Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FINALLY RIDING AGAIN AND MY SOUTHERN SOJOURN

Today was my first ride after a two week hiatus. I was racing the storm for the commute from work to the commuter parking lot 10 miles from the office. That was at 5PM. It is now almost 10 and the storm still hasn't hit. Any time now though. Yup, any time.... The ride into work this morning was grand. Just rolling along and I found myself smiling. Man do I like biking.

I did get to visit #2 son at his new home in Atlanta. He recently took a job with a trade show company and he seems very happy. Todd got himself a new condo very close to the artsy section of town. Near Emory University.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I did spot some riders near the Falafel King on my way to lunch,
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

and was tempted to flag them down to see if they were bikeforum.net members.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Atlanta seemed pretty cool and bike friendly. That is if you can adjust to the hills. This neck of the woods is so flat that we have a ride called the Flattest Century in the East

Since Todd was working all week, Ma and Pa decided to travel the south.
Our first stop was Savanna.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

If you have been there lately you know that I have already said enough about it. Not impressed at all. Actually neither of us liked the place. The city needs a lot of work. Buford, a nearby town close to Paris Island was alright. We did find a gourmet deli in town that had some very good items. Margarita Italian style pizze. Pananni sandwiches and some iced green tea.

Our next stop was Charleston, which is a city Savanna needs to look at to see how to do things right. It's a tourist destination, close to what we know as a tourist trap. It's saving grace is it's size. Charleston is expansive, as are most southern cities.
We visited the Magnolia Plantation where we saw a buitiful estate
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

With homes for thier slaves,
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

We took a walking tour of the swamplands around the estate,
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

that included a smoking section.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

But the highlight was watching peacocks mate.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Charleston was fun, but we had now been in the south six days and still had not found a good restaurant. Nothing was bad, but still, with all the bragging about southern cooking, come on now.

We tried Emerils in Atlanta when we returned. It was ok but very very expensive. $34 for a chicken dish. Yikes. Dinner for three was alsmost the price of a decent hybrid bike.

We capped off the trip with a visit to family in Cullowhee, N.C. which, was the best part of the whole week. Near Ashville, a very relaxed and a cool city. A place where one could stop and smell the roses.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The biggest house I have ever seen was just outside of town. The Vanderbuilt estate. If you have ever seen the Breakers in Newport RI, just imagine four of them together.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I asked one of the guides how many people lived in the house. Three. 46 fire places, five acres of grass to cut and nearly 100 workers servicing the place, for three people. $40 bucks to go in and look around. There were at least a couple of thousand people there at the time. I wondered out loud what the people who worked for this railroad family must have though of them. You know, like the Chineese.

We also visited the estate winery,
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

where we got to sample 9 different wines. I didn't really care for any of them. They only make very dry wines, and I like reds a litte sweeter. But sampling nine did make my face numb.

The Kinnears, who tend to lean to the left, were great hosts for us in North Carolina.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Linda managed to finally get us some good eats. Southern cooking by a Fall River gal. Thats where Emeril grew up so there must be something to that place that makes people good cooks.

After nine days Todd said his good bye's and hugs
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

and we were on our way back to good old Cape Cod. Image hosted by Photobucket.com

1 comment:

Linda Kinnear said...

John: I loved this posting of you and Sue's trip. I'm still eating chicken but also had a wonderful time. Don't stay away. Come back when Terry is staying put for awhile. The voice mail on the phone when I got home yesterday said he was in Richmond Canada with no place to stay...He should be home next week. Take care and I hope you continue to enjoy the road. xxoxo LK