Things To Do In Georgia Feb 11 – Feb 14

Hello Dear Readers! As many of you know, I’m all about supporting State Parks and Historic sites as well as National Parks and Historic sites. I love them and think they are important, as well as being a great way … Continue reading

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Lake Winnie

Hello dear readers! Today’s destination is, I hope, a fun one. I went here many times as a child and always loved it. As a family, we went here instead of Six Flags. Shocking, yes I know. Today’s destination is Lake Winnepesaukah, or as it is more commonly know, Lake Winnie.

For those of you who don’t know, Lake Winnie is an amusement park in Rossville, GA, just south of Chattanooga, TN. It was opened by Carl and Minette Dixon in 1925 and was named after the Native American word Winnepesaukah, meaning bountiful waters. They purchased 100 acres surrounding a 9 acre lake. It was originally home to the largest swimming pool in the southeastern US (22,000 sq ft) but was later removed. The boat shoot ride, designed by Carl Dixon and opened in 1927, is the oldest mill chute water ride of it’s kind still open in the United States.


The original Boat Shoot, still in operation. 

Flat rides were added in the 40’s and 50’s, and the first roller coasters were added in the 1960’s. The most iconic of these, the Cannonball, is a wooden roller coaster added in 1967. This is one of the first “big kid” roller coasters that I ever road. One time, my brother and our cousins were riding it, and because there was no one else in line the operator didn’t make us get off. He actually sped it up and we jumped the tracks coming back into the station. It was fantastic and I still carry fond memories of this coaster everywhere I go. The coaster actually has a top speed of 50 mph, a 70 ft vertical drop, and 2,272 ft of track spanning three quarters of a mile. It’s only 90 seconds but oh so worth it. Other rides here include more modern coasters now, as well as many kiddie rides.

2013 saw the addition of the SoakYa water park, a 5 acre expansion for the park. The park is set up like a classic American Fair, with a midway featuring food, rides, and games. It also has an outdoor concert area called “Jukebox Junction”. A lot of people will tell you that the park is outdated. Personally I think that it’s classic. I enjoy the fact that it reminds me of a simpler time. It’s not as new fangled or complicated as Six Flags but I feel like that’s really just part of it’s charm.

If you’re ever in the area, do me a favor and give it a try. Reserve judgement for yourself. You can find all the info you need, such as hours, ticket prices, and more here. Do you have memories here? Share them with me!

“I’m looking at her. She’s sitting across the room on the couch, book in hand, arms pressing down the blanket that wraps her body. Lost in words, but sensing my gaze, she looks over the pages and smiles. Then her eyes and mind return to another world, while her heart stays here with me.” – Dean Jackson

“She understood that the hardest times in your life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.” Sarah Addison Allen

“Do I have to spell it out for you, or scream it in your face? The chemistry between us could destroy this place.”

“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” – Atticus

“Don’t let the heart that didn’t love you keep you from the one that will.”

“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”

“You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.” – Ernest Hemmingway

“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis


Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: The Battle of Resaca

Hello dear readers! Welcome back and thanks for stopping in. Today’s destination is also an event. This place is historical so it is also open year round. Today we’re going to talk about The Battle of Resaca. Resaca is a small town in Gordon County, Georgia but also has unincorporated parts in nearby Whitfield County. It lies along the Oostanala River and has a population of around 540. It has 2.8 sq miles, .1 of which is water.

The Civil War Battle of Resaca (the first battle of the Atlanta campaign) was fought here and reenactments  happen every year on the third weekend of May. Which means that is is happening this weekend! It is also home to the first Confederate Cemetery in Georgia. The story goes that Mary J. Green, who lived on a plantation, and her family returned to said plantation to find a horrible sight of scattered graves of confederate soldiers all around their house. They decided to collect all the bodies and re-interring them to a single plot of land. They had no money so in the summer of 1866 Mary began writing to her friends all around the state. They sent what they could and Col. Green gave his daughters 2.5 acres of land, with rustic bridges spanning the stream. This became the Confederate Cemetery.

