This weekend I had the privilege of a three day holiday, courtesy of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. So it was quite fitting that I should be flying into his hometown of Atlanta on Friday. It seemed strange flying into there again – I did that journey from Boston a lot at the end of 2010 when Mark returned home from Iraq to his base at Fort Benning, GA.
But this time, however, I’d taken the opportunity of the three day weekend to head down there to visit some friends who moved south just over a year ago from MA, for new positions at UGA. It’s been a year since I saw them, and I miss them no longer being local, so I was excited to be visiting them.
Janet kindly collected me at the airport when I arrived, and we drove back to their hometown of Winterville, an hour and a half north of Atlanta. By the time we arrived, it was after 8pm. Joerg had been cooking dinner, so we spent the evening eating, drinking wine, and catching up. It was so great to be able to sit and enjoy their company again.
They were excited that I’d brought them a case of haggis too! I cooked it for their “leaving dinner” at the end of 2010 when they were about to leave MA, and they loved it. So before Christmas I had a bright idea of taking some down to them when I made the trip this weekend. So I ordered a case from The Caledonian Kitchen. I reminded them that it’s Burns’ Night on January 25th, so maybe they’ll have their own haggis, neeps and tatties supper that night!
Their house is in the middle of nowhere – just perfect! Along a single track road through the woods – I didn’t see another car along it all weekend! Such a beautiful home – it’s like a log cabin retreat! I told them I’d never leave the house if I lived there.
On Saturday they took me for a spin around the UGA campus, and then we went for a wander around Athens. It was my first time visiting the Athens region, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it all. The UGA campus is huge – its facilities seems amazing too. Some of the the grounds on campus are very picturesque as well, it was so nice to walk around for a while.
Later we met up with a mutual friend of ours, also now at UGA – he has a couple of dogs, so we took a walk with them in a local park for a while – it was certainly a beautiful day for a walk.
In the evening we headed over to visit some of Janet & Joerg’s German-speaking friends from the vet school. They regularly get together at weekends for board games and wine! Apparently playing board games is a big thing in German culture. I’m not big into board games (clearly it wasn’t part of my culture growing up!), but am always game to join in – we played a few different games through the evening, and I must say, we had a lot of fun.
Sunday was another beautiful, sunny day, and after a leisurely breakfast we drove out to the town of Madison. Named after US President James Madison, the town has the largest historic district in Georgia. Apparently, during the Civil War, General Sherman’s Army spared Madison from destruction because it was the home of pro-Union Senator Joshua Hill.
Such a lovely Main Street area, with beautiful, historic buildings to see. Here’s a few of my favorites……
Back at the ranch later on (after a wee bit of ice cream, and some antique-store hopping!), I took a meander in the woods around their house. It’s so peaceful and lovely to walk around.
Before we knew it, it was dinner time. We had talked about going into Athens for a beer after dinner, but we ended up deciding against it quite quickly after we’d eaten. So we stayed home for beer instead. I think we were all just tired after a late night the previous evening, and a full day driving around the countryside, and walking around Madison!
And then this morning I left for the airport again. The long weekend was wonderful, but still went by far too quickly. I could do with another day to recover. But alas, it’s back to work again tomorrow.
Maybe time for a glass of wine before I head off to bed though…….