Athens, Georgia – The Classic City

Nearly 50 years ago I first stepped foot on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia as a freshman. Through the years I have returned to Athens too many times to count. I have so many wonderful memories of Athens – walking through campus on my way to class, meeting my husband and getting married in Athens, eight years in a row as parents of UGA students, and many Georgia Bulldogs home football games.

We recently enjoyed wandering around Athens and the University campus on a beautiful late fall afternoon.

We stopped to see two interesting sights unique to Athens.  A double barrelled cannon, the only one known of its kind, stands in front of City Hall. The Tree that Owns Itself  grows in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.

Athens has always been famous for it’s music scene. Bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M., Drive By Truckers, Pylon, Love Tractor and many others performed at the 40 Watt club in their early days. Widespread Panic played at Fraternity houses back in the early 1990’s. When the Georgia Theatre, a beautiful historic concert hall, burned in 2009 it was restored and reopened in 2011. Wuxtry Records, opened in 1976, is still selling vinyl records.

The University of Georgia is the birthplace of higher public education in America. Established on January 27, 1785, the University of Georgia is the nation’s oldest land grant university. North Campus is right across the street from downtown Athens.

Down the hill a short way from north campus is Sanford Stadium, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. We’ve seen several expansions to the stadium over the years and have spent many Saturday afternoons and nights in the stands cheering on the Dawgs.

Greek life is a big part of student life at the University of Georgia. As we drove along Milledge Avenue we passed by many of the beautiful fraternity and sorority houses. The Theta Chi house is my favorite. I’m a little biased because it’s Henry’s fraternity.

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Theta Chi Fraternity

Through the years many restaurants have come and gone. These are three memorable places to eat in Athens.

A lot has changed in Athens over the years but a visit there will always bring back good memories for me.

Snow Day in Coastal Georgia

Snow and ice storms are rare in coastal Georgia. The last time we had snow that stuck was a few days before Christmas in 1989.

The freezing rain and snow that came through on January 3, 2018 caused road and bridge closures. Schools were out and government offices were closed. Coastal Georgia was transformed into a winter wonderland.

Mother-Daughter Weekend in New York City

I recently returned from a fabulous mother-daughter weekend in New York City. My daughter leads a very busy life and lives 400 miles away from me so it isn’t often we have time for just the two of us to be together. We talked and laughed, walked and rode subways and taxis, did everything on our bucket list and more, and ate our way through several different parts of the city. The best part of the weekend for me was spending this special time with my wonderful daughter.

We arrived Friday evening after a several hour weather related flight delay. The first thing on our agenda was a walk to Kesté Pizzeria in the West Village for possibly the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.

On Saturday we started off with an early morning walk to Katz’s Delicatessen for breakfast. It was bagel with lox and cream cheese for me and blueberry blintzes for my daughter. I even ordered a salami to be sent home (it’s delicious).

We took our time admiring the amazing art at the Modern Museum of Art. My daughter knows a lot more about art than I do and pointed out some of the most famous artists and paintings.

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Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”
Girl before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso
Girl before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso
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Monet’s Water Lilies

We both loved the fabulous afternoon tea in the elegant Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel. It was our big splurge of the trip and my Mother’s Day gift from my daughter. We chose the New Yorker tea with so much delicious food that although we tried, we couldn’t eat all of the desserts.

We hopped on the subway to Central Park West to visit the John Lennon Memorial in Strawberry Fields. On our way to the memorial we stopped to admire the view of the city from The Lake.

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The Lake in Central Park West

After our full day we returned to the hotel for a short rest before wandering around SoHo and stopping for drinks and a snack at the SoHo Room. Before turning in for the night we browsed in a couple of book shops in Greenwich Village where my daughter found a book she hasn’t been able to find anywhere else.

Sunday morning started with an early morning ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Going early has it’s perks. We arrived at the Statue of Liberty early enough to beat the crowds.

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Statue of Liberty
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Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island Great Hall
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Lower Manhattan as seen from the ferry

Once we were back in Manhattan we walked to the 9/11 Memorial and spent a while in silence and reflection gazing at the two pools where the twin towers once stood. From the pools we looked up at the One World Trade Center building, also known as the Freedom Tower.

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9/11 Memorial
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One World Trade Center

It was cold and windy as we walked around lower Manhattan and it had been a long time since breakfast. We hopped on the subway to Little Italy for lunch, coffee and pastries. As we strolled along we browsed in a few shops and wound up in Chinatown (and had people trying to sell us watches and purses) before returning to the hotel for an afternoon nap.  Late in the afternoon we headed to Times Square and the Empire State Building.

