A Travellerspoint blog

ATL

The gateway to the South

sunny 80 °F

I'm sitting at the Summers' kitchen table, hoping my laptop doesn't decide that wifi is an unacceptable form of internet. Shari's in the back yard, relaxing in the grass. There's a constant stream of birds fluttering to the feeders and the air is cooling as the sun sets westward. I'm loving Atlanta. We've met so many warm, genial people. A huge thanks to the Pearl family, who hosted us for Shabbat.
Today introduced us to MARTA, the Atlanta area public transit. Using MARTA really was a breeze. I sketched people on the train in a little pad of post-it notes. Post-its make for a very efficient travel sketch book.
Aviva is a wonderful, thorough tour guide. We went to the Georgia Aquarium. We got in at 1:00pm and immediately set out into the different tanks. So much aquatic life. Fish, sharks, coral, whales, seals. Jelleh fish! They have a giant viewing tank, over 63' long.

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Mesmerizing. We saw whale sharks and manta rays. Shari and Aviva get very excited about bright pink tropical fish. We all get very excited about everything.

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Penguins, otters (different sizes for different bodies of water), beluga whales. Beluga whales are these huge creatures, a white bullet of muscle, blubber, and humor. I have a small stuffed one from when I was a kid, so seeing real live "Whale-Tails" (<-- I know, very creative name for a toy. I was two.) was awesome. Three Belugas share a tank. A baby had been born this May, but passed away this past Friday, which cast a somber feeling over seeing the Belugas for me.

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After, we walk through downtown Atlanta, past the 1996 Olympic Park. Aviva takes one for the team and explains what the Olympics are to Shari. And then tries to explain the difference between soccer in the Olympics and the World Cup. The air is hot, humid. We take MARTA back to the Doraville station and head back to Aviva's.
All in all, a wonderful day. The weather was pleasant, which isn't anything to snub, given that last week around this time we were experiencing heavy rainfall and about 15 flash flood warnings per day. We have one more day in Atlanta and then we're going to pass through this gateway and into the South.

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Posted by MiriG 17:28 Archived in USA Tagged fish road_trip whales sharks georgia aquarium atlanta rays lower_48 atl Comments (0)

Carolinas!!!

Apparently there are two of them

sunny 82 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

We left Knoxville, Tennessee early this morning and dipped east to check out the Carolinas. North Carolina is really beautiful with lots of mountains and hills. We passed through the Great Smoky Mountains region and it was absolutely breathtaking. We stopped in Asheville, North Carolina where we visited the Biltmore Estate. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biltmore_Estate) The grounds and gardens are really pretty and the weather was perfect.

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We then headed down south. Our South Carolina adventure consisted of stopping at a supermarket and buying snacks. South Carolina is basically peaches, strawberries, and shops selling junk that they call antique stores. We arrived in Atlanta, Georgia at about 5:30pm and were greeted by our wonderful friend Aviva Summers and her very awesome family. (It's true what they say about southerners and hospitality.) We will be spending the next few days here and we might actually unpack (!). Tomorrow we will be catching up on lots of sleep and doing lots of nothing and Sunday and Monday we will be exploring the city of Atlanta. Next week we'll be heading to Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas so look out for more exciting posts. Thank you for reading about our shenanigans so far and Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by shari36 16:26 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Rockin' and a Rollin' Down to Tennessee

We were also in Kentucky today

sunny 82 °F

There's something to be said for finding just the right combination of driving and touring. The last few days swung between either a lot of one or a lot of the other. Today, we were on the road for about six hours total and walked about/explored for about three hours and even had some down time without being bone tired. This morning I hugged my family goodbye and Shari and I set off, heading south. Ohio is beautiful, in its very Midwestern way. The highway south divides fields and farms, and the green expanse gently undulates. You can see the precise shadows of the clouds overhead, a tonal addition to the patchwork of agriculture, trees, and asphalt.
We stopped in Boonesville, Kentucky, to stretch our legs. The town has a very active artist colony and a huge emphasis on crafts. Berea College sits across from the historic Boone Tavern established 1919, which has little do with the life of Daniel Boone aside from the fact he founded the town so therefore stuff gets named after him.
Coming down through Tennessee into Knoxville was stunning. As we headed further south (and back east a bit) the hills grew into mountains, bold and green and sturdy. The highway is mostly road cuts, exposing layers of geological formations. I'm fascinated by how rock forms and wears away. I am a nerd.
I was super excited to return to Knoxville. I visited there this spring, attending a printmaker's conference. Already having a frame of reference for the downtown area, I knew exactly where I wanted to go: the Market Square. It's historic and trendy, right near UTK. And Tuesdays and Thursdays, there are free outdoor concerts. The weather was perfect, fluffy clouds, bright sun, not overly humid. We hung out in the square, Shari played in one of the interactive fountains, and we wandered around a small section of downtown Knoxville while I took pictures. There's a lot of really cool statues near the Market Square, and many historic buildings with very ornate facades. I'm happy to be in Knoxville again, if only for a short while. There's a very comfortable feeling to the city, not too rushed or overcrowded.

