Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gold mining and face stuffing across Georgia

I love Atlanta.

We are having an amazing time.

We are here for "business", Tony is in training.

For me a vacation isn't a vacation without sand and waves or large characters, princesses and rides.

We do day trips to places that don't have those necessary things but not full on vacations, so its been nice to explore somewhere I wouldn't normally head.

As I said in my previous post, I've always wanted to go to Georgia, so its pretty cool to have an extended stay.

We home school so we are also always on the look out for fun educational things to do or just things to broaden their horizons - and mine. Pre Tony I didn't travel much at all.

Aside from touring Target daily *its 4 minutes from me how can we not* and all the Joanns of the area... I'm still working on my boutique and the Frozen slam has hit like an avalanche in orders, we have visited a few places on our list of to dos.
                                                                 this is actually Hobby Lobby
                                                                                we've been hitting it up a bit too.

Last weekend we headed up to Northern Georgia to Dahlonega Ga to the Consolidated Gold Mine .

Its about an hour north of Atlanta and was part of the original gold rush in America - before California.

This gold mine boasted a huge vein of quartz ( where there's quartz theres gold) . I believe what the tour guide said ( i saw it online too but can't find it now to confirm everything is vague that I'm finding)  was that normally a vein of quartz is about the width of a pencil and this one was 24 inches. or feet. I don't know really but the number 24 keeps popping in my head.

In any case, they mined half a million dollars worth of gold in ONE day. I don't even know how much that would be today.
                                                                         The glory hole

It is the only mine you can tour in the area and the tour really is worth seeing.

Extremely informative and the guides are also funny.

The kids learned all about rock formations, gold mining, tiny bats that actually were cute and didn't move, working conditions in a mine back then and technology advances.

         he's entertaining!

The mine companies used a lot of their profit to install a new technology in the mine - electricity. Unfortunately the wires weren't insulated so many died from running into the wires.

They also learned about the toll it took on the miners (mining itself not the electricity) how most all were deaf because of the dynamite, and died young because of all the toxic dust they inhaled - all for a dollar a day. (1.50 if you were the dynamite poker and he got paid daily because, well he may not last the week)

I believe 350 ish died in that mine, some children because boys aged about 6-10 ( 10 and up already were miners) were employed as arm tappers alerting the other miners to get in the safe area because they were about to use dynamite.

Couldn't yell because they were deaf and they need someone who was small enough to run quickly through the mine so young boys were the pick.

You get to see the glory hole where they mined the largest amount and some relics of the past, the rails are still in place and some of the wagons are in the mine along with other fixtures that are original.


   rail for a kind of trolley car

This door was built by the London Gate company in the 1200's. Doc asked "and what were the British in the 1200's?"

A grown woman answered "our overlords"

Um no.

Correct answer: Short. so duck when you walk through.

Pretty cool gate - but sad for the dumbing down of 'Merica.

                                                      Look we're  in the Tower of London. ish

After the tour you go up and they give you a pan of dirt to sift for gold included in the cost. Its neat for the experience but you get a few flakes. Clearly not worth the cost but the tour is well worth that. From what I read many people who want to pan for gold for real go to Crisson gold mine . Price is the same for the little pans but without the tour. However apparently their big buckets you can purchase have more gold in them. Consolidated also has the larger amounts you can pan but we werent interested.

                                         If you look really closely you'll see gold.
                                                It looks like sparkly         fish food
                                                           Lots of water. Itty bitty flakes
                                                    She got the most. Can you see them?

                                                           Thinks she's going on a shopping spree.

We did however purchase a bucket of gems to grub.

That was more fun for the girls because you can feel the big rocks as you scoop them out. Just like playing in a sand box.

They did good apparently for the bucket size we got. They got some onyx, amethyst, rose quartz plus several other rocks.

Apparently the amethyst and rose quartz are typically in the next sized bucket up that also you usually get rubies in sapphires in.

Considering the appraiser knew what size bucket we had gotten by the rocks we showed her and mentioned that the few really nice rocks we got were in the larger buckets typically, they obviously seed the buckets, the more you pay the better the stones you get. But still it was fun for the kids for $15. The more precious bucket was $30 and we will do that one if we go back because we won't do the tour again nor pan for gold. They really enjoyed the gems so we'd be willing to pay more for a bigger bucket and apparently nicer stones.

                                                                      bag o rocks

They did get ones that could be cut and put in jewelery but we didn't  explore that option this trip since it was already costly. Maybe we will bring them back with us next time.

We finished the day (after a stop at an awesome outlet shopping plaza) at Tony's choice.

Big Pie in the Sky pizza in Kennesaw Georgia.

It was featured on Man V Food for a huge 11 pound pizza challenge and Tony always talks about doing a pizza challenge...

                                            She didn't get any she was too slow.

If you go here know the pizza is REALLY good and its really thin. Not horribly thin but wood fired pizza style.

Tony got a 20 " and for some reason thought that would be enough but he should have gotten a 30.

Of course we ordered a second pizza when they inhaled the first (and waited an hour for the second to come out. They are BUSY!) and so they ended up eating 40" of pizza so i guess the 30 wouldn't have been enough either.

Maybe they should do the challenge. you get one hour for 2 people to eat the challenge pizza. Its full of meats to make an 11 pound pizza. They may be able to do it...

It is very tasty and I assume we will eat there again while we are here. Its like a mile from LivviRae Lingerie - the hilarious gals from Double Divas that was on Lifetime ( i think sadly it was cancelled but Im hoping not) .  By the time we got the second pizza they had just closed so I didn't make it there so a Kennesaw trip is in order.

Like every place we've been so far it looks to have enough to merit the thirty minute trip too so may as well.

Of course our standards aren't high. We have a Walmart at home and thats about it so we are easily impressed.

Oh we also ate at the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. Okay food but great cheesecake as I am sure everyone in the world.

Like I said we have nothing in the area and I don't even know aside from 3 hours away where we'd find a Cheesecake factory, maybe Pittsburgh, but thats still 1 1/2 hours. We are deprived.

Her face sums up mine when I saw the bill. Maybe that's why we haven't gone. I mean if it was just the two of us no kids, I would eat there but $85 for so so food is cray. The cheesecake was extremely reasonably priced though . That one was $7 and enough for all 5 us to be like no you finish it please. We will definitely be getting at least some cheesecake from there while we are here.

We love Atlanta!

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