Our weekend was filled with so much more than just sightseeing. One of my favorite things was just strolling through different parts of the city admiring the beautiful architecture of the buildings. I loved passing by community gardens and parks. It was fun stopping in a pastry shop on our way home one night and trying to decide which of the treats to take back for a late night dessert. Several times we had total strangers offer to help us find what we were looking for. A kind subway station attendant helped get us where we needed to go when we accidentally entered the wrong gate. One night we stopped to look at a FDNY Fire Station and had a nice conversation with one of the young Firefighters.

Monday morning we had time to walk to a coffee shop for breakfast before taking a wild taxi ride to La Guardia, We said goodbye to New York City with a fabulous aerial view of the city.

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View of the city after take off from La Guardia

Having Fun touring Vintage Trailers

“We have more fun than anyone.” – Sisters on the Fly® motto

We have more fun than anyone
We have more fun than anyone

Some members of Sisters on the Fly® recently gathered together at River’s End Campground on Tybee Island, GA.  A quote from their website says:

“Sisters on the Fly®” is the largest outdoor women’s group in the United States with currently over 8,100 “Sisters.” This membership-based community supports women in their journey to get up, get out and become more adventurous!”

Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly

When they visited River’s End campground they opened up their campers for a tour. I had too much fun looking at all the unique trailers and talking to some of the “Sisters”.  They shared their stories, answered questions, and everyone laughed a lot.

Sisters on the Fly Serendipity
Serendipity
Sisters on the Fly Run-A-Muk
Run-A-Muk
Sisters on the Fly Happy Trails
Happy Trails

They came from as far away as Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Many were dressed to match the theme of their trailer and some were decked out in Mardi Gras colors to march in the Tybee Mardi Gras Parade  later that afternoon.

Sisters on the Fly
Vintage 1968 Trailer
Sisters on the Fly
1968 Vintage Trailer kitchen
Barbie Camper and Skates
Barbie Camper and Skates
Sisters on the Fly
Red and White theme inside and out
Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly
Cowgirl Condo I
Sisters on the Fly
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Bless your Heart
Bless your Heart
Girls Raised in the South
Girls Raised in the South

When the “Sisters” have an event, the husbands and kids stay home. If someone has trouble backing up their trailer, another Sister is always there to take over and do the backing for them. One member said you can laugh away 10 pounds at one of their events.

Sisters on the Fly
Home is where you park it
Sisters on the Fly
Welcome

The “Sisters” often travel in caravans and stop to help each other out if there are any problems. If you ever see any of these campers in a campground, be sure to stop and say hello. I guarantee you will have fun.

Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Category 2 Hurricane Matthew passed offshore close to our coastal Georgia home in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 8, 2016. We were safely evacuated in middle Georgia and we returned home to find our house in good shape with no damage. We were among the lucky ones. Many houses had some damage, mostly roof damage and flooding. Some residents had to move out of their homes so repairs can be made. Many other homes, like ours, were spared. Everyone we know was safe.

Many thanks go out to the volunteers who gave their time and/or money to help out those who needed it the most after the storm. There are many volunteer stories throughout the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew but these are a few that I personally know about in our area.

  • A huge thank to our neighbors who rode out the storm and immediately  started clearing the roads as soon as the storm had passed.
  • Friends who evacuated to a motel in a small Georgia town and waited out the storm by volunteering in one of the shelters housing fellow evacuees.
  • The owner of a moving company in Atlanta who brought some of his moving trucks and crews to help people move out when they were unable to remain in their home while repairs are being made.
  • A couple who drove down from Indiana to help people move out while repairs are made to their home.
  • Volunteers from churches and organizations such as the YMCA who helped clean up yard debris for those who were unable to do it themselves.

 

Roof from a neighbor's deck landed across the street from our house
Roof from a neighbor’s deck landed across the street from our house
Big trees were blocking roads in our neighborhood
Big trees were blocking roads in our neighborhood
A power pole snapped
A power pole snapped
Another blocked driveway
Another blocked driveway
Neighbors walkway to dock landed in the marsh
Neighbors walkway to dock landed in the marsh
Several docks had damage
Several docks had damage
A lot of big trees had to be cut up
A lot of big trees had to be cut up
A familiar site in the neighborhood
A familiar sight in the neighborhood
Downed power line in a neighbor's yard
Downed power line in a neighbor’s yard
A downed tree damaged a driveway
A downed tree damaged a driveway
Cranes were brought in to lift the giant trees
Cranes were brought in to lift the giant trees
What's left of one of the giant trees
What’s left of one of the giant trees

Its been more than two weeks since the storm and there is still a lot of work to be done. The sound of chainsaws and nail guns will be around for a while and it may be weeks before the debris can be cleared from the sides of the roads. Blue tarps on roofs is a common sight while the homeowners wait their turn for their new roof.