Saturday, December 10, 2011

What We Did On Our Anniversary

The other day was our 44th anniversary. Wow! We have been married 44 years.

We started out the day by going to the Governor’s Mansion. We read that the mansion is decorated for Christmas and it is a sight to see. We also read it is opened from 9:30 to 12:30 daily.

When we drove onto the Governor’s Mansion grounds a Georgia State Patrolman asked us could he help us. We told him we would like to see the mansion, He had a clipboard. He asked for my driver’s license then he walked around and wrote down our license plate number. He told us to proceed up the hill and we were directed where to park.

The mansion was decorated in all sorts of trees and figurines and things. Each room had a docent, which was always a charming, with a Georgia accent, well dressed lady who gave you the run-down on what you were looking at. The first room, the lady introduced herself as “Sandra Deal, wife of the Governor. “ We had a nice conversation with Mrs. Deal. We were the last of the group that just went through, so she talked more on a one on one. She told us it was a big nice place, but they lived upstairs and used only about 3 of the rooms, an office, sitting room, and the bedroom, “3 rooms, just like we do back at home”, she added.

I asked if I could take her picture and she said of course I could. She told us a good deal (get it?)about the design of the house, using Greek names and different styles from trends and/or fashion. I asked her where she was from and she said Gainesville. I asked her if she knew any of Englands in Gainesville. And she said something like Godfrey England worked for them. I told her my last name was Hunter and the Hunters and the England intertwined in their marriages in Union County, Georgia, and some of the Englands overflowed into Hall County (Gainesville).

She gave me a quick polite smile and greeted the newest arrivals and started talking to them. Our audience with the First Lady of Georgia was over.

The decorations were great. Each room has a theme of a sort of a certain area of Georgia. One room had a Christmas tree with sea shells and star fish on it that represented the coast. Another tree in another room had picked cotton all over it, that represented one of south Georgia’s principle crop.

The room that represented north Georgia had Cabbage Patch Dolls (Cleveland), and other things typical of of the area but what stands out is the Spanish Moss hanging from a fireplace. Was that a joke?

Two rooms had children singing groups singing Christmas songs. See the video above.

Mrs. Deal pointed out that if we come back sometime when it wasn’t the Christmas season, with all the decorations gone, we could see more of other such in the house, and I think she meant historical things on display.

In the basement in a room where one group of kids were singing were portraits of all the governors of Georgia. I made a point to find the below one and photograph it. It is a portrait of Button Gwinnett. Button was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. If that isn’t interesting enough, he was killed in a duel. He was an exciting person, wasn’t he?

Also in the same room in the basement singing was a big table where the staff, or volunteers, were overseeing the cookies baked from the mansion’s cookies and apple cider. With the people standing on the other side of the table watching who took how many, I only took one cookie – it would be embarrassing, at 70 years old, to get my hand slapped.

The Governor’s Mansion grounds were impressive landscaped and well trimmed. Georgia has come a long way since Governor Gene Tallmadge brought his cows to the capital to graze on the grass. I haven’t heard if Gene put cattle at the mansion grounds or not. Then, the mansion was Ansley Park, which was not much in the public view, so I dout it, Gene Tallmadge was a master showman.

We went to Atlantic Station to do some Christmas shopping. Atlantic Station looked like a chunk of New York City, maybe a 5 block square, was ripped up and it sailed away and landed off Northside Drive in Atlanta. That section could pass for a section of Manhattan. Apparently, if it was a chunk of New York City was somehow lifted up and scaled down to Atlanta, the cheap street food venders fell off along the way. By the way, I think it was named Atlantic Station because it is the same area that the old Atlantic Steel yards were at. Some of you readers, will mumble something like, “I thought everybody knew that."

We had lunch at Which Wich. Which Wich is a unique sandwich shop. You fill out your order on a brown paper sack by filling out the blanks and multiple choices. Then you give the brown paper bag to the cashier who adds it up on the cash register, put it on a clothes hangers and sends it down an assembly line. Then at the pickup area people are patiently waiting for their order to come. And then, in our case, you look for a normal height chairs with a normal height table instead of those high seats and chairs that they mostly have. We shared a turkey sandwich WHICH was pretty good.

In the evening we had reservations at the Canoe Restaurant on the river. The waitress was a firm believer, I think, in making the customer feel comfortable and right. And also we were absolutely right on everything we said, like, “Excellent choice!” I had lamb sirloin and Anna had the most tend part of a cow, if I understood correctly, it is along the spine. However, as nice as it was, we were seated by a plate glass, of a glassed in porch. It was cold.

Then, after we left one of the better restaurants in the Metro Atlanta area we went to Big Lots to look for more clear Christmas lights and they were out.

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