August 26th, 2007

ice cream

Road Trip - Two Country Towns

Today Caleb and I enjoyed a wonderful day out in rural Georgia. How I can forget how nice Georgia towns outside Atlanta can be, I don't know, but I was definitely hit over the head with it today!

Caleb had a presentation to make at a meeting in Washington, a spectacularly lovely, historically-preserved, vibrant town of about 4,000 located in northeast Georgia near Augusta. It took only about an hour and a half to get there, east on I-20 and northeast via some country highways, it was a whole world away. We arrived on a main drag lined with stately Antebellum homes (think Gone With the Wind) and equally impressive Victorians. The town square, which is the focal point of any Georgia town, was lovely, having obviously undergone a recent rehab, and the surrounding shops, restaurants, churches and civic buildings were all beautiful and active -- yes, lots of actual business and not just a bunch of pretty buidlings either empty or with crappy businesses like, say, in my neighborhood. So after a quick pop into the town Welcome Center, we went and had lunch at this placed call Coffee Corner, which was an antiques/interiors shop cum restaurant.

After that Caleb had to go set up for his meeting and, bidding me fareful, told me to go prowl around for a couple of hours. So off I went, camera in hand, and walked up and down the main streets and lanes of Washington for about an hour and a half. During that time, I saw an incredible number of historic homes, commercial buildings, churches and antiques. I went shopping at a consignment store and had an ice cream at a shop on the square. And, making the Deep South experience complete, I melted in the searing 100-degree heat and got a sunburn. At the end of it I met up with Caleb, who had his own ice cream, and then took him over to Alexander Avenue, where the prettiest houses were. He enjoyed seeing them but it was far too hot for either of us so we headed back to the car and the ride home.

We didn't go directly home, however -- no, we had a lovely detour in Madison, a town that was just as nice as Washington. (Trivia fact: Birthplace of Oliver Hardy, of Laurel & Hardy.) It was all so exquisite, with really nice shops and businesses and places to eat. And lovely, lovely homes as well. We discovered one of the most incredible antique shops I've ever been in. If we hadn't been so enervated by the heat we would have spent more time there, but even so I was transfixed by the amazing stuff in there. Next we decided to have a light late lunch and went into a restaurant that would complete with the best in Atlanta, I'm sure. We arrived in between meals so there was only salad and soup, but that was fine and the salad and sweet tea did us good.

Finally, after roaming around a bit and marveling at the incredibly loud cicadas around downtown, we got back in the car and headed home. I have to say, things turn nasty and un-country around Conyers and just get worse and worse. Back in Atlanta, we at least had the pleasure of stopping by David's shop