Posted by: justnaturallyme | July 11, 2013

From Georgia to Rockford, Il

It’s been awhile since I have had time to blog. Last big trip was to the Georgia Travel Media Marketplace and Travel Media Showcase in Rockport, IL is upcoming fast.

Pullin’ Strings performs on the
Waterside Restaurant patio

The Georgia trip was like time travel. After the actual Marketplace which in itself covered a lot of ground, some familiar some new, but the post trip took me back 150 years to one of American’s most interesting eras. I did Civil War in Northwest Georgia. The Marketplace was set in Georgia’s Lake Country, focusing on the counties around Lakes Oconee and Sinclair. We stayed at Lake Coscowilla Golf Resort, nestled right up to the shores of Lake Oconee. What a gorgeous lake view! Of course we got to enjoy a pontoon boat tour of the lake with a very knowledgeable guide. Cuscowilla fed us well that night at their Waterside Restaurant where we enjoyed the cooking and conversation of Chef Gerald Schmidt. ( I have an article at http://americanroads.net/fork_in_the_road_summer13.htm about that.)

Next morning after a hearty breakfast at Cuscowilla’s Golf House Grill, we visited Milledgeville and some historical sites;. Andalusia, Flannery O’Conner’s home, (I have an article about that at http://americanroads.net/Literary_trails_summer13.htm ); Sallie Ellis Davis House, A tribute to a remarkable African American woman who devoted her life to teaching the young; The Old Governors Mansion, with its tales of the families who lived in that mansion. We did a drive by of other historic sites and then headed towards an unbelievable lunch at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Remolds Plantation again overlooking Lake Oconee.

Flo on our bus

Comfortably relaxed and well stuffed, we headed for Greensboro. Just before our bus pulled out, w harried looking waitress in a Waffle House uniform jumped aboard, introduced herself as Flo, began telling us all about herself and talking about getting back home to Greensboro. Before anyone had chance to tell her this wasn’t a public bus, we caught on to the game and realized she was an advance ambassador from Greensboro. What a wonderful experience, Both Flo’s monologue and the delightful small town of Greensboro. I couldn’t resist the charm and wrote an article about it at http://americanroads.net/off_the_beaten_trail_summer13.htm

We headed for Madison and a great reception at Heritage Hall with wine and cheese and carriage rides if we wished. http://www.americanroads.net/Tibs_Trails_Tastes_summer13.htm is a great article with more about Heritage Hall by Christine Tibbetts, a fellow journalist who also took this trip. We had a “Farm to Fork Dinner” in Madison’s Town Park where we were serenaded by live music by J. Scott Thompson and Peachtree Station.

Saturday, we had a real country breakfast in the barn at Crooked Pines Farms. No it was not a barn we shared with the horses and cows. It is a specially constructed events building built in the rustic style. We did get introduced to al the farm animals after the meal by the owner’s young son. Then it was on to Eatonton. Uncle Remus Museum is a fun spot for young and old. We learned the history of Joel Chandler Harris and then enjoyed a story told by the talented Miss Georgia.

Then it was down to work. We met in the Plaza Arts Center, a 1960 Eatonton school that has been revived as a performing arts center, with the CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) representatives from all over Georgia and discussed what was new and exciting to write about in Georgia. I go every year but there is always something new.

Then it was off to our post trip, Civil War in Northeast Georgia. We headed for Country Inn and Suites in Calhoun and got settled in. Then it was off for dinner at Dub’s High on the Hog. Dubs bills itslef as “The only place in Calhoun that doesn’t need a sign.” They are right. That fragrant bar-b-que smell wafting on the air will pull you in from anywhere in smelling distance.

Battle of Resaca

Next morning, we awakened to the sound of rain. Not just a drizzle, a downpour. Still after breakfast at the hotel we set out for the Confederate Cemetery at Resaca. This
was the home of the
Green family. After the Battle of Resaca, they returned to find their plantation strewn with dead soldiers form the battle. They buried over 450 confederate soldiers who died in that battle. It was rainy and gloomy as befitting a visit to such a sacred spot.

The rain caused us to miss our next appointed place, the site of Fort Wayne. This was to be a preview of one of Georgia’s significant Civil War battle sites as the first major conflict of the Atlanta Campaign. I hope to return after it opens to visit. Instead we used the time slot to visit Tellus Museum. It was a wonderful substitute and indoors out of the rain.

We headed to Bowman’s for lunch. This is a our of the way restaurant that is well worth finding. All the dishes are slow cooked with fresh farm ingredients. They make everything from scratch including their biscuits and desserts.

The rain was still iffy as we headed to the day’s main event, The Battle of Resaca. We were all apprehensive. If it rained the cannon could not be fired and the battle would be called off. The gods smiled down on us. Well, not the Sun God but at least it stopped raining long enough for the battle to proceed almost to the end. There is nothing that can transport you back in time like an re-enactment battle. Occurring on May 14-15, 1864, this was the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign.

The Gordon Lee Mansion

Our next stop was the Chickamauga National Military Park, the site of the battle of Chickamauga, and then to the Gordon Lee Mansion, a home that played a major part in that battle. We spent the night in a sight that is going to play a significant role in the upcoming 2013 sesquicentennial re-enactment of that battle this September, Mountain Cove Farms at McLemore Cove. I have a lot about this place, the battle and the re-enactment here http://www.americanroads.net/civil_war_trail_summer13.htm

We finished up in Rome. Rome, Georgia like Rome, Italy is a city of hills. We got our share of walking up and down these hills as we toured the historic downtown, Between the Rivers and Myrtle Hill Cemetery. So many interesting and famous people are buried in Myrtle Hill it would take a whole article to tell of all of them. (That’s a hint about a future article at American Roads.) The highlight was when we met “the widow” of a slain Confederate soldier. She told how “her husband” had been shot by a Union soldier when the two exchanged gunfire when their paths crossed as the Confederate headed towards Rome and his family. The victorious Union soldier then dismounted and held the dying Confederate until he passed. The Union soldier brought the dead man’s diary and last words to his widow. She said they offered her “great consolation.” The entire monologue lasted just minutes but it was a poignant reminded of the price of war and the suffering of the loved ones left behind.

Next stop was Chieftains Museum, the home of Major Ridge, a noted Cherokee chieftain. Again, I had to do an entire article to encompass this story. It’s at http://www.americanroads.net/native_trails_summer13.htm

I am looking forward to getting some more great story inspirations at Travel Media Showcase when I visit Rockford. I am signed up for the Alton, Il post tour and it has fantastic history and ghost stories all over town. Can’t wait.

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