The battle was between the Military Division of Mississippi, led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman (Union), and the Army of Tennessee, led by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, (Confederacy). The Confederacy wound up retreating. The 152nd anniversary of the Battle will happen this Friday, Saturday, & Sunday (May 20 – 22). It will happen on the original battlefield, off Chitwood Road (off Highway 41 in Resaca). More detailed directions can be found here. Chitwood Farm is 650 acres of the original battlefield and saw some of the heaviest fighting. It still has preserved earthworks (from the battle, 152 years ago!), the Federal and Confederate entrenchments and the Western & Atlantic railroad lines.



There are different events all day as well as sutlers and vendors. There will be a memorial service at the Confederate Cemetery and the main re-enactment will happen both Saturday and Sunday at 2. It is $5 per adult and $3 for kids, I believe. It is an educational and fun time for all. It’s well worth the visit and the cannon blasts can be heard for miles.


They just opened (May 13, 2016) a brand new Resaca Battlefield Historic Site right off of the 320 exit of I-75. It is just miles from the reenactment site and features miles of hiking trails and interpretive markers. There is also the new Fort Wayne Civil War Historic Site on the other side of I-75, just yards from downtown Resaca. This historic fort was part of the defensive earthworks guarding the river and Resaca during 1864. After the battle and retreat of the Confederates, it was occupied by Federal troops.



I have not had the chance to visit either of the new Historic locations but I plan to soon. I will make another post for them when I do. Please let me know if you visit the Battle of Resaca this weekend! I would love to go back but have prior obligations this weekend. For more information, visit The Battle Of Resaca Reenactment and Civil War Trust: Resaca for more information on the battle. Be well, dear readers.

“Live as though you can fly away any moment you wish; live as though you can but have always chosen to stay.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“There was a tiny house in town, that has always stayed the same, Home to a girl wearing a sundress Calling each flower by name. It was calm within the chaos, The sun around which we revolved, As stubborn as a stone, In its refusal to evolve. I thought it had forever Trapped within its weathered walls, Watching all the lives They built around it rise and fall. But one day with no warning The world felt shallower and strange, And the view outside my window Seemed all at once to have changed. I ran with lungs near bursting To that tiny house in town, Yet the ashes of forever Was the only thing I found. Walking home it felt the world Was made of me and salty tears, And the woman in a sundress Who watched me slowly disappear.” – Erin Hanson

“oh my darling, it’s true. Beautiful things have dents and scratches too.”

“Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and the future.” – Laurie Helgoe



Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Old Car City

Hello Dear Readers, I apologize for those personal posts if they weren’t for you (which judging by the feedback, they weren’t). We’re back to travelling today. Our destination is one I absolutely cannot wait to go to. It’s Old Car City in White, GA.


Old Car City is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard. The vegetation that we’re famous for here in the South intertwines with cars that have been left there for good. It started as a family run dealership in 1931 and is still family owned and operated in its current state. It’s like a museum and grave yard all rolled into one. As someone who values classic cars (and owns a semi-rare one) it breaks my heart a little. However, I also find it fascinating.


There are over 6 miles of trails and 4,000 cars in Old Car City. They are open Wednesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are two separate admissions prices, depending on whether or not you want to take pictures. Having never been, I assume it works on the honor system now in the age of camera phones? But I would pay the second price anyways so I could take all the pictures I want. It’s $15 for no pictures, $25 for making or taking pictures. If you are not making or having pictures taken, then it’s $10 for children 7-12. Active military members get half price on either option. They do ask that all commercial photography contact them ahead of time.


It is interesting to mention that the city of White, Georgia is relatively small itself, with a total of 618 acres and a population of only 670 (2010 census). White acts as a stepping stone between it’s urban (or urbanizing) neighbors to the south and the rural towns to its north. Who knows how long it will be before places like this are swept away to make room for more high rises, malls, or parking lots? Places like this are special to me because they represent a different way of life that is unfortunately being passed by for more modern conveniences. Pretty soon, the only place to see cars like this will be in books (hah!), on the internet, and in museums.


