never been anywhere like this before (even though I lived in the UK most of my life...I know shameful:redface: ) so my jaw just about hit the floor when almost the first thing the lovely lady behind the counter asked me was whether I would like a drink...and yes she meant of the alcoholic variety.

I settled for a nice, cold Michelob and just began to soak up the atmosphere. I was already beginning to feel relaxed. I was scheduled to have my shave done by Dino, who was just finishing up with another gentleman, so I took a seat while Khari went off and got started with his shave.

Dino came over about ten minutes later and said he was ready for me. He was a nice guy and made me feel very at ease. I sat in this gorgeous leather barbers chair and leaned back. It's kind of like a Victorian Laz-y-boy! Dino started out by trimming and shaping my goatee with some clippers and then started preparing me for the shave.

First up were some hot towels on the face for a few minutes. by this time I had closed my eyes and was really starting to relax. When the towels came off, on went some T&H pre-shave oil. It has a wonderfully light lemon scent and you get a facial massage as it's going on. This was again covered by hot towels to really get those bristles softening up. Off came the towels, on went the cream, nice and hot but out of one of those lathermatic things I think. I know they can't use a brush or even the proper straights now due to health and safety regs, so I guess it's the next best thing. Khari said he thought it was 1805 cream, to be honest I couldn't really smell it but as I have hay-fever at this time of year I'm sometimes hard pushed to smell anything!

Once the cream had been on for a few minutes, Dino tilted my head over and began the shave. He was using a Dovo Shavette with the red blade holder which I guess meant he was using a DE blade. He went with a 'with the grain' pass over the cheeks and a kind of 'across the grain' pass on my neck area.

Then came some kind of moisturizer which evidently had menthol, peppermint AND eucalyptus in it, so boy did I feel the chill!:eek: On top of this, more hot towels so the effect is magnified. Again, the towels stay in place for a few minutes and then the second pass began after application of more lather.

Now this is where I did get a surprise. I had really been expecting a straight shave experience to be a 3 pass deal. This was to be, or so I thought, my second pass which I would do at home as 'across the grain' to really reduce the stubble for the final 'against the grain' pass. So I was somewhat surprised when Dino went straight into an against the grain pass on my neck. Now, on the cheeks this isn't a worry as I can even do this at home as I have quite light stubble in this area. But on my neck, it's a whole different story. I have a fairly sensitive neck and that's why I am careful to get the stubble as short as possible before my final S-N pass.

So, I can really feel this blade skipping and jittering over my neck and I'm thinking to myself "oooooooh boy, I bet there's gonna be some blood after that pass!". It wasn't what I would call painful but there was definitely a level of discomfort to it. Well, after that pass, it was more of the minty stuff but with COLD towels to close up the pores (and what I thought would be my profusely bleeding neck). This was followed by an Alum block over the face (which I like so much I ended up buying one) and finally, more moisturizer and a final dusting with Pinaud talc.

Dino then tidied up the back of my head hair with some clippers as evidently the person who has done my last haircut (only a few days prior as well) hadn't done a fantastic job around the back.

Then he handed me the mirror to take a look at his handiwork. I was really expecting to see a very red neck with some serious razor burn but it wasn't so. Surprisingly, he had nicked me just below my nose which I hadn't even felt but there it was. I like the way he had shaped my goatee very much and all in all it looked like a pretty darn good shave. Once up and out of the chair I gave the face the old once over with my hand and was again surprised to find my neck area still felt quite stubbly. The cheeks were great though.

So, the process itself was fantastic, extremely relaxing and I really did enjoy it. The shave wasn't quite a fantastic as I had hoped but it was still very good. When Khari and I swapped stories afterward he was pretty sure Dino must have been having an "off day" as his first visit had been with Dino and he had a fantastic shave. Never mind is what I say, I still loved the whole ritual and the feeling of being thoroughly pampered.

We went on afterward to hit some stores selling shaving stuff.

Ron, I just about fell in love with L'Occitane which I believe you are a big fan of....with good reason, great stuff!

Then we had some dinner before finally parting company. I truly enjoyed myself and want to give Khari a HUGE thanks in this public arena for a thoroughly great afternoon and evening.

I'm gonna shut up now as I'm starting to get RSI from all this typing!

Hope you guys enjoy the read!:biggrin:
I'm green with envy. It sounds like you both had a great time--very relaxing and enjoyable, which we all deserve now and then. Hopefully more "now" than "then." :tongue:
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