Georgia on my mind


I think it’s safe to begin this post with what I feel to be my evaluation of the state of Georgia: boring, run-down for the most part, and incredibly backwards. But that’s not entirely accurate either.

My friend, Chris, has lived in Athens, Georgia a couple years now and we took a day to go up to visit him for his and Lauren’s engagement party. We left dreary Tallahassee around 9 AM, stopping to get bagels on the way, and I was feeling optimistic. The rain got worse and there was ridiculous traffic on 75. Oh, by the way, there’s no straight shot interstate to Athens. We had to take 319 to 75 to 16 (for about 5 seconds), and then 129 into town. But these roads turn off at random places and have other truck routes and, well, they’re just confusing. How could I possibly be on 129 North AND 22 West at the same time, when I know damn well I am going straight North??

Anyway, when we reached Macon and I realized that’s where Mercer is (hi Jordan’s alma mater!) we got totally turned around and I was feeling pretty cruddy about the whole trip in general. Finally we made our way onto the correct road in the correct direction and things went smoothly for a while. We drove through little towns with Civil War significance like Milledgeviile, Bishop and Madison. For the most part, if a town wasn’t burned down or crumbling buildings or closed down produce stands then it was all gigantic mansions. We saw a lot of the houses on the Antebellum trail – the ones that escaped Sherman’s wrath – and I felt sort of transported back in time as we drive through some of these places. It was the adventure of traveling there for the first time that really kept me going, despite the gloomy weather.

We got into Athens around 3 PM. I was fairly impressed with downtown and the UGA campus. Very cute. Their downtown is similar to Tallahassee in that there are older brick buildings but theirs are all restaurants, bars, and shops. I think that would be an awesome place to hang out one weekend. But anyway, we made our way to the UGA museum to see Chris’s MFA show. Then we all made our way to the engagement party, which was a block away at a friend’s house. I didn’t know they were going to have Indian food but it was all quite tasty. Well, all except the Mukhwas, which is supposed to be this palette cleanser with anise and fennel seeds but it was like eating soap or perfume. I’ll try any food once and probably feel at least neutral on it but this was disgusting. I felt like I had to eat more food to clear my palette of that!

The party was fun and we got to see people we hadn’t in a while. Also, some of Chris’s neighbours were there with their 5 month old daughter so we talked a lot. Around 7, we had to begin the leaving process and we managed to get on the road by 8. To backtrack, Ash was up until 3 Friday night playing Team Fortress (he lost track of time) so he was exhausted. I volunteered to drive back, which is insane because I don’t stay awake well at night. On our way out of town we stopped at 5 guys hamburgers (yum!) for him to eat something (he doesn’t eat Indian) and then I began the long drive south. It wasn’t a bad drive. I only got us off-course once and it was when I missed a 129 bypass. We stopped somewhere and got directions back to 75 and we were pretty close. Ash and the baby fell asleep and I spent a portion of time talking to my brother in law. Soon, however, he was sleepy and it was just me and the road. The ridiculously dark road. With sprinkling rain. And no radio. The only thing really keeping me awake, besides knowing that everything rested on my shoulders, was the freezing cold air, making me uncomfortable.

We got back into Tallahassee around 2 or 2:30 and I was so exhausted. I think I slept until 6, fed the baby for an hour (and fell asleep) then put him back to bed until 10 (thankfully) so I could sleep some more. Saturday was such a long, busy day that I spent Sunday just recovering. Who am I kidding? I did laundry and chores all day! Ok, well, I napped for 15 minutes in the afternoon and we watched a movie around 8:30 but still, my weekend was chock full of activity and this morning, I am feeling the after effects pretty hard. Welcome to Monday.

2 thoughts on “Georgia on my mind

  1. I’m glad your preliminary evaluation of Georgia turns out to be not all that accurate. I love Georgia, the land of my nativity, but like everywhere else, it has its problems–some much worse than others. I-75 through south and central Georgia is a shitty drive, for starters.

    If you took I-75 to I-16, you went right by Mercer. Did you see their monstrosity of a Hilton? Perhaps the spires of my beloved College of Liberal Arts and Science and the English Department in the distance? Ah! Pardon my pining.

  2. Well, I know I saw this funky cemetery on a hill, to my right as we were getting onto 16. I remember thinking it all looked lot older than I thought it would.

    Honestly, I would have felt a lot better about my entire Georgia visit had it been sunny and warm but it was just awful. I’d give the state another chance for sure, but not any time soon.

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