Fruit and Vegetable Stand – Warm Springs, Georgia
You will not find Georgia in the Michelin Atlas of roadways in France. Georgia is the friendly neighbor to the east of our home State of Alabama, and Jim and I took a nice, short trip across the border to Atlanta with a stop at Pine Mountain and Warm Springs on our return. We are constantly turning around, backing up and circling in our travels anyway, so I’m doing the same on the blog and planning to jump back into the French scene after enjoying the roadways of Georgia.
Somewhere near Lagrange, Georgia, we were moving along carefully in the July 4th weekend traffic. Jim cleared his throat and said in a serious tone, “Uh, it’s time for us to think about where we put the Marta train tickets.” With no hesitation I said, “I never saw the tickets.” You will notice that I politely did not say, “YOU had the tickets. What did YOU do with them?” I could tell that he was testing the waters, hoping I knew something of their whereabouts. Worry spread over his face and combined with traffic irritation, yielding a scrunched, scowling face. No words uttered, but a lot of groaning was brewing in the driver’s seat. It was time for lunch so I suggested that he stop at the next exit at a steak house for lunch. The restaurant was nicely decorated with western gear and had comfortable seating. I was hoping for a nice lunch before we hit the big city of Atlanta. You will notice that I haven’t mentioned the name of our lunch stop. For the sake of the story, I will call it the “Wrong Steer” since the food was greasy, flavorless and only a step above roadkill.
Back in the Jeep, Jim was calling to see if he could get a refund on the train tickets. After the call, I said, “Don’t worry, honey. We will just buy some more tickets. It isn’t very much expense. Don’t feel badly, I forget things all of the time.” Honestly, I really said all of that. Wasn’t I the Sweetest Georgia Peach from Alabama? I only mention this because a guy flatteringly called me by that description years ago. Definitely not a time to mention that one to Jim during the ticket fiasco!
Once we hit the big city with more one-way streets going the wrong way and most of the street names containing the word Peach. “Yes, that’s Peachtree Street, and you just passed Peachtree Road. Which Peach thing do we need to turn on?” It was sometime when we were riding up and down those roads that I suddenly remembered that I forgot my eye drops and we had to find a pharmacy. All of my sweet talk paid off! Jim had to stifle any groans.
Sunset viewed from our hotel room at W Atlanta Mid-Town
We found our hotel, the W Atlanta Mid-Town, a tall, dark-gray building standing proudly like a Heat player visiting from Miami among the other contenders. We like the W hotels for their good service, casual atmosphere and many amenities. Pets are welcome.
Lobby – viewed from second floor level
Business hotels can be a good buy on weekends unless special events are happening, or holidays. We have booked a good value room for our anniversary, or as we say “second honeymoon” no matter what number it truly is. (You may enjoy reading “Umpteenth Second Honeymoon” which has received the most clicks, so far. Click and I hope you enjoy, if you have not seen it previously.)
W Atlanta Mid-Town is near the Margaret Mitchell House (Birthplace of “Gone with the Wind”), Atlanta Botanical Garden, High Museum of Art/Alliance Theater, and with those aforementioned and forgotten Marta passes you can get to almost anything else without worrying about the one-way streets.
Our comfortable room with L-shaped sofa, corner vanity area with magnifying mirror, large walk-in shower, desk workspace and rather strangely a king-size bed with lights underneath. It glowed very pretty in the colorful room creating a modern, contemporary space facing a wall of glass framing a beautiful sunset, and then during the night a glittering show of city lights. During the night when I had a headache, I got up without turning on any lights, hoping not to disturb Jim. I looked for my black purse with the Aleve, fumbling on the dark gray carpet and black furniture. Suddenly, I slammed my foot into the desk, and sharp pain attacked my toes and surged to my eyeballs! Fully expecting to see my white toes on the black carpet, somehow I kept quiet so I wouldn’t disturb Jim. But Jim still jumped from the bed to my side. I said, “Why aren’t you lying in bed asleep? I’m OK!!” Edging back to his side of the bed like a scolded puppy, he said, “Well, how could I sleep with you practicing a drop-kick for the World Cup on the bedroom furniture? How did you hit your foot with all of the light shining from under the bed?” Still holding my mortally wounded foot in my hand, I complained, “Why on earth do they have lights under the bed which we cannot turn off?” With a lilting, silly voice Jim answered, “Because they’re ro-mannn-tic!” Gaining strength, I said: “What romance?? Unless the designers planned a sexy mood for dust bunnies, they’re wasting electricity!”
