I always see the Southern hospitality you hear about, people are just warmer and more open here for some reason.
I have a theory that the warmer, sunnier weather gives them more vitamin D thereby making them a nicer population.
Or maybe they're more traditional and value traditional values and traits like hospitality more so than the northern counterparts.
I don't know but it is different for sure.
Since Tony is in training in Atlanta we joined him and I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Atlanta.
I have always wanted to go to Georgia.
I have no idea why.
My idea of a vacation only involves a beach or an oversized Mouse wearing red shorts.
But, for some reason I've always had a desire to visit Georgia.
I think I just love the looks of the big old plantations *and yes I know how awful plantations were , I mean them now not romanticizing the slavery era*
Or maybe it was because I watched a lot of Designing Women as a kid, but Georgia always held an allure for me.
But I didn't really consider Atlanta to fit into that, I assumed being a large city it would more have the attitude of a New York or DC, cities I'm familliar with - and while I think New Yorkers get an overly bad rap, they still don't possess southern hospitality.
Delightfully, Atlanta has surprised me.
At least where we are located, it isn't overwhelming at all. It reminds me of where Tony and I went to college - a city that had everything but still had a small town feel. And manageable traffic.
We've had a lot of fun so far and it seems safe where we are. The girls and I venture out on our own without feeling uneasy.
I prefer driving here than back home.
I have serious stress driving at home. People just drive poorly, so many with no driving skills and also very inconsiderately and aggressive.
And its a small area with no traffic - should be a breeze.
Here, we are driving on six lane highways which would normally make me a bit panicky because I get claustrophobic in a sea of cars but people are driving at a nice speed and no one tails anyone. There is that nice space that people are taught to drive at between cars but rarely do.
No one is swerving in and out of lanes just to get a little bit ahead or cutting people off.
You don't have to hold your breath wondering if you;ll be able to get over when you need to because one the aforementioned space and two they'll let you over.
Its been delightful.
I assumed I wouldn't be going out much because I hate tense driving conditions but even though I don't know where I'm going I feel at ease.
The people are so warm and friendly and full of personality.
Ive determined we need to add at least five minutes buffer time per store or location we are visiting if we need to be on a schedule because every place you go someone will want to talk for a good 5-10 minutes. Theyre just genuinely nice and conversational. Just warm and friendly.
We love it.
And of course the weather is so nice. I can't take much more cold. Cannot take it. Its been a bad winter and we all hate the cold.
If my kids at least enjoyed the snow I could get behind it, because it would be fun but since they hate despite all kinds of ideas we've tried to do with them, its just a miserable time where my kids are stuck inside far too long.
It hasn't been as warm as it was supposed to be which is disappointing but at least I see no snow and its not bitter. Its like spring time and a few days have been summery. Hopefully there is more warm weather this week because its glorious. I love warmth!
I'm surprised at how huge Atlanta is.
There are so many beautiful suburbs that are large and cities unto themselves.
The area we are in now has more shopping than we'd ever need, all of our favorite stores and more all of our favorite restaurants. If we lived here I think we would only have to leave this little area for entertainment, Im assuming but haven't looked into it, that most would be located more downtown.
We've explored several of the close suburbs and the all seem to have nearly as much as this one, so it seems most of the suburbs are little self contained cities . Its great.
And for a city, its a really beautiful one.
Dogwoods lining the streets, everything very clean, its all surpassed what I had in my head for Atlanta and has the southern genteel look and feel that I wanted to see in Georgia.
One thing missing - Southern accents.
People mostly sound northern, I assume being a city there are a lot of business transplants.
When we headed North you heard some but I want to hear people talk like Julia Sugarbaker.
"Yesterday, in my mind's eye, I saw four women standing on a veranda in white, gauzy dresses and straw-colored hats. They were having a conversation. And it was hot. Their hankies tucked in cleavages where eternal trickles of perspiration run from the female breastbone to exotic vacation spots that southern men often dream about. They were sweet-smelling, coy, cunning, voluptuous, voracious, delicious, pernicious, vexing and sexing... these earth sister/rebel mothers... these arousers and carousers. And I was filled with a longing to join them. But like a whim of Scarlett's, they turned suddenly and went inside, shutting me out with a bolt of a latch. And I was left only to pick up an abandoned handkerchief and savor the perfumed shadows of these women... these southern women. This Suzanne. This Julia. This Mary Jo and Charlene."
- Julia Sugarbaker*yeah I'm pretty sure my ideas of Georgia all come from Designing Women*
We have time here left so perhaps we will find some southern talking women.
but hopefully not these ones.
They talk with a Southern accent
but with a bite.
But I would love a pic with
Nene or Phaedra just
because my friends
would find it hilarious.
Whats the tea hunni.
My kids are loving it too, despite being in a hotel room that is really no bigger than a normal hotel room except it has a kitchenette. Emphasis on the ette.
When they wake up and go to sleep they tend to fight. Otherwise they're doing really well.
They keep asking if we can move here.
And depending on who is reading this from my home area some are probably saying well if you hate it here so much why don't you move there.
And its not that our area is awful, it just doesn't offer our family things we want really.
Some people are really happy there and I think that's fantastic, but our family spends a lot of money travelling places to accomplish even simple things we want so it doesn't really fit us.
I think a lot of people that grow up there are the small town nostalgics. I know my mother always called me names like I was too good for anything just because I wanted to see something outside of the county lines growing up even though that is completely normal .
And there are a lot of people who fiercely defend the area.
I just don't find a lot to defend, but that's just us, and because of things we are interested in and enjoy.
Tony and I aren't nostalgic about areas, we get attached to people but not things. I don't feel any fondness for my old high school but I carry great memories of child hood friends and shenanigans that make me smile when they cross my mind.
We don't have any favorite local restaurants where we are regulars.
We don't care about the local high school sports teams, and don't get excited for wins.
Those just aren't things that interest us so that nostalgic feeling doesn't kick in.
I guess we are more practical and see things from that sense.
We enjoy plays and exploring new sites, the kids love historical sites and museums and aquariums and zoos. We love new adventures and warmth great restaurants and shopping . I have to drive well over an hour just for a stinking target! Target!
We love concerts and amusement parks, hockey games and beaches.
Its just that our area offers none of it and even the whole safe small town vibe has left the area thanks to the prisons - I assume, people blame them for the increased crime gangs and drugs, I'm just going by the popular rationale.
(there are lots of historical sites that we've visited many times, although they all do require travelling we do enjoy the somewhat nearby historical sites)
Jobs are scant and the outlook is bleak.
Even though he has a great job, Obama killing the coal industry has killed a lot of his opportunity, he used to get a ton of overtime but theyve cut that off in an effort to make up for the loss of revenue from coal.
Its just not an area that offers us anything , nothing personal to those reading out there who want to be offended by my practical analysis.
I know a short stay anywhere can seem lovely because you don't have the everyday dealings, but we've also lived else where and know the grass sometimes is greener elsewhere.
The best thing about where we live now is our house and its location.
We live in a big beautiful farmhouse on one of his family's farms, which is near his parents which is great for the kids.
Its away from neighbors mostly with lots of beautiful land. Its absolutely gorgeous and such a blessing to raise our girls there.
I can see us living there forever just for that house and land. I know we won't have a better property than that picturesque lot (except in winter, in winter while still beautiful its a nightmare with snow drifting continuously in our driveway and whipping winds. still pretty though...)
Now if only I could move that house and plot of land to the south....