This trip took me to Buford, Ga. approximately one hour north of ATL for a visit with a cousin who is doing some fabulous work with an organization that provides a nurturing environment and loving home for children in need of guidance and a place to live.
Eagle Ranch http://www.eagleranch.org/
Usually my hangout, even when visiting family, is at the Buford/Georgia Mall SpringHill Suites, a fine property (often with great rates during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks), close to the Georgia Mall, which houses several nice restaurants, like one of the first Ted's (as in Turner) Montana Grill and is close to Coolray Field home, of the Atlanta Braves AAA team. The surrounding area and towns have several nice Main Streets with shops, restaurants, and theaters, making it easy to keep oneself busy. Lake Lanier is nearby for a great time during the summer and they have minor league hockey (lots of 'dropping of the gloves' in the minors) and they used to have Arena Football (high scoring games, good with a local craft beer ). We had an excellent lunch at Aqua Bistro in downtown Buford and on Sunday we tried out Top Golf (as shown on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel). Golf's approach to broaden the appeal of the sport. Huge holes, pretty good pub type food, and of course, some tasty brew. Here's a tip, if you slice, play the tees to the far left and of course if you hook, play the tees on the right side of the platform (it'll drive your true golfing pals crazy as you rack up points into the 10-15 yard wide holes!
http://topgolf.com/us/alpharetta/ - yes, those are the holes - the girls crushed me
The food was at a good brewpub level
One of the drawbacks of being so far north of course, is its distance from the airport, but turning lemons into lemonade, the 50 mile drive north made it easier to get to Athens Ga. home of the U of Ga. Bulldogs and that world renowned professor, world class gardener, Klingon linguist, and all around good guy, foxglove. That's right Insiders, I got to meet the man himself (second only to Herschel W. when it comes to street recognition among the citizens of Athens), along with Mrs. Foxglove at The Big Bread Cafe in Athens. Talk about your southern hospitality, Marriott could learn a few things about terrific welcomes from the Foxgloves, who rolled out the red carpet with U. of Ga. goodies, maps, and key info on the town of Athens, and as you can see from the photo, even a local Athens brew, Terrapin (delicious), yeah baby, great stuff and an overall wonderful time. PS - the breakfast was excellent as well.
Gracious hosts Mr. and Mrs. Foxglove made for a wonderful morning
The worlds first/only double cannon. Built during Civil War to wipe out Yankee invaders by combining two cannonballs with a chain; the first trial shot failed, the second went off target, and the third and final shot messed up a farm and killed a poor cow in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never fired again.
U of Ga. stadium - home of one of America's top college football programs
Hearing the tales of exotic travel from californian
Learning all of the best food spots from the island king himself Mr. and Mrs. kharada46
Having an enjoyable hangout with vaboywnder and Matt (whose real name is easier for me to remember)
and now a marvelous morning with the Foxgloves.
Insider camaraderie at its best. As the Gershwin boys wrote, " They (The Man) can't take that away from me".
Keep on keepin' on Insiders.