Monday, July 9, 2012

Southern Hospitality

We arrived back "On the Doorstep," our doorstep, with five sweaty tired people, a few bags of dirty laundry, and a lot of good memories of our time in Georgia.

We talk a lot on this blog about vintage stuff, and I'm happy to report that one thing that has NOT become vintage, a thing of the past, is southern hospitality.

My sister Dyan and I spent a day running around Decatur, Georgia, and found out about Sawicki's, an organic butcher and baker. If they are a candlestick maker, I'm sure they'd be awesome at that too, because look at this beef sandwich:

Hot mustard. Spicy pickles. Happy tummy. 
Gigantic, delicious, made with fresh house made stuff in unique combinations. We might have missed the place because at first glance, it looked like a straight up butcher counter; we didn't know they were a deli and bakery. We knew about Sawicki's, whose web site is here, because of the good Southern manners of another business down the street, the New Orleans Snoball Cafe. I'd like to give a shout-out, or I guess it should be a "hey, y'all" to Jared at the Cafe, because even though we were looking for lunch and he doesn't serve lunch items, he gave us the tip for Sawicki's.

With that kind of friendliness, it seemed like we just HAD to round back to the New Orleans Snoball Cafe for dessert. They serve traditional New Orleans-style ices and other creative variations on that yummy treat. Dyan and I shared a blackberry lemon ice, which was perfect for the HOT day. (Did I mention it was something like 106 degrees the day we drove through Nashville, Tenn., on our way to Georgia? Yes m'dear, that's a reason to drag out the all caps). I appreciated Jared's friendliness to strangers in his city, his helping out another local business, and then his excellent service and food at his own. That's a class act. New Orleans Snoball Cafe's web site is here.

On another day, my sister and I took the kids to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. We arrived late morning, and found that both the 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. shows to the dolphins were full, leaving only the 3:30 p.m. show. Despite the Georgia Aquarium being big AND awesome, we somehow doubted we'd be able to kill a solid four hours there just to see the dolphin show. It was a disappointment, since one of my little boys had really wanted to see them.

We were waiting to be let into the frog exhibit, which is awesome by the way:

Tropical frogs so real they don't look, um, real. Really. 
A Georgia Aquarium employee managing the admission line chatted us up, and he asked if we'd seen the dolphin show yet. We shook our heads, explaining our dilemma. He told us we could still see them if we took the escalators up to an observation deck, no tickets necessary! Visit saved, and no disappointed little boy! I have no idea the man's name, though I've somewhat formulated in my mind Mr. Frog Hero, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. 

The Georgia Aquarium, while a great place, is also a "total zoo" in the other sense, and the food was expensive and the lines long. Poor planning on our parts, I know. We should have packed our own food, but in the busy-ness of vacation, it just didn't happen. We were headed to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum nearby, and we decided we'd cross our fingers and hope for a vending machine or nearby restaurant. 

It turned out the Carter Museum does have a cafe for visitors, but it is only open until 2 p.m. We walked in at exactly 1:55 p.m., with five boys starved out of their minds. Yikes. But a sweet elderly woman in the kitchen said, "You don't worry about it hon, we'll put some more hot dogs in for y'all. C'mon in." I could have kissed her on the cheek on the spot.

The Carter Museum is a great mini-education about our country's 39th president, not only about his political career, but also about his humanitarian work afterwards, which earned him the Nobel Prize in 2002. We not only enjoyed our time there, but earned new respect for a man whose presidency has not always been viewed in the most positive terms. Go if you find yourself in Atlanta.

My nephew, Dillon, and my son, Noah, checking out the interactive exhibit about President Carter's naval service as a submariner. 
Last but certainly not least in the "Southern Hospitality Tour 2012" is my dear sister Dyan and brother-in-law Rusty, who hosted us for a week in their home, doling out barbecue ribs and cold drinks (some with pineapple vodka in them), bandaids for boo-boos, sunscreen, tour guidance, a washer and dryer, and a place to rest our heads for the night. Thank you. We love you like biscuits and gravy, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. Don't you just love Southern Hospitality! People there really are so kind, it's different in a way you almost cannot describe.

    Looks like everyone had a blast on the trip and that you came across some really cool things to do. And that sandwich looks AMAZING!!!! YAY for vacations...except for the laundry when you get back! :)