Day Trip on Main

 

My husband, sister, and I took a day trip to Grayson, Georgia, located in the second most populous county of the state known as Gwinnett.  This small town in the southeast area of the county had a population of 2,666 at the last census.  That number has changed as it has benefited from growth due to exurban tendencies.  Our day trip was not complete without having lunch at one of its local eateries.  We decided to dine at Sam’s on Main and was delightfully pleased.  Located in the heart of downtown,  the restaurant opened in 2017.  We met the cheerful Sam – owner and chef.  Quite knowledgeable about the area and social proclivities, chef Sam along with our friendly server, chatted with the three of us about some of the menu items.  We were very pleased with our choices for lunch and vowed to return; especially after we learned that they have added Sunday brunch.  Definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area.  It was encouraging to see several nearby buildings in construction.  We were advised that soon Sam’s on Main will be surrounded by lots of retail establishments.  Truly a day trip we found worthwhile and fun.

Humble Beginnings…With Lots of Love

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In today’s climate, we hear about wealthy parents doing illegal things to give their children a leg up – as if they needed a leg up; we hear about rich kids who are given opportunities because of their zip codes or who their parents are.  While these are realities of life, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that our world is definitely in disarray.  However, love still trumps all.  Whether you grew up in a home like the one featured here or a mansion on the hill, if you were part of a loving family who had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over your head, you were pretty darn blessed.  It’s the love you remember.

An Outing & Antiquing

A recent outing to Braselton, Georgia, located 53 miles northeast of Atlanta, was delightfully fun-filled for my husband and me.  It is a small town with a very popular historic district.  It is obvious that a priority for the downtown district is preserving buildings while restructuring for the future.  We saw this during our visit to the Antique Mall.  This was particularly gratifying as we browsed its collectibles, antiques and vintage pieces.  We also enjoyed our stop at Pretty Petals & Pickin’s, located in an old house that retained a lot of its original structure.  Their offerings included furniture, home decor, primitives, gifts, silk floral arrangements and also antiques.  Our getaway was only complete after lunching at Cotton Calf Kitchen, a contemporary eatery we highly recommend.  The food was delicious and the atmosphere and service were spot on – also located in a converted historic space.  They feature sharable plates, seafood, dry-aged steaks, vegetables, and so much more.  You can also enjoy their patio seating or the bar.  So whether you’re in the mood for lunch or dinner or brunch on Sunday, check them out.  Pulling up in our driveway as we returned home, we were admiring our newly purchased silk floral arrangement and lamp.  We know we’ll make a return trip to the beautiful Braselton.

Country Love

This is a bittersweet “Mother’s Day” weekend.  While my husband and I spent the last couple of days traveling to our hometowns, we were joyous as we remembered the love for and by our mothers.  We were equally saddened as we remembered earlier times when we would be visiting them to share this joyous weekend.  Riding on the Country roads and enjoying the early morning fresh air permeate the car, we saw squirrels dash across the road, birds fly by and the Kudzu was as ominous as ever.  Somehow the beautiful flowers we left at the cemeteries didn’t make us feel better; they just heightened our gloominess.  But then we forced ourselves to “snap out of it.”  Instead our thoughts went immediately to all the love.  We both grew up in Country love – another name for a “mother’s love.”  And that’s something we’ll have in our hearts forever.

Lunch to “Mill” Over

After a busy morning of appointments and running errands, my husband and I  realized it was lunchtime…and we were famished.  We were near one of our favorite restaurants and immediately drove there.  It is a Mediterranean grill located in Fayette County, Georgia, called Frank’s @ The Old Mill.  Located on Hwy. 54, a mill was built in 1837, used for milling corn and wheat.  A beautiful site, with a functional water wheel, also served as a community center for picnics and socials.   In 1930, it ceased being a mill and is now converted and expanded into a restaurant.  Locals and visitors enjoy the scenery of the landscape, the waterfall, welcoming atmosphere, and all the ambiance of this quality eatery.  And oh yes, the food is delicious!  We highly recommend a visit.

Hard Labor & Pure Joy

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My husband and I woke this Saturday morning to find a beautiful sky filled with the promise of a Spring mix of loveliness.  We hurried through breakfast and grooming and headed North of our home.  In the mood for some outdoors, we agreed that Hard Labor Creek State Park would be just what we needed.  An hour drive from Atlanta, we enjoyed the beauty of the blooming flowers, bikers out in droves, and the reality that most of us that morning were happy to enjoy this rich morning of bliss.  There are over 5000 acres in the park, located in Rutledge, Georgia, named after Hard Labor Creek, a small stream that cuts through the park.  From a historical perspective, it is suggested that the creek’s name comes from either slaves who once tilled the summer fields, or from Native Americans who found the area around the stream difficult to cross over.  If you’re in the mood for some camping, horseback riding, golfing, walking trails, or driving range, we highly recommend this beautiful and rustic setting in North-central Georgia at the southern tip of the Appalachian.  You’ll also enjoy the beach and the accommodating cottages.  Check it out!

