Thursday, November 26, 2015

For Bob and Peggy: Food, Glorious Food, etc., etc.

By now you know the routine:  we fly to Atlanta, take care of appointments, spend a weekend with the kids, spend the next Sunday - Thursday with Bob and Peggy while the kids work and Nicholas is in school, and then go to the cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains before winding down to fly back home.

This is the time with Bob and Peggy when we weren't at the Skyview Atlanta Ferris wheel or the Candler Field Museum and airport.  And this is the time when Astrid in particular finally relaxes and says "This is vacation."

Fasten your seatbelts, especially if you like good food and drink.

First of all, Bob and Peggy got married in 2004 while I worked in assisted living before retirement.
Peggy was the executive director and I was lucky to attend their wedding.
Shortly after that, they started building their house out in the boonies south of Atlanta.
THIS house.  And I've been there every year with Astrid.

In case you wonder why we like to go there, it's the FOOD, stupid!  HA!
Let's start with breakfast.  Look at who makes the waffles.

To tell you the truth, they both do the cooking.
And we all do the eating.

See, Peggy does her own part, this time for lunch.
And we all do the eating.

To cater to our Dutchness, they even make their own split-pea soup.
And we all do the eating.

By late afternoon, it's time to test the home brew!
This year we got to taste Bob's Chateau Roscoe Chardonnay and Chilian Malbec.
Roscoe is their dog!

See!?!?!  That's Roscoe.
We first celebrated the fabulous brew out on the wrap-around porch.

If it wasn't his wine, it was Bob's Brew of beer, Horansky style.
He's been making beer for years, so we knew what to expect.
We Cheer Beer!

And if that wasn't enough, Bob even made us a mean banana martini.
By now I know what you're thinking:  what boozers.  HA!
But you couldn't be farther from the truth.
Everything in moderation, one drink at a time...over several days, of course.

And to show you the truth whereof I speak, check out the basement.
I suppose if it were meth it would be Breaking Bad (which I've yet to see)?

By the time you get to supper, you'd better have an appetite...
as though you hadn't eaten all day, of course.

See how Bob and Peggy both do the cooking together?
It's a beauty to behold.  A joint collaboration.
And we all do the eating.

Then there's the fun-n-games, like with Bob's 1951 GM toy.
Last year he was just starting to restore it.
This year we were queens for a day, taking a ride.

Every morning Astrid and Bob took Roscoe for a walk.
Astrid put the GPS watch on her arm one day (above left).
The next day she put it on Roscoe's collar (above right).
Isn't that the cat's meow!

In the afternoons Astrid and I took our own walks together,
once to Jackson Lake right down the road.

That particular day and time the kids were getting out of school.
Did you know the Dutch have a few of these American school buses that are party buses here?  Yup.

Another day we walked two miles down the road to the corner store,
and luxuriated in the autumnal abundance in front of us.

And since it just happens to be Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, how's that for an ending note!
Good God, good friends, good food...let's eat!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Candler Field Museum and Peach State Airport

By now you know that when we stay with Bob & Peggy while in the Atlanta area each October, we love to find things to do.  Besides the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel, we had fun driving to Williamson, Georgia, 26 miles away, to see their airport and museum.

This was the short version on Facebook.

As airports go, it's like a Mom & Pop kind of place.  HA!
Peach State Airport.  Peach State Aerodrome.  Candler Field.  Take your pick.

"There are twenty-one aircraft based at Peach State Airpot, including one multi-engine.
Average operations per day is a total of nine, seven local flights and two transient flights."

When you walk in, the museum is straight ahead and the restaurant is to the left.
See what I mean about Mom & Pop?!

We started out with the Candler Field Museum, which recreates how the 
now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int'l Airport appeared in the 1920-30s.

Planes, Tractors, Autos and Bikes.
Sounds like a movie.

If any of that looks familiar, I think you're aging yourself?

Those were the days, you know.  Roaring 20s and 30s.
It didn't take long to reminisce.

One could say the main attraction is their Barnstormers Grill.
Astrid and I had already checked the menu at home and knew we'd get a Reuben sandwich,
her very first and one of my favorites ever.  The chicken carbonara also caught our attention.

From where we were sitting, we looked out onto the flying field, but not too much action that day.
Did you notice the airplane weathervane hanging inside the restaurant (above)?

And did I ever mention how addicted we are to trying new beers?
How can you resist one with a "Drink.  Laugh.  Repeat" mantra?

After lunch we walked to the hangar...

and then onto the field where the planes were being parked for the day.

If I had been quicker on the draw, I would have caught him pulling the plane from the hangar.
Who knew you could pull one of these by hand!
And then someone flies it?