To me, road side attractions like this ran by families and “characters” are just the bee’s knees. They’re what I grew up on and they are something that I love. They’re so different than the mass produced theme parks and tourist traps that are turning every town that was touristy because it’s different (had something unique to offer) into the same mega-mart kitschy place. I’ve watched this happen to towns I grew up loving that you know can’t tell apart, except in name. So please, when you find places like this, stop in. Slow down. Enjoy them and enjoy life. Get to know the people who run them. And help them hold out in their little corners of the world. old-car-city-photo-shoot-web41

I know that this probably doesn’t appeal to everyone. “Who wants to walk SIX MILES through junky old cars?” That’s ok. Stick with me for a post that does show things you want. I can’t please everyone all the time but this one hits close to home for me, seeing as how my “day job” is in the automotive industry. If there is somewhere you would like to know more about, please leave it in the comments or message me!


“It was winter when he left, Her heart stood shivering with the trees, Afraid unlike that mighty forest She’d never get to bear new leaves. But branches know a thing or two About needing to let go, That even with no audience You never cease to grow. So when spring seeped though her skin (As spring is always wont to do), Her heart sent out its roots And like the world around she grew. Stronger than she thought she could And braver than before, She left her former self To rot amongst the forest floor. It was summer when he came searching Back to the place where she had been, Feeling small beneath the forest And its brand new coat of green. She smiled to know he’d never find her For the person that he missed, Was a version of herself That long ago ceased to exist.” -e.h.

“It’s said she’s made of storm cells And a wild wolf’s hungry heart, That she’s learnt the lightning’s secret To ripping darkened skies apart. The power of her presence Can bring the mountains to their knees, Her song is one of chaos As she stirs the angry seas. But if you’ve met you’d be no wiser For she is also born of light, Another face amongst the crowd; The hidden hiding in plain sight. Great power doesn’t always come Inside the forms that you’d assume, But you would never down her strength When she is howling at the moon.” – e.h.

“Sometimes the most beautiful people are beautifully broken.” – r.m. drake

“I promise you these storms are only trying to wash you clean.”

“I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love what until I knew what love was not.” – P.T. Berkey


Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Georgia Renaissance Festival

Hello again Dear Readers! Today is a bit of a two-for. I wanted to make brief mention of one thing and then I’m going to cover something near and dear to me.

First thing, everyone loves free stuff, right? Well, I know I do. April 16 thru April 24 is National Park week. What does this mean? It means free entrance to ANY National Park! April 16th is Junior Park Ranger Day and the parks will have badges and activities just for the kiddos. April 22nd is Earth Day. April 23 is #InstaMeet at the National Parks. There will be designated times and places to gather to take photos and videos just for your Instagram, if that’s your think. April 24th is Park Rx day with a focus in the parks on encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

National Parks have always held a special place for me. My parents have been taking me and my brother to them to hike and enjoy nature for years. I have been to most of the major National Parks all across the U.S. Please, take advantage of this FREE Park Week and get outside and have some fun! Find out more information here.

My next post, and our actual “destination” for this week is a seasonal event. This event starts April 16th and runs through June 5th. I am talking about the Georgia Renaissance Festival. For those of you who do not know what that is, it’s a really big festival celebrating life like it would have been in Medieval England. Specifically, it is set in the reign of King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn.  There are “cast members” who are officially employed by the festival and will be in character at all times. There are craftspeople who demonstrate older ways of doing things, such as the Weaver’s Guild, Glassblowing, and Fencing.

There is food everywhere (yay!) and tons of things for kids to do. This is a very family friendly place and it is also very educational. I actually went here for the first time on a field trip in 8th grade. There are demonstrations, gifts to buy, and fun times to be had by all. There are also “theme” weekends such as Pet Friendly, Highland Fling, and Kid Free. My favorite “theme” weekend is opening weekend. Adult tickets are buy one get one free. Every year. It’s the best time to go if you aren’t sure that it is your thing. You get to experience the entire festival for half the price.

Be sure to get there early. Traffic tends to back up and the later you get there, the further away from the gates you will be parked. You also don’t want to miss the opening ceremonies. It’s just a taste of what you will find inside. The jousting is always a good time, as are the side shows. I personally recommend the Washer Women. We laughed so hard we were in tears. Seriously, I cannot recommend this festival enough. You can find directions here. If you go, please post some pictures or stories of your trip in the comments!