The County Fair

My husband and I spent an amazing Sunday at the local county fair.  It was a day to remember.  Both of us having grown up in the country, looked forward to the fair coming to town each year.  It brought excitement, colorful and exciting rides, delicious food, animals, and all the fanfare local residents expected.  We’re both retired now and still enjoy the county fair.  This visit was no different.  As we approached the entry, we could smell the aroma of popcorn, onion, and charcoal grills.  Once again, we felt like teenagers bouncing from ride to ride.  While we didn’t actually bounce to the rides, we definitely strolled to the foods we remembered enjoying.  We met others lounging in the dining areas and delighted in conversations with them where we reminisced about our past experiences at similar festive atmospheres.  It was heartwarming to see the little one’s strolling by holding their parent’s hands with such eagerness and anticipation.  Even teens and tweens who walked by staring into their mobile phones seemed content to be enjoying a day of amusement.  After tasty gratification on junk food, we decided to visit the exhibits.  A dear friend had entries of her knitted items we wanted to see so this was our first stop.  However, as we entered the area, the first exhibit facing us was one featuring flags, shirts and other items heavily promoting the confederate flag.  [See photo insert.]  With “pep in our step” from having such a wonderful time, this immediately brought us back to the reality of “sign of the times.”   We wondered to ourselves how this would be edifying to visitors not only to the exhibits but to the fair as a whole.  We wondered why this particular exhibit would be considered fun and exciting.  What are your thoughts, my dear readers?  Appropriate or not?  Nevertheless, a visit to the local county fair was like a trip back in time…we laughed a lot and pondered as well.  I welcome your comments.

The Park Awaits…

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Spring is “springing.”  On this beautiful February afternoon, fellow Atlantans spread out over the beautiful Lenora Park.  The sound of children running and playing, owners walking their dogs, as hubby and I are walking by the cool breeze of the water…is like music to our ears.  The lot of us could hardly wait for this day.  After months of cold and rainy weather, we were delighted to once again feel the sun on our faces, and see the blooms beginning to sprout – soon the green leaves will return on the towering trees. Only a few more weeks to go before we officially celebrate a most popular season.  We outdoor lovers and the parks, await.

A Brisk Morning Atop the Mountain

With temperatures in the mid-30’s, my husband and I set out to explore the terrain at Red Top Mountain State Park.  Only an hour drive from our home near Atlanta, we enjoyed the drive we referred to as “up North.”  Wrapped in our caps and gloves and heavy jackets, our first stop was at the Visitor Center.  We browsed around admiring the promotional merchandise.  Later, as we walked around admiring the picnic tables, shelters, and cookout grills, our minds wandered to the upcoming warmer climates of Spring and Summer – immediately filling us with hope, anticipation, and the promise of these cherished seasons.  This popular state park, located on 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona, is ideal for swimming, boating and fishing.  Named for the soil’s rich red color caused by high iron-ore content, Red Top Mountain was once an important mining area for iron.  Definitely recommend for outdoor adventures or just a day trip to enjoy the surroundings and breathe the crisp mountain air of this idyllic place.

A Day Trip to Some Happiness

On an overcast day and looking for some fun and adventure, my husband and I decided on an outing that would be close by home but just far away to feel like we’d experienced something new…and we did.  We settled on a trip that was only an hour away yet brought happiness and satisfaction.  We drove to Reynolds Lake Oconee, a reservoir in central Georgia, located on the Oconee River near the towns of Greensboro and Eatonton.  This stunning lake has 374 miles of shoreline; shimmering in quiet tranquility, with a conveniently-located, beautiful Ritz-Carlton resort.  We visited the hotel property and enjoyed strolling the immaculately landscaped grounds that feature a Bistro, hiking trail, lakefront chiminea dining, an eloquent Steakhouse restaurant, lakeside rental cottages, and a casual dining spot called Gaby’s by the Lake.  This is where we enjoyed a delicious lunch with a promise to our very charming and friendly server that “we’d be back.”  We found the staff’s service to be exquisite from the moment we arrived until the moment we drove away.  We were grateful for the golf cart tour of the property, the education we received from the concierge, and the hotel’s personnel who helped promote the property.  We agreed on a return trip to experience their mantra to give their guests an opportunity to be entertained, refreshed, relaxed and rested.  Definitely recommend a visit to such a lovely place if you like walking/biking, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boat riding, sedway touring, horseback riding, tennis playing, bank fishing, basketball playing, boating (pontoons), jet-skiing, and relaxing to a campfire.  Yes, they also have an amusing train ride around the resort.  Indeed, we found happiness during an overcast day.