by Al Falligan
From the Editor: The clock is running on preparations for the 2000 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind Sunday, July 2, through Saturday, July 8. If you have not yet made your hotel reservation, you had better get to it immediately. We will meet at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta, a truly beautiful and spacious world-class hotel. Rooms have been reserved for us at the Marquis as well as the Atlanta Hilton and Towers and the Atlanta Hyatt, both only a short walk away. Our hotel rates are excellent. For the 2000 convention they are singles, $57; doubles and twins, $59; triples, $61; and quads, $63. A tax of 14 percent will be charged, but there will be no charge for children rooming with parents as long as no extra bed is requested.
For room reservations write directly to Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or call (404) 521-0000. Marriott has a national toll-free number, but do not use it. Reservations made through this national number will not be valid. They must be made directly with the hotel. The hotel will want a deposit of $60 or a credit card number. If a credit card is used, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $60 check. If a reservation is cancelled prior to June 4, 2000, $30 of the $60 deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.
But before you pick up the phone to make your travel and hotel reservations, read the following article and make sure that your arrival and departure times will allow you to take advantage of the wonderful tours the Georgia affiliate has arranged for our enjoyment. Here is what Al Falligan has to say:
On behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia, thank you for coming to explore Atlanta, host city of the National Convention in 2000. With its southern charm and warm weather, Atlanta has always been a great place to visit.
Visitors to Atlanta can enjoy world-class museums; great restaurants; memorable shopping; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Center; Zoo Atlanta; the World of Coca-Cola; and Stone Mountain.
We are offering five tour packages for your enjoyment. Sign up early. Please note that the deadline for reservations and cancellations is June 24, 2000. Also keep in mind that the prices quoted are dependent on guaranteed minimum sign-ups, so decide now to take a tour or two and invite your friends to join you. See y'all!
The prices for tours listed below include buses, experienced guides, tips, and sales tax and admissions where applicable. Tours leave from the Courtland Street entrance of the Marriott Marquis, which is just across the street from the Hilton.
Pre-paid tickets can be picked up at the tour desk. Remaining tickets will be sold on a space-available basis. Tour desk hours are Sunday, noon till 1:00 p.m.; Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.
Tour 1: Sunday, July 2, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King Center/Coca-Cola Underground Atlanta: First stop, spend an hour at the King Center: ride to Underground Atlanta for a tour of the Coca-Cola Museum with time to browse in the shops at Underground Atlanta. Price, $25 per person including bus, guide, Coca-Cola admission, tax and tip. No child rate.
Tour 2: Thursday, July 6, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Black Heritage Tour: Spend two hours at Martin Luther King Center, visiting Ebenezer Baptist Church, Visitors Center, and the Crypts. Drive through downtown Atlanta to the Atlanta University Center, before driving past the Shrine of the Black Madonna on the return trip to the hotel. Price, $25 per person, includes bus, guide, tax, and tip. $22, children through age eleven.
Tour 3: Thursday, July 6, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Zoo Atlanta: Plenty of time is allowed to walk through the Zoo with a Zoo volunteer describing the many different exhibits and animals. Atlanta's two new attractions are the giant pandas on loan from China. Price is $30 per person, includes Zoo admission, bus, guide, tax, and tip. $28 child rate.
Tour 4: Thursday, July 6, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sci-Trek, Georgia's Technology Museum: Explore more than 90,000 square feet of exhibit space and over 150 interactive educational exhibits. With various levels of complexity, the exhibits range from basic pulleys and levers to the operation of virtual reality games and live science demonstrations. Price is $30 per person, includes bus, guides, admission, tax, and tip. $27 child rate.
Tour 5: Thursday, July 6, 7:00 to 10:30 p.m.
Ray's on the River Dinner Party: This tour is back by popular demand. The beautiful restaurant nestled on the banks of the Chatahoochee River is the perfect setting for your dinner party. Stroll through the gardens along the river, enjoy a delicious dinner (salad, choice of chicken or salmon, rice, vegetable, and Key lime pie or chocolate mousse pie, coffee, tea). Pianist will play popular tunes during dinner. Price is $58 per person, includes buses, guides, dinner, tax, and tip. No child rate.
Please complete the following order form and send it and your check for the full amount required to the address listed at the bottom of the form. If you read the Braille or cassette editions and have no access to the actual form, be sure to include all of the information requested on the form when you send your check and written order. Be very sure to include your contact information, legibly written, so that you can be reached in case of confusion with your request or a change in plans.
Tour Reservation Form
Please reserve the following tickets to be picked up at the reservation desk at the Marriott Marquis.
Tour 1, MLK-Coca-Cola: Sunday, July 2, number of tickets ____ $25: total ____.
Tour 2, Black Heritage: Thursday, July 6, number of tickets ____ $25 (adults): total ____, number of tickets for children up to twelve years ____, $22, total ____.
Tour 3, Zoo, Thursday, July 6, number of tickets at $30____, total ____. Number of tickets for children ____ $28, total ____.
Tour 4, Sci-Trek: July 6, number of tickets at $30 ___, total amount ____. Number of tickets for children, ____, $27 total ____.
Tour 5, Ray's on the River, Thursday, July 6, number of tickets ____, $58 total ____.
Grand total ____
Deadline for reservations and cancellations is June 24, 2000. Tours leave from Courtland Street entrance of the Marriott Marquis facing the Hilton. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Fran O'Reilly and Associates and mailed to Post Office Box 720336, Atlanta, Georgia 30358-2336. We do not accept credit card orders. Call (404) 255-3682 or fax (404) 255-2640.