“it’s not the endings that will haunt you But the space where they should lie, The things that simply faded Without one final wave goodbye. Like a book with torn out pages, Forgetting things you’re sure you knew, A question with no answer And a song stopped halfway though. So when your mind attempts to store them, Their crooked shape will never fit, And forever in the corners Of your consciousness they sit. Jagged edges made from moments You can’t be quite sure were the last, Slicing open thoughts that healed As they attempt to slip right past. You see, not knowing is what haunts you, The memories that never mend, For they are puzzles missing pieces, Of all the things that didn” e.h.

“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski

“Integrity is making sure the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.” – Katrina Mayer

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” – unknown



Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Rock City

Hello dear readers! Today’s destination is just a small part of a larger whole. The area in which it resides is so large that I’m going to break it down into some of the major attractions in several posts. I will also cover the area as a whole at a later time. Are you ready??

Perhaps, if you have been to the South, you’ve seen this sign before. ebd2ecca-1f39-45a9-ae85-edc4ab567b1f

Yep, Rock City. It’s technically located atop Lookout Mountain, in Georgia, although most people tend to say it’s in Chattanooga, TN. However, before we talk about the place, let’s talk about these barns. They have a history all their own.

Depression weary Americans were just starting to love the open road again and in 1935, Rock City Founder Garnet Carter came up with the genius plan of using barns as billboards. Clark Byers, the man who painted the barns, braved bulls, lightning strikes, and more for three decades. By the time he retired, in 1969, he had painted more than 900 barns in 19 states.

The owners of the barns were usually given free passes and a bunch of promotional wares, such as a Rock City thermometer, along with a full repainting of the barn. The highway beautification act of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency saw them as more of an eye sore and the legislation meant that many of the signs had to be removed.

The barns are still painted today by Byers’ successors and most of them are found in small towns with colorful names like Stamps, Arkansas.

Rock City has been around for a while. There is history to support that Native Americans lived here, as well as the Battle of Lookout Mountain (where both Union and Rebel soldiers claimed to be able to see seven states from the top). Hikers and geologists were familiar with it long before it was a public attraction.

Garnet Carter was going to develop a residential neighborhood complete with a golf course. He was going to call it Fairyland because of his wife’s love of European folklore. Fairyland was 700 acres, encompassing Rock City. His wife, Freida, set out to make it a big rock garden, marking a path that wound its way around the rocks, ending at Lover’s Leap. She planted flowers and placed statues all along the path. Her husband realized people would pay to see it and opened it to the public in 1932.


There are many attractions here. Unique rock formations such as the Fat Man Squeeze, the Needle Eye, and the Balanced Rock (910 tons) are just a few things to be found here. There are thousands and thousands of labeled plants and trees, wildlife, and views to die for.



Rock City also has several special events though out the year: Valentines at Lovers LeapShamrock CitySouthern Blooms Festival (For all you gardeners!), Summer Music WeekendsRocktoberfest, and the Enchanted Garden of Lights. Whether you go for a special event or just because, there’s never a bad time to visit Rock City! Have you been? Share your experience with me!


  • today my professor told me
    every cell in our entire body
    is destroyed and replaced
    every seven comforting it is to know
    one day i will have a body
    you will have never touched.”  – Brett Elizabeth Jenkens
  • “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” – The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
  • “She is delightfully chaotic; a beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure.” – Steve Maraboli
  • “Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” – E.V.
  • “They say the things that finally break you Are the words caught in your throat, And she has years of thoughts not uttered Crammed in the pockets of her coat. A whisperer amongst a world That’s learn only to speak, Where silence must be broken For the proof that it is weak. But wherein lies the weakness Of keeping words held in your hand? When others listen to reply She listens just to understand. Surely it’s strength when things unspoken Fill the room up to the brim, And she’s the only one among them Who has taught herself to swim.” – e.h.
  • “There’s nothing in this universe that exists the same as you, and stars would weep with joy at what their lonely atoms grew. And maybe you’re just a point of light in a world that makes you small, but our sky with one less star is not really our sky at all.” – E.H.
  • “She was a person you would not be surprised to find sitting by herself in a corner of the world where she didn’t belong, writing things in a notebook to prevent the rise of panic.” – Alice Munro, Hold Me Fast, Don’t Let Me Pass
  • “She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana


Wanderlust and Wordy Wedensday: Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA

Hi all. Goodness I’ve been busy. And I’m afraid with the holidays fast approaching it’s going to get worse. So please excuse me if I forget to post one week. I’ve been so busy I haven’t even thought of a destination! But I saw a sign getting off the interstate on my way home that made me think about it. It was for an arts and crafts festival way up the road that I missed. Drat! But it was a location I love. So I will share that with you tonight.