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Tomorrow brings us to our first weekend of the trip, in Atlanta. We're looking forward to spending a few days in one place, just to get our bearings and reorganize and refresh for another week.

Posted by MiriG 21:05 Archived in USA Tagged history tennessee road trip kentucky ohio knoxville lower_48 daniel_boone Comments (1)

Virginia is for Lovers

West Virginia is for...

semi-overcast 72 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

We left Williamsburg, Virginia early today and started heading west. It was raining all morning. We seem to be getting a lot of that but that shouldn't be a problem once we hit California (too soon?). We stopped in a nice little college town, Lexington, Virginia for lunch. In the coffee shop some Washington and Lee University students were talking about how unsober their friends were last night. Some things are the same everywhere. After lunch we continued on, the sun came out at that point and we had a really nice drive through West Virginia. Lots of rolling hills and farms and cows. The only evidence of human civilization was in Charleston, West Virginia where they paved paradise and put up a parking lot (and a planet fitness and a McDonald's and some factories). Aside from getting lots of shit about marrying their cousins West Virginia is a really cool place. Miriam was telling me that they became a state during the Civil War when Virginia seceded from the Union and West Virginia decided that they don't like slavery so they broke off from Virginia, which is super cool so stop giving them shit about marrying their cousins, it's a free country. Love is love.

West Virginia is a real state with t-shirts and stuff

West Virginia is a real state with t-shirts and stuff


So pretty

So pretty

We arrived in Columbus, Ohio at about 6:30 PM where Miriam's wonderful family greeted us with sushi. Miriam went to meet up with a friend. Esther (Miriam's charming little sister), Yoni, and I went to Graeters for ice cream. There is a delicious beef stew smell wafting in from the kitchen that Miriam's mom made. But Miriam is still not home from her friend's so we're waiting for her to start dinner. (We do ice cream before dinner because we can.)
Maybe I'll innocently ask at the dinner table if they have any old pictures of Miriam and then spend the rest of the evening with the Geiger's discussing Miriam's more embarrassing childhood moments. I'll let you guys know how that went ;)

Me sitting on Miriam's doorstep looking disgruntled after the 8 hour drive

Me sitting on Miriam's doorstep looking disgruntled after the 8 hour drive

Posted by shari36 18:32 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip west_virginia virginia ice_cream lower_48 columbus_ohio Comments (1)

Forgive me my Trespasses

The (morally questionable) Benefits of Getting Lost

all seasons in one day

Today began bright and early. Well, bright.
Shari and I headed down to the historic colonial Williamsburg and wandered around the College of William and Mary until we finally found the no-vehicular-traffic-from-8 AM-to-10 PM historic district. It was really hot and really humid, so it was very nice that the wells were equipped with water fountains.
Shari drinking from the well

Shari drinking from the well


We were wandering around colonial Williamsburg, taking in the quaint old houses and shoppes. We ended up going on a tour of the Governor's palace, which was really nice. While sitting and listening to the tour guide, I noticed that everyone else at the tour was wearing badges and I discreetly pulled out my phone and typed to Shari "were we supposed to pay for this?" Shari told me not to worry about it but as I found out this evening, yes, we were supposed pay (so I hope this shout out counts and helps drive tourism.) Turns out we had been kind of (very) lost before getting to colonial Williamsburg and may have wandered in the back way. It seemed legit at the time...
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After colonial Williamsburg, we headed down to the colony at Jamestown and it was mostly just really cool to see where the settlers and traders lived, beginning this whole mess 400+ years ago. We also drove around the island where Jamestown was settled. Most of the history got lost in the rain. (It rained the rest of the afternoon, not as bad as yesterday, though.) We stayed in the car and just continued driving around. Shari did get out of the car and play in the rain for bit (she does that).
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Afterwards, we headed down the Colonial Parkway towards Yorktown but the roads were flooded (yay, rain.) so we turned around and headed back to the hotel. So, all in all, a good day of touring, architecture, and some history. It was cool. We're heading to bed early so we can get an early start tomorrow. Actually bright and early this time.

Posted by MiriG 19:26 Archived in USA Tagged jamestown rainy colonial_williamsburg Comments (1)

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