|Hampton Inn, Helen, Georgia|
We left Marion, North Carolina this morning. Bill and I said our "goodbye's" to my good cousin Bob and his wife Marie. They just made our two days in Marion so enjoyable. They were the perfect antidote to the hateful remarks that my other distant cousin (his great grandmother and my grandmother were brother and sister) made to me on Sunday. I think I've gone through the five stages of grief over that incident:
I'm at the "acceptance" stage now. I knew he will never change as many won't in this country. They will go to their grave believing that it is their God given right to discriminate, harass and threaten gay people. I have to tell you though, I was shocked and a chill went through my whole body when he said those hateful words to me. But we left that area of the country this morning and I doubt if I'll ever be back.
Now for the good news. It was a fairly short drive to Greenville, South Carolina where my brother lives. I wanted to leave my Mother's jewelry with my brother's wife to distribute to her daughters and granddaughters.
|Me and my "baby brother" in front of his garage in Greenville, SC|
Bill and I had a short visit with my brother and his wife. We went out to lunch with John (my brother) at the Golden Corral. One thing I notice about the south, they sure do eat good. Lots of buffets with LOTS of food, and GOOD food. The only buffets we have in Delaware is the one Chinese food place and who knows how old that food is.
Will in Greenville I purchased a Garmin 3565 GPS, Voice Activated device. My cousin Bob suggested that we get one and am I ever glad. All the stress just disappeared for our road trip. Bill and I usually end up fighting when turns are missed. With this fancy, dancy GPS device, those mishaps are now going to be few and far in between. Thank God.
After our visit to my brother and his wife, Bill headed towards Toccoa to visit his old boyhood haunts. Unfortunately, his old neighborhood has gone downhill drastically. And I mean BIG TIME DOWN HILL. The lady who now lives in Bill's old family house invited him in to look around. That was very gracious of her. Of course the inside of the house looks nothing like it did when Bill lived there. And it looks a lot smaller, but doesn't everything when you go back to it as an adult remembering what it was like when you were a kid?
|Bill's old home on Alexandra Street in Toccoa, Georgia|
Now here is the really good part of the day. We planned to stay in the area for two days until we head back home. But there aren't any decent hotels in or around Toccoa. So I put a search in my new fancy fancy GPS and asked for a Hampton Inn. The Lady in the GPS came up with a Hampton Inn in Helen, Georgia; about 34 miles away. Okay. That was a too awful distance to travel.
|Bill on the street outside of his old home - he says it "has changed a lot."|
Now the story gets even better. The Hampton Inn we're staying at is also built like a Bavarian house. And our rooms! Wow! The best I've ever had, ever! I actually have a suite for under $100.00 a night. Bill and I both have suites (we sleep not only in separate beds but separate rooms). My suite (as well as Bill's) has a fireplace, a living room, a kitchenette, a big whirlpool in the bathroom, a king size bed, two flat screened TV's (one in the living room and one in the bedroom) and a beautiful view of the mountains right outside our windows. And even better.......we can walk out of the hotel down a real sidewalk to all the shops and restaurants. No getting in our car and figuring out how to get across the interstate and those butterfly turn roads just to get something to eat. This town even has an Old Time Photo shop! Yes, I am going down tomorrow and get my photo taken. This evening I had my photo taken in one of those old time photo booths from the Fifties. What great fun!
|Street scene in Helen, Georgia|
After dinner at the Heidleburg House (a tasteless hamburger but great french fries; I opted not to get a big traditional German dinner because I had already made a pig out of myself for lunch at the Golden Corral). However, I did get the apple strudel and yes, I ATE THE WHOLE THING even though it looked like it was a family serving.
Memo to Ron: eat less tomorrow.
It's late now. I was on the phone with Apple Support. I was in a Catch-22 with my passwords. don't ask. It's straightened out now.
Oh, one more thing. I took a long soak in the Jacuzzi tonight. Wow. Was that ever relaxing but after I got out I kept sweating and sweating. I had to take another shower and I was still sweating. And I think I'm down to my last set of underwear. I may have to get some quarters and use the hotel's laundry facilities.
I'm already planning on coming back here next year. Bill can visit his hometown again and I can "get away from it all" by staying in this lovely suite of rooms nestled in the Georgia mountains. Too much of our vacation is spent driving on the road. When we leave here Friday we're faced with a 12 hour drive of about 645 miles. We can't make that in one day so we'll have to stay over somewhere halfway in between. But we're definitely coming back here next year. I like this place!