Next day, we found the W hotel has a wonderful restaurant that serves fresh, local food. TRACE has as its mission: “to create an updated Southern dining experience in the heart of the South by celebrating fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced and foraged from local farm to form healthy, signature dishes.” With a helpful, friendly staff and delicious food, we expect TRACE to have great success. Cem Vural, the Manager, was friendly and attentive to assure our enjoyment. I especially enjoyed the Summer Pot Pie with Springer Mountain chicken, carrots, mushrooms, peas, potatoes and a flaky buttermilk biscuit crust. Jim had rave reviews for the Seasonal Meatloaf with pork, cherries, savory herbs and whole grain slaw. He still wants the recipe for the slaw! Honestly, the menu is loaded with good stuff to eat at reasonable prices, especially considering this is a large city, business hotel.
We were very happy to have such a nice restaurant right there in the W hotel, and we thank the staff for a very pleasant dining experience.
Another fave: GA Shrimp & Grits
On our way home, we spent one night near Pine Mountain, Georgia, a very pleasant town with antiques, good restaurants and a wonderful bakery. While the pretty young lady packaged our pecan, raisin bread, Jim begged her to set up business in Opp. I thought he would kneel at the altar of bread and ask her to knead dough in our kitchen.
Don’t miss The Bakery and Café at Rose Cottage since the atmosphere is more than you could ever hope for in a small town with food to match! While you are there see the antique stores: Country Gardens, Sweet Home Antiques and Chanticleer. Visit Dog Gone Good Bargains that benefits the Humane Society of Harris County. Many more stores line the pretty streets that had beds planted with tall stalks of corn and squash vines, mixed with flowers.
Murals are painted on many of the buildings
With a healthy amount of good food and shopping out of the way, we turned the Jeep toward Roosevelt’s Little White House. We wanted to see the museum with its many exhibits of life during the Great Depression era and see much of the history that happened during our parents’ lifetime. It was hard to imagine a President staying in the house which wasn’t much larger than our home and dying on a small bed in a room much smaller than ours. FDR went in search of relief from polio to swim the springs’ naturally heated water. I will not try to expand on all of this history, or provide an extensive review of our visit, but I would suggest that you look at the website and visit if possible.
Near the entry to the house, in a corner, is a wheelchair fashioned from a dining chair. I almost cried when I saw it since it brought back memories from my childhood when my carpenter father did the same for my mother who was seriously ill for a long period of time. Wheelchairs during that time, and earlier, had large wheels and were nothing like they are today. My sweet dad built a small wheelchair from a dining chair, easier to move around our house. I didn’t realize that a President did the same.
We had an enjoyable, late lunch at Mac’s Barbecue, in Warm Springs, Georgia with good prices in a laid-back atmosphere.
Our last stop was at The Crossroads Store, 6926 Whitesville Road, West Point, GA 31833 at Jones Crossroads with a historical marker. Look it up! Don’t miss it! It’s worth dropping by to see the antiques and the setting of the beautiful stone building, almost like a slice of France in Georgia. I was very sorry that I had to rush.
Charming owners of Crossroads
Well, I’ve written more than usual. Southerners tend to linger with their conversation and say good-bye at least a half-dozen times before they depart. Departing, I must give a plug for my book.
Seriously, A French Opportunity is a concoction of Southern humor and French country life which any good person like you would enjoy.
CLICK THE DOGGIE to order your copy of the book in paperback or Kindle!
Thank you for visiting!