Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Southern Comfort...Part One

The sojourn South went well.  The weather was warm and dry for the most part.  I snaked my way southward through Ohio and into Kentucky on Tuesday, landing in Richmond for the night.  I arrived at the dinner hour, dragged my luggage into the room and went searching for a place to eat.  I had several choices, and eventually paired it down to Olive Garden or Logan’s Roadhouse.  Deciding on adventure, I picked Logan’s, where I had a very tender steak and a skewer of grilled mushrooms.  The wine choices were not to my liking (not a Riesling in sight), so I had iced tea.  The waitress was cute and perky and asked where I lived.  Of course, when I told her I lived up in Ohio near the lake, I heard all about Sandusky and CedarPoint and how much she loved it there.

I slept a full 8 hours, having not had much slumber success the previous night.  I drove another 7 hours South, through Tennessee and into Georgia on Wednesday.  Atlanta traffic was a mess, even at 2:30 in the afternoon, but I decided that the longer I sat in traffic, the more I would hear of the book I was listening to, so the delay didn’t sully my mood.  I arrived in Perry, Georgia around 4:30, and exited I-75 almost directly into the driveway of the brand new Holiday InnExpress.  It was a very nicely appointed hotel, extremely clean and modern.  Once more I dragged my stuff to a room, called my friends Jim and David to let them know I had arrived, and then called home to let my Jim (who is home manning the fort) that I had arrived at my Southern-most destination of the itinerary in one piece.

The guys swung by the hotel and picked me up on their way home.  Their rustic cabin was nicely decorated, complete with many beautiful quilts, made by Jim’s mother, hanging artfully on display.  Zeus and Xena were happy to see me (I’m still showing strange bruising on my arm where Xena tried to crawl up it), and I met Jim’s mother Charlotte, a beautiful, spunky, 87-year-old.  She reminded me very much of my mother before her downward slide.
Charlotte declined our dinner invitation, so the three of us headed out to Rusty’s Downtown Grill and Bar, a terrific local hangout with good food and decent wine.  I think we spent about 3 hours there, eating some very tasty Italian food and catching up on the last year’s worth of news.  On Thursday, I grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then headed into town to drop postcards at the post office and to tour the shop “B & B Antiques and Interiors” located in Perry.  The shop was lovely.  The antiques were amazing. 
I got the full tour, and even some of the backroom workshop area.  Jim was fixing and retying springs on a set of antique chairs, and I watched and listened as he showed me what he was doing.  I might try my own upholstery project now that I’m inspired.  We lunched at a local BBQ place.  The pulled pork was incredibly tender.  In the afternoon, David sold a gorgeous urn complete with a huge floral arrangement to a woman who had just arrived from Alabama.  Then he sold her a copy of A Mystery in the Mailbox!
Charlotte stopped by after running her errands (yes, 87 and fully capable of driving) and I talked her into joining us for dinner at a really sweet Mexican restaurant (I think it was this one) that I was told she liked.   She tried to beg off, but once I told her that my mother would go to dinner with me and the guys when they lived in Ohio, she relented and came along.  We swapped quilting stories, had some delicious Mexican food and killer Sangria.  It was a wonderful evening with a lot of laughter…the kind you remember for a long time.

I was sad to say goodbye on Friday morning.  I stopped by the shop for an hour or two before heading North to Chattanooga for Part 2 of the great vacation.