Our journey tonight takes us to the far north west corner of Georgia: Cloudland Canyon. Cloudland is a beautiful place and one of my favorite Georgia State Parks.


It’s located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain and straddles a deep gorge cut by Sitton Gulch Creek. The elevation varies from 800 feet to 1,980 feet. The park was started in 1939 when the state purchased the land from three families, who ‘s descendants still live in the nearby area. The park continues to grow sporadically as the state purchases new land as often as it becomes available.  It was originally 1,924 acres but is now 3,485 acres. Until 1939, it was only accessible through Alabama or Tennessee. See? When I said the North west corner, I wasn’t joking. That same year, the state began building Highway 136 to connect U.S. 41 to the new park.

The park mostly consists of sandstone and shale layers that show the transition between the flat-lying sedimentary beds of central Tennessee and the ridges and valleys to the east, that display more folding and faulting. Thanks to the concave shape of Lookout Mountain, the rainwater in the area is drawn down through fissures in the rocks into the limestone below. This has caused miles of subterranean caves to form in the area. Georgia Girl Guides is the approved place to go if you’d like to tour some of those caves. They offer guided tours, with lights, handrails, ect. or “wild” tours, with no lights, hand rails, and more physical challenges.

Cloudland also has plenty of trails. If you aren’t much of a hiker, but still want a nice view, don’t worry! There’s a great view a quarter mile from the parking lot that overlooks the gorge.


One of my favorite trails is the Waterfall trail that takes you to the canyon floor, and quite literally, the base of the falls. It starts on a paved section near the parking area. But be warned, these trails are considered moderate and you’ll need water (love that Georgia heat). This trail goes down at about a 40 degree angle, and is mostly gravel. Except for the 600 stairs. I did mention stairs, right? Like, a lot of stairs. But I promise it’s worth it. I wouldn’t tell you about it if it isn’t. There are several benches along the way to stop and catch your breath. Don’t be afraid to use them! This trail goes to two falls. Cherokee Falls is 0.3 miles from the trail head. Hemlock Falls is at the bottom (0.5 miles). They fall down 60 and 90 foot (respectively) sheer faces to pool at the bottom before continuing down boulder strewn streams. At the bottom, the shade and coolness of the falls is a welcome relief from the stifling southern heat at the parking area. The Sitton Gulch trail starts here at the bottom of the falls and continues to a parking area in Trenton.

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There is also the 4.8 mile West Rim Loop Trail (which I haven’t done, can’t convince the boyfriend due to his tendinitis in his knees. Barely got him back up the stairs.) It begins at the Daniels Creek Bridge and offers a panoramic view before climbing out of the canyon onto the plateau. You can also see nearby Trenton and Sand Mountain from the trail. Rhododendron and mountain laurel, sorghum and dogwood, large oaks, hickories, and hemlocks can all be seen along the trail. Cottages and walk-in camping areas area accessible by this trail.

The 2 mile Back Country Loop provides access to the park’s 11 primitive walk-in camping sites.  The park has also re-opened the Bear Creek Trail, which was closed for nearly a decade. It is 9 miles long. It begins as a spur off the back country loop and goes down to Bear Creek. After crossing the creek, it loops around the northeastern part of the park. During the wet season, it can be very difficult as there is no bridge or dry crossing over the creek.

In case this is a bit much for a day trip, there are many camping options. The park is home to 72 camp sites, 10 yurts, 16 cottages, 1 group lodge, 5 picnic shelters, 1 group shelter, 4 pioneer camps, and 13 back country camp sites. There is also a play ground, tennis courts, and a disc golf course.