Don't you love getting your education at these out-of-the-way places!
The more we look each year, the more we find them.

Thank you, Bob & Peggy.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Skyview Atlanta's Ferris Wheel

By now most of you know that we spend time with Bob & Peggy every October when we visit Atlanta, while Amy and Dennis are working and Nicholas is in school.  It ends up being a win-win for all of us.

Especially when we get to see and do fun things!

This was the short version on Facebook.

Here's the longer version of our drive to downtown Atlanta, next to the Centennial Olympic Park, to ride the 200-ft-high Skyview Atlanta Ferris wheel. 

Lucky for us, Peggy had already researched it and found discounted tickets through Groupon, 4 for $32, instead of the normal $13.50 pp price.  She then asked us if we wanted to ride in daylight or at nighttime?  When I found out the price, I said BOTH.  So I bought another set of Groupon tickets so that we could ride the wheel twice.  DUH!

We couldn't have picked a better day for overlooking the Atlanta skyline!

And because kids were in school on this Monday, 19 October, it wasn't busy.
So I made the executive decision to ride as couples in separate gondolas for more photo-taking space.
At first, I was mesmerized by the wheel contraption itself.
(Aren't Bob & Peggy cute in that top-right gondola!)

Then, of course, I started paying attention to what was out there to see.
If you're not familiar with Atlanta, it won't mean as much,
but for the rest of us, it was a huge WOW, recognizing the iconic buildings.

It was fun to zoom in on some of the familiar particulars....

especially the Centennial Olympic Park with its Olympic-Rings fountain.
I lived in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics, and even purchased one of the 
800,000 bricks made to construct the 21-acre park, at $35 each.

After 7 full revolutions (the normal ride is 4), we exited and crossed the street
to spend some time in said Centennial Olympic Park.

Talk about an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle.
And, yes, it's free.

At first we were quickly distracted by a flying object in the sky
until we tracked down the culprit who was causing all the excitement.
Did you know that toy drones are supposed to be the biggest Christmas seller this year?

But not to get off-subject, of course.
It was most impressive to get the Skyview take from the park's perspective.

By then it was time to eat...and get dark...before our next ride.

Bob had already picked out Glenn's Kitchen, just a hop, skip and a jump away, near Philips Arena.
(And in case you wondered, that's only a fake Chihuly glass chandelier.)
Astrid and I both had a real Guinness Stout, tickling the waiter to bits.
We also had our second of two kale salads this trip.  Delish.

It didn't take long for it to get dark while we were eating dinner.
If we had waited longer, we would have missed the sunset.
My shots weren't good because of the movement, but you get the picture.

This time we had only 3 complete revolutions, but we saw what we went to see.

And then, again, we crossed the street to see everything from the park's point of view, in the dark.
It was breath-taking.  This is Atlanta!

Walking back to the car it all felt like a fairytale.
Totally worth those Groupon tickets, Peggy & Bob.


Monday, November 09, 2015

The Historic Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

What is it about cemeteries?!

Here's the short version, as shone on Facebook shortly after we were there.

And now, the longer version....

Where was I all those 25 years when I lived in Atlanta?
The thing is, it's been there since 1850...the Oakland Cemetery.

And if you look carefully, you can see the  Atlanta skyline in the background.

Daughter Amy was the one who thought up this day trip for our free Saturday, 17 October.

 And the five us went together:  Amy, Dennis, Astrid, Nicholas and moi.

You could safely say we were all gobsmacked...

...even down to the tiniest details, inside and out.
Do you think "they" minded us peering into their final resting places?

Because famous Atlanta people are interred there, we were on a mission, with a map, to find them:
Margaret Mitchell Marsh (author of Gone With the Wind)
Bobby Jones, Jr (the "greatest amateur golfer ever," from the 1920s)
Maynard Jackson, Jr. (the first African-American mayor of Atlanta, serving 3 terms)

Some areas of the cemetery were dedicated to particular groups of people:
The African-American Grounds
The Old Jewish Burial Grounds
The Confederate Memorial Grounds

It wasn't hard to tell which were which.

But it was the individual gravestones that struck all of us, I think.

Like this one, for instance, of such a wee child.

And this one from someone's ingenious imagination.

Tombstones everywhere, in remembrance of loved ones.

Stairways to heaven, perhaps?

With plenty to remind us of ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

At some point in the middle, we walked across the street to the Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House,
across from the cemetery and overlooking it.  Who comes up with such a name for a restaurant!

You wouldn't have to ask me twice to go back to both places again one day/year.
Both were totally worth the time and effort.

Thank you, Amy, Dennis and Nicholas!