Friday, July 8, 2011

Vacation, Part 2

My favorite part of vacation in north Georgia was Frogtown Cellars, which I blogged about yesterday, but we did some other sight-seeing as well. On Sunday, we took a drive to Helen, GA, which is supposed to be a recreation of an Alpine village.As soon as we got close to the center of it all, traffic was backed up. We were creeping along, slower than Fort Pitt tunnel traffic on a bad rush hour day. Our slow pace gave me the chance to stare out the car window at all the people tubing on the river.It doesn't look too crowded in that photo, but in parts, it was wall to wall tubes! I guess that's one way to beat the GA heat and humidity.

We never did park and walk around Helen. It was just too crowded, and too hot, and honestly, the little shops and such didn't really look like our thing, it really seemed to be more of what SP & I consider a tacky tourist trap area. Some people really enjoy that kind of thing, and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not for us. So we turned around and headed for Brasstown Bald.

Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia. We went up and up and up the twisty mountain road with me wishing there were more guard rails!! It didn't help when the steep incline caused our gas light to come on, and while I knew (or strongly suspected) the incline was to blame for the light coming on, I am by nature a Nervous Nellie and so I was stressed about running out of gas on the rural Georgia mountain where there probably was no cell phone signal!Once you reach the main parking lot, visitors must take a shuttle up the last half mile to the top and then climb the stairs to the observation deck. The view is fantastic, and we hear that on a clear day one can see all the way to Atlanta. It was a bit hazy when we were there.There's a small museum, which we wandered through, and then we descended the twisty mountain and headed back to Dahlonega. Our gas light did go out once we were back on level roads, but it was still quite a distance back to my brother's house so it came on again and I got all nervous again. I was convinced we were going to get stuck and I'd have to call my brother and tell him we ran out of gas. Fortunately, we made it to a gas station in Dahlonega and, after filling up, discovered that we had about half a gallon left in the tank. SP says no worries. Me? Well when I was driving I never let it dip below a quarter tank so this whole gas light thing was stressful for me!

We rested at home for a while and then my brother went with us over to J&M's house, where my brother's wife and their 2 children had spent the day swimming. M is my brother's wife's sister, and her husband is J. They have 3 children, 2 were in Argentina visiting their grandparents and 1 was still in GA, enjoying the new pool.

J&M set us up on the deck with some beer and soda and some snacks: Various chips and salsa:Some crackers and cheeses:
And some shrimp cocktail:My brother manned the grill - he's the grill-master, or maybe I should say smoke-master since he has a smoker and usually smokes meats. He grilled some chicken, M made a salad, and we enjoyed a tasty Sunday night meal. The kids loved the pool and the adults sat up on the deck, talking and listening to the katydids. Wow those katydids can get loud!! That's the sound of the south to me: the loud 'singing' of katydids (I call them cicadas, but I think katydids and cicadas are different but I'm not really sure what makes them different; J called them katydids and since he was born & raised in GA, I'll call them katydids!).

M also made us chocolate ice cream cones for dessert - yum! It was great to see M&J again, and I especially enjoyed sitting in the rocking chair on their deck, sipping a cold drink, listening to the loud katydids, and trying to not sweat too much!

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