It’s worth the drive, hike, and time. I promise.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” – Veronica Roth Divergent

“I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” – Veronica Roth Allegiant

” I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, build straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can’t bear to take his hand away, I don’t wish I was any different.” – Veronica Roth Insurgent

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I have now.” – Veronica Roth

“She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love… That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don’t have enough of their own.” – Veronica Roth Insurgent

“Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” – Veronica Roth Insurgent

“Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” – Veronica Roth

“This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many different things. I never knew there were so many different ways to say good bye.” – Maggie Stiefvater Linger

“People shouldn’t have to earn kindness. They should have to earn cruelty.” – Maggie Stiefvater Shiver

“Mutual, respectful, enduring love is completely attainable as long as you swear you won’t settle for less.” – Maggie Stiefvater Forever

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Rome, GA

Hello all! Back again for another edition of Wanderlust and Wordy Wednesday. I had every intention of posting sooner, but things have been…complicated. I will most more later. For now, I stick with this weekly edition to keep me coming back and to keep me sane. Welcome!

Quotes first, today I think.

  • “She wore her scars as her best attire. A stunning dress made of hellfire.” – Daniel Saint
  • “That’s the problem with being the strong one. No one offers you a hand.” – m.t.
  • “I knew who I was this morning but I’ve changed a few times since then.” – Alice in Wonderland
  • “That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” – The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once.” The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” – Mitch Albom
  • “She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).” – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

On to the wanderlust. I have been asked by my dear neighbor, Sarah C, to cover a town this week that is not only near to my home (nearer than any I’ve covered so far) and near to my heart. Rome, GA. I’m here pretty much every weekend so prepare for a LOT of information.

Rome is on the border with Alabama, in Floyd County. It’s the largest city in northwest Georgia and 19th in the state. It’s built where the Etowah and Oostanala rivers meet to form the Coosa River. It was once occupied by the Creek Indians and later by the Cherokee. The city sits on seven hills, with the rivers flowing through them, inspiring the early European settlers to name it after the city in Italy. It was popular in the antebellum age due to it’s strategic location on the river.

It is the second largest city (behind Gadsden, AL) in the interstate triangle between Birmingham, AL, Chattanooga, TN, and Atlanta, GA. It’s known for it’s medical care (Redmond Regional Hospital and Floyd Medical Center) and education (several colleges). In the 1920’s, the U.S. partnered with an Italian company to build a rayon plant here. The project (and Rome, GA) were honored by Benito Mussolini in 1929 with a replica of the statue of Romulus and Remus nursing from a mother wolf. It still sits in historic downtown.

Rome is home to many beautiful things. We will start with one of the most well known. There are four colleges in Rome: Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeGeorgia Highlands CollegeShorter University, and Berry College. Berry is far and away the most popular and I’ll focus on it mostly.

Berry College was built in 1902 by Martha Berry. With a campus of over 27,000 acres, Berry claims to have the largest campus in the world and is often ranked on the lists of most beautiful campuses. There are numerous hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other things available to the public on campus (more than 80 miles andtwo disc golf courses). The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees about 16,000 acres. The property may look familiar to you because it has been used in Remember the Titans, Sweet Home Alabama, and Disney’s Perfect Harmony. Be sure to visit the House ‘o Dreams and the Old Mill. They are not to be missed. The Old Mill is a photo op for many.

There are four churches on campus. Berry was founded on christian principles and works with Chic-fil-a to run one of the WinShape Foundation CampsPossum Trot is a really neat church on campus and was built originally around 1850. This is where Martha Berry got her start by desiring to teach those in her community to use their talents and resources better. Frost Memorial Chapel is one of the most beautiful buildings (in my opinion) on the campus, whether you are religious or not. It stands atop one of the hills on campus and was built by students and staff in the mid 1930s. The other two chapels are Barnwell Chapel and the College Chapel.

Frost Chapel

Rome has a great historic downtown. There’s tons of places to eat, from standard like the Mellow Mushroom and Jefferson’s (perhaps a local staple?) to the The PartridgeCurlee’s Fish House & Oyster Bar, and the Honeymoon Bakery. I recommend any of them. For a small (ish?) north Georgia town, Rome has a decent nightlife. There’s always a crowds at the Mellow (mushroom), 400 Block Bar (a cozy little bar above the upscale Italian restaurant, La Scala), Moon Roof Bar (behind/above the Harvest Moon Cafe), Dark Side Of The Moon (Beside the Harvest moon), and of course, the Brewhouse Bar & Grill. Food and drink are in no shortage on downtown Broad Street.

