Posted in Travel

2023 Escape from St. Patrick’s Day #5

My daily snapshot of Robert’s and my 2023 trip to get away from Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations.

This Post-St. Patrick’s Day morn, after Robert and I finished our coffee in our little Airbnb, we embarked on a short day trip up to Toccoa, Georgia to take a gander at Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site. We have now visited all 48 of Georgia’s state parks, and all but three of the state historic sites.

“This stagecoach inn and plantation home was built around 1815 by James R. Wyly. He strategically located it along the newly constructed Unicoi Turnpike, a busy highway over the Appalachian Mountains. Wyly operated the inn until 1833 when he sold it to his neighbor Devereaux Jarrett, the “richest man in the Tugaloo Valley.” Jarrett continued to operate the inn, but doubled its size to make it the home place of his 14,400 acre plantation along the Tugaloo River. Three generations of Jarretts inhabited the site until the state of Georgia purchased the remaining few acres of the once-vast plantation for $8,000 in 1955.”

Dynamic docent Billy showed us around and even gave us a suggestion for a local lunch, which we took him up on.

Tonight we’re getting all cultured as we melodically make our way to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Here’s a little something I put together about it:

We’re going to … let the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra transport us into Nature’s realm with the rugged Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius alongside the Overture to Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber. In between, catch the U.S. premiere of a new saxophone concerto, For Wadada Leo Smith (2022), by jazz and classical multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey.

Okay, I lied. I copied all that from the program. And understood very little. But I do plan to be “transported” by it. I’ll tell you if I was in tomorrow’s post. That will give you something to look forward to.

Posted in Life Experiences, Travel

Five Friday Happy Bringers 3/17/23

1. Being able to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” away from Savannah’s craziness today.

2. One of our local colleges, SCAD—the Savannah College of Art and Design—making the big time in Hollywood.


I taught international students at SCAD as an adjunct after retiring from full time college teaching.

3. The unexpected joy when I find a little nook and cranny in Savannah’s historic district which I had never seen before.

4. Our sense of touch. It is raining where we are in Atlanta at the moment, and I’m so thankful to be able to feel the drops on my face and hands as we dash out of our car running around the city.

5. Grilled peaches.

May you have a peachy weekend ahead.

Posted in The Artful Dodger, Unexpected Art

“The Artful Dodger“ #17

A blog category about finding “art” in unexpected places and situations.

A little while ago, Robert and I were leaving our favorite little Atlanta breakfast place, Homegrown.

Walking toward the car, I heard them before I saw them. Detective-like, I quickly turned around.

They were casually (and somewhat seductively) leaning against the back shed of the little hole-in-the- wall jewel of a restaurant, singing, belting their hearts and souls out.

The Seven Sisters singing their way through The Great American Songbook.

I could’ve stayed there all day, reveling in the joy, the pathos, the excitement, the disappointment, the yearning fullness of their song.

They were us all—EveryWoman, EveryMan—leaning back and leaning into life. Our days, months, and years filled with living the truth of their diverse songs.

But HR finally made me get in the car.

“Neal, other people need to park.”

“And hear,” I thought.

So we made our way back to our midtown Airbnb, but not without the Sisters’ melodies still ringing in my ears and heart.

As we pulled up to our Airbnb, the most amazing thing REALLY HAPPENED, raising goosebumps on my skin. A young lady in a pick-up parked near us. When she opened her door, Robert and I heard her before we saw her—-singing joyfully. She made her way into the other half of the duplex that makes up our Airbnb. She continued to sing as she turned on the vacuum cleaner. Vocal joy. It actually felt a little quietly empty when she got in her truck and drove away.

Posted in Travel

2023 Escape from St. Patrick’s Day #3

My daily snapshot of Robert’s and my 2023 trip to get away from Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations.

This morning, after checking out of our cabin at Red Top Mountain State Park in north Georgia, we headed to Atlanta and Emory University to see a couple of exhibits at the Michael Marcos Museum of Art. We visited it before, loved it and have wanted to return.

We never try to go through an entire museum in a single visit, instead spending a bit of time in only one or two areas that peek our interest.

I was especially fascinated by this Chicago street photographer’s black and white paired photos of Chicago’s poorer districts.

Next, Robert seemed to spend an eternity in the Egyptian afterlife exhibit. It really was fascinating. With real mummies!

And here’s HR in the current life interrupting a museum tour on the level below. See him?

I was eavesdropping on a docent-led tour below, and pretended not to know him.

Whew. The things I put up with.

The Egyptians made us hungry, so we headed to Mary Mac’s Tea Room for their southern fried chicken.

Along with sweet potato soufflé, and collard greens with pot liquor.

To burn off some of the calories and to get outside, we rushed over to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the tulips and their new Trolls (!) installation.

I’ll tell you more about the Trolls in other posts.

What a fun third day on our Savannah Saint Patrick’s day escape trip!

Posted in One-Word Wednesday

One-Word Wednesday: 10/12//22


Robert caught me using the WordPress ability to dictate my blog on a break from festivities at Atlanta Pride this past weekend.

As least that’s what he thinks I’m doing.

In reality, I’m checking with my personal assistant Crystalia to make sure she thinks my wooden Pride beads are hip enough for the relentless paparazzi.

She did.

Posted in Monday Moaning or Monday Marveling?

Monday Moaning or Monday Marveling? 10/10/22 “Atlanta Pride Parade”

Marveling as about 100,000 of our friends joined HR and me at the 2022 Atlanta Pride Parade yesterday.

Sen. Raphael Warnock showed up, accompanied by his fellow Georgia senator and friend Jon Ossoff …

As did gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams …

Side-note: There were about a dozen other candidates present, all Democrats, for various state and local offices. But there wasn’t a Republican candidate to be found. Not one. No Gov. Brian Kemp. No Herschel Walker. I wonder why.

May we all drive on toward full equality.

Posted in My Saturday Evening Post

My Saturday Evening Post: 10/8/22 “Hello! from Atlanta Pride”

So Robert and I are in Atlanta this weekend for Pride. You may (or may not) know that the traditional month for Pride celebrations is June. But not in the deep South. It’s too hot! And some of our Pride might melt. October works better.

We’re staying at a very cool Airbnb near Piedmont Park where the festival is held.

We get our steps in climbing up to our suite …

“Come on up, Neal!”

And we have our very own little morning coffee spot …

Like-minded folks here.

Georgia races

Today, Saturday, is the Pride festival. (Tomorrow is the parade.)

Such loving, accepting and inclusive fun.

HR, proudly, trying to look cool and hip.