The last two weeks in May, Ken and I had the most beautiful U.S. vacation that we had had in a very long time. Since Ken had always reminded me that he “rescued me” from the South, (disliking the bugs, the humidity, the flatlands, etc.) I decided it was time to show him the South that I had fallen in love with many years ago. I had lived in Atlanta and Jacksonville half of my adult life. Although my relationships there were not good ones, they were memorable enough to write a book about them.
Now it’s been thirty years since my past life in the South and Ken and I had a good reason to visit. Ken’s brother and his family retired and moved to a little town just south of Atlanta, and my brother retired and moved to a little town just south of Jacksonville. How convenient!
I planned the trip as I do all the travel arrangements. We flew to Atlanta and then rented a car. We went sightseeing in the city first, visited two of my closest friends that I had kept in contact with since I had lived there and then drove to a little town called Madison. It’s the only town in Georgia that Sherman didn’t totally burn to the ground since he had a friend who lived there. It was a quaint little town and we took our first tour of plantation homes there. Next we went to the town where Ken’s brother lives. We got the royal treatment. The first sightseeing trip was to Stone Mountain. I had not been there in over 40 years! Instead of just the mountain to observe, it was now a huge entertainment park with tram and train rides, a park for picnicking, and at night, the laser light show which was very patriotic and moving.
The last day in Atlanta was just as touching – Andersonville. For that experience, I will be writing a separate blog.
The next three days we spent in Charleston where we took another tour of plantation homes, a bus and walking tour and on our last day, a tour out in the countryside to a place called Drayton Hall. It was one of the best and scenic places. This plantation was different than all the rest as it did not have any furniture or paintings with period pieces that did not belong to the owner. The guide told us they would preserve it bare, as is, and you could use your imagination as to how it once looked and thrived. (Think Tara in Gone with the Wind.)
Our last week on the road was spent in Florida where we went to the Kennedy Space Center. It’s a must see for any tourist visiting Florida who is interested in our space exploration endeavors both past and present. The rest of our time there was spent enjoying the beach, our friends, and with my brother and his family in his beautiful home.
I even had an opportunity to give a book “presentation and signing” at the hotel and sold two of my books, “To Live and Love Again” which are still selling on Amazon. Please check it out if you haven’t already at http://ow.ly/TNPhD. Or if you have read it, and still haven’t written a review, I would appreciate it if you would take the time to do so. It would mean so much to me!