Sunday, May 19, 2013

Local Tourists

We have taken some vacation trips over the past few years with our good friends from Streator, Bob and Joan Schmitt.  They have come down here and we've gone to the Georgia coast -- Jekyll and St. Simons' islands; and we went to North Carolina -- the Blowing Rock and Asheville areas as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway.  One year we went north and spent a few days in Chicago together doing all the "touristy" things.  They have also stopped to see us on their way home from Florida a time or two.  But in all the times they've been to our house, we've never done anything in Atlanta!  So this year we decided to make Atlanta our vacation destination.
     One of the fun things we've done is to find bed and breakfast places to stay when we travel.  Most have been very nice and made us feel pampered.  Some have been interesting and make for great stories.  So even though we had a place to stay for this "vacation" (our house), we planned to spend one night downtown and found a bed and breakfast that had a great location.  It was a combination of lovely and amusing.  I'm sure we'll laugh many times over the years about Jerry and I being Mr. and Mrs. Sinus...and about the plumbing in our bathroom.  It was the Shellmont Inn in midtown and I'm glad we stayed there. 
   Joan is a huge Gone With the Wind Fan.  So the very first thing on her bucket list was to see "The Dump"...the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote the book.  After touring there, we ate at Mary Mac's Tea Atlanta legend.  Very good!  That was only a few blocks from our B&B, so we got checked in and got comfortable.  Maybe a little too comfortable (is there such a thing?) because we spent the rest of the afternoon in rocking chairs on the back porch till it was time to go see a Braves game. 
    All that was on Monday.  On Tuesday, after checking out of the B&B, we went just a few miles up the road to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  Spent all morning walking around there.  It's a beautiful place and we got to watch them working on several new large topiaries.  The ones they're advertising a lot are the two cobras.  Amazing was the word that kept coming to mind.  I got inspired about gardening again (poor Jerry)!
     After the botanical gardens we went to check out Underground Atlanta and get some lunch.  Enjoyed fried pickles and other unhealthy
yummies at Johnny Rocket's.  Then got to Cyclorama just before they closed for the day.  The rush-hour traffice coming out of town wasn't as bad as we'd expected.
   On Wednesday we took a break from driving into Atlanta.  We took them to see the Monastery of the Holy Spirit here in Conyers.  It's a very pretty and informative place.  Again...I got inspired and got a plant to try my hand at making a bonsai.  We'll see how that goes.  From there we took the back roads to the town of Jonesboro, Georgia.  They have a Gone With the Wind museum there called Road to Tara.  Margaret Mitchell's family was from there and as a child she would go visit them and hear stories and that's what gave her inspiration for the book.  We missed the tours -- didn't know they were only in the morning :( -- but spent time going through the museum. 
     Thursday took us back to Atlanta...but this time we headed north of town for the day.  Our destination was the Atlanta History Museum.  But I told them that if I was going to that side of town, we had to eat at two of my favorite places.  So we had breakfast at the OK Cafe on the way to the museum and had an early dinner at Houston's on the way back home.  Good thing there is a lot of walking and it takes a lot of time to see the museum itself as well as the Swan House, the Tullie Smith farm and the nature walk that ties them all together. 
   We were going to use Friday to be lazy again and just relax at home.  But we'd been lucky with the weather all week despite threatening showers a few times.  When we checked the weather forecast for the next couple of days it looked like Friday would be cloudy and Saturday a total washout all the way from here to Illinois.  After having driven in some heavy rain coming down, they were not looking forward to doing that again on the way home.  So they left on Friday instead. 
   As usual, we had a good time.  We saw a lot and learned a lot and had some laughs.  We didn't do all the things on our list, so we may have to make Atlanta a vacation destination again some time.  And that sounds fine to me!


Anonymous said...

We had a great time on our Atlanta 'tur'! Now I'm reading about Margaret Mitchell's life and looking forward to another 'tur'.

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