I began visiting Georgia last year before there was any discussion about moving. I got a MegaBus ticket and rode 8 hours to see Carlton last summer, which was against the wishes of a few family members because buses are scary and dangerous.
Honestly, I sat next to a very nice older lady, and we talked the whole way there. No one messed with me. People pretty much kept to themselves. It was very much unscary.
Carlton picked me up when I got off the bus, and we spent a little time in Atlanta. We saw a big chicken, climbed Kennesaw Mountain, saw a deer on our way down, and looked down on the city from the Overlook at Lindberg building’s parking deck. Then, we took an evening walk in an Atlanta park.
When we got up the next day, we headed to Carlton’s home in Athens because he had to pick up a few things for our trip. On our way to our next destination, we stopped in Savannah, GA.
The trees with Spanish moss were everywhere. Streets were paved in cobblestone, shops lined the streets, and you could tell from looking at the backs of buildings that some were made of old horse stables. Oh, the history!
Speaking of history, there were statues dedicated to historical figures, including one of a girl who used to always welcome the boats with a wave. When the crews saw her, they knew they were home.
Savannah was beautiful, and it made me sing a bit of Relient K. It is definitely a place worth visiting. In fact, we plan to go there again.
From Savannah, we traveled a bit further south to the place we planned to spend the next several days: Jekyll Island! Jekyll Island is an island off of southern Georgia, and it is like a little piece of Heaven on Earth. Well, except for the mosquitoes.
The island does have hotels right on the beach, but we chose to stay in the campground a little further in. While most people in the campground had fancy RVs, we were tenting it all the way. Our tent was set up under mossy trees, and it was next to a small bird sanctuary. I loved hearing and seeing the birds.
The island is very bicycle friendly, but we discovered that renting bikes on the island was not the best option for us. You can only have a bike rented out during certain hours each day, and it costs about $15 per day to rent one. We planned to stay a couple weeks and bike everywhere. Carlton had borrowed a bike from his brother-in-law, but I needed one.
So, we ventured to Walmart to purchase camping supplies, a little pink bike for me (because that was the only one in my size), and I got a boogie board while I was at it. I was the only adult on a boogie, but I rocked it like a kid. The ocean is so much fun!!
That one trip to Walmart was the only time we left the island until we left it for good. The island has a gas station, hotels, a small grocery store, a liquor store, a bait and tackle shop with souvenirs, bike trails, historical sites, a few restaurants, a fishing pier, a sea turtle preservation center, and of course the beach. There is really no need to leave.
As I mentioned, we biked everywhere. One day, we biked eight miles around the island, and we felt like we were dying the next morning. A couple days later, we had somewhat recovered and biked 11 miles around the island. That time we felt pretty good. That day would have been nine miles, but by then I was willing to bike the extra mile each way in order to get pizza. I really like pizza.
One night, we went out to the beach before the moon came out. It was very dark. You could hear the ocean mere feet away, but you couldn’t see it. We looked up and saw the Milky Way. It was magnificent! I definitely recommend doing that once in your life.
We took pictures on our last evening and before leaving the next morning. While we took pictures on our final morning, I looked down and found my first ever sand dollar! Once I knew what to look for (a little ridging in the sand) and enlisted Carlton to help me, we found over 20 within just a few minutes! Several were still alive, and I am not one for murder. So, we threw the living ones back and ended up with about 15 or so.
In total, we spent a week on Jekyll. It was fun, but we were ready to do other things after a week. We headed back to Athens so that he could show me around where he lived.
Athens is a college town that is roughly double the size of the town in which I attended college. Everyone there loves bulldogs because that is the mascot of the local college: UGA. I walked around UGA while I was there, and it is a lovely campus. We also went on a hunt for the mascots placed around town. There are several.
While in Athens, I saw beautiful houses with obvious Greek influence, Carlton’s church, a tree that owns itself, and I got my very first pedicure. Pedicures are way cool. It feels awesome, and my toes had never looked so good.
Also there, odd things were interesting to this very small town girl. I saw water fountains designed for refilling water bottles. I was used to just holding the bottle at that weird angle while trying to get the stream of water the hit the opening. I also saw randomly placed lending libraries that I thought were neat. Finally, in nearby Commerce, I saw charging stations for electric cars. I felt like I was on the Jetsons.
One day, we decided to leave Athens and take another little adventure. Georgia has a bit of everything. We had been to the beach, so now we had to go to the mountains. We took a day trip to Helen, GA.
While Athens is heavily influenced by the Greek, Helen is influenced by the Bavarian Alps. You can see some of the buildings behind me. The town is a replica of a Bavarian Alpine village, and it is obviously a tourist attraction. The streets are lined in shops, but my favorite thing about this trip was the Chattahoochee River.
You see, I grew up loving a certain song by Alan Jackson. So, when I saw the river, I had to stick my toes in…and then go knee deep. It was way cool. The 5-year-old version of me that used to sing that song and had Jackson’s picture on her wall would definitely approve.
Before we left, we noticed the steamy mist coming off of the mountains, and with that it was time to go back to Athens.
On another evening, we went into Atlanta again because we had tickets to see a viewing of Gone With the Wind at the Fox Theatre. The outside of the building is very pretty. It almost looks like it should be an Arabian palace. On the inside, the ceiling is made to look like a starry night sky. It’s gorgeous!
A few days later, we ventured out again. This time, we drove north into Tennessee. Along the way, we stopped at a reservation, saw a tourist spot that featured goats on the roof, spotted a bear on the side of the road, and reached Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the mountains. There, you are up in the clouds and can nearly see forever.
After Clingman’s, we went on to Pigeon Forge, TN to meet up with my family. I needed to spend a few days with them there and then get a ride back home to Arkansas.
However, I had some big news. I was already in love with a man named Carlton, I had now fallen for a state named Georgia, and I had been asked to move to the Big Peach.