There’s also many places to get your outdoor fill. There are two cycle shops, Ordinary Bicycles and Cycle Therapy are both located on Broad Street. There are many great roads in and around Rome for bicyclists to travel on. Blue Sky Outfitter is another great place to get your outdoor gear fix. Perhaps one of my favorite sports related places on Broad Street is the River Dog Paddle Co.. Mike (the “Chief Paddle Officer”) and Connie (the owner) are awesome people. I met both of them in the shop this summer, along with “River”, the dog behind the name and logo. Now, allow me to say that my knowledge of paddle boarding was very limited. Connie and Mike both were more than happy to answer my questions and spent over an hour (in between customers, of course) to welcome me and my boyfriend to the world of paddle boarding. They do courses and rentals!

Rome is a vibrant city, if you couldn’t tell. It’s always alive with some event, whether it’s something at the forum, a play at the Historic DeSoto theater, or a block party. There are also many parks and forests here (not including Berry’s campus).  For a full list of parks, visit here. I’m going to touch on a few of my favorites.

The Rocky Mountain Project is a great fishing hole. There are also primitive camping sites, picnic shelters, and hiking trails. James H. Floyd State Park (known nearby as Sloppy Floyd) is technically up the road in Summerville, GA. But it’s worth it to visit if you’re going that way. It’s part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, has over three miles of trails, and two stocked ponds. A trail head of the Pinhoti Trail is only 1.6 miles away. There are a few cottages and you can also rent paddle boats. There’s a great playground for kids.

Be sure to check out the Marble Mine Trail while you’re here. I haven’t conquered this one yet because I just learned about it this past summer. It’s an “easy” 1.7 mile trail to a seasonal waterfall and the start of an abandoned marble mine.

Well, dear neighbors and readers, I hope you’ve learned some things you didn’t know and perhaps I’ve sparked your sense of wanderlust. Rome may not be an ideal destination when you think of a place to go, but if you really dig into the heart of the city, there is something here for everyone. If you ever find yourself over that way or just passing though, take a chance and stop! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them!

Wanderlust and Wordy Wednesday: Ellijay, GA

Hello dear readers! I apologize for my absence! It’s getting to be that busy time of year. I am so glad to be back though! I’ve been to two festivals I really should have posted about but I will tell you about one of them now.

Our destination today is Ellijay, GA. It’s another great little mountain town and is known as the Apple Capital of Georgia. It’s home to the Georgia Apple Festival (which is two weekends in October) and there is basically an apple orchard on every corner. No matter how you get here, the drive is gorgeous and people come from all around to buy apples and watch the leaves change.

But there’s more to Ellijay than that. One place you’ve GOT to stop at is Col. Poole’s BBQ. You’ll know it by all the pigs on the hill. It was started as a road side bbq joint by a husband and wife in 1989. Now, it’s just a great place to grab a bite. People from all walks of life, including political candidates and celebrities have been here. It’s one of those “so tacky it’s classic” places.

Ellijay also has tons of antique shops, restaurants, orchards, and wineries. It’s also the mountain biking capital of the world. No matter which orchard you go to, you’re guaranteed to get some great apples, jams, jellies, pies, and more. My favorite (mostly because I’ve been going here since I was a child) is the Panorama Apple Barn. Their pies are delicious and their cider is fantastic. No sugar added. They also offer an apple cider or a muscadine cider slushie that is not to be missed.

They have fantastic apples, pies, nostalgic candies, hand dipped ice cream, and more. Be sure to stop by and get your picture with Chief Ewe-Needa-Pie. And if there’s a guy selling boiled peanuts in the parking lot, buy some! He’s really nice and they are fantastic.  He’s also who you pay (usually) if they’re selling pumpkins. 🙂

If Ellijay is on a list of your places to visit, but is too far for a day trip, consider renting a cabin on the river. There are plenty of companies offering them and it’s well worth it.

“Your smile looks like the answer to every time the world asks “why”, like you have stars beneath your pillow and fingers stained blue from the sky. There’s not a constellation quite like the freckles on your cheeks, and if we listened to you closely I swear we’d hear the cosmos speak.” – E.H.

“You may not believe in magic, But don’t you think it’s strange, The amount of matter in our universe, Has never slightly changed, That all which makes your body, Was once part of something more, And every breath you ever breath, Has seen it all before, There are countless scores of beauty, In all the things that you despise, It could once have been a shooting star, That now makes up your thighs, And atoms of forgotten life, Who’ve long since ceased to roam, May now have the great honour, To call your crooked smile your home, You may not believe in magic, But I thought that you should know, The makings of your heart were born, Fourteen billion years ago, So next time you feel lonely, When this world makes you feel small, Just remember that it’s a part of you, And you’re part of it all.” – E.H.

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Now that I’ve opened that bottle of memories, they’re pouring out like wine, crimson and bittersweet.” – Ellen Hopkins Impulse

“Falling in love with someone is the surest highway to hurt that I know. When the door to love opens, the window to control closes.” – Ellen Hopkins Fallout

” ‘I still care for you, you know…’ That phrase again. Everyone cares for me. They just don’t know how to love me.” – Ellen Hopkins

“The problem with resolutions is they’re only as solid as the person making them.” – Ellen Hopkins Crank

“She looked my demons in the eye and smiled. She fell for the very thing I thought she’d fear.” – Vazaki Nada

Wanderlust and Wordy Wednesday: Dahlonega, GA

I’m taking another break from the Writing 101 and Blogging 201 courses for tonight. I will try to do them tomorrow, but if I find myself still playing catch-up, I will finish them this weekend. 🙂 Tonight is another night for quotes. I’ve came across some good ones that I’ve been dying to share. I’m also going to share another location that I love today! 😀

Today’s lovely North Georgia Mountain destination is Dahlonega. It was the sight of the first major gold rush in the United States and still has operational gold mines. It was founded in 1828. It’s located an hour north of Atlanta and is quickly becoming a hot spot for wine, as well. Historic Downtown is one of our favorite destinations for our motorcycle rides.

Historic Downtown has grown up a lot over the past few years. It’s full of nice places to eat. Might I recommend Shenanigans? It’s a great little Irish style pub. The Dahlonega Gold Museum is a great place to see as well. There are great civil war sights, ghost tours, two theaters, and great shops. Be sure to stop in at The Dahlonega General Store for great home decor, toys, southern “Gourmet” foods, and HillBilly Products. Be sure to grab one of their famous 5 cent cups of coffee! Yes, 5 cents. No joke.

While there, you should also swing by the Chestatee River Diving Bell. It’s from the 1800’s. It was the only submersible gold mining operation in Georgia. It’s open-bottomed (to allow gold panning), pressurized, submersible that was raised and lowered through a well in the boat it was tethered to. It’s an interesting piece of history and it’s worth a visit.

Dahlonega. It’s pure gold. 😉

“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” – Anne Frank’s Diary

“The person who broke you can’t be the one to fix you. Remember that.”

“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.” – Jane Austen

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde

“I knew who I was this morning but I’ve changed a few times since then.” – Alice In Wonderland

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

“When I was little I picked up a flower and put it in a vase. After a few days, it died. I asked my mom why and she said: “You can’t force a flower to thrive somewhere it doesn’t belong to.” And now I have realized that people are like that too.”

“I see your figure from across the valley, head down as a sign of defeat, Hands clenched on the times you were happy, Body sweating from the intense heat, The flames are now high as your kneecaps, Their movements reflect in your eyes, Still easy to see from this distance, That it takes all you have not to cry, I could send you my voice on the breezes, But my throat is determined to choke, Not sure if it’s stuck on emotion, Or smothered in all of this smoke, You yell out that I should just leave you, You’ll be better once you are alone, These fires will fight the dark winter, That threatens to freeze all your bones, But the cold’s not the reason I’m worried, Nor the clouds that are heavy with rain, It’s the fact that you’d rather be burning, Than admit to the world you’re in pain, And the hurt that will come when you realize, Once to ashes the flames have been turned, That there’s no warmth in a fire born solely, From all of the bridges you’ve burned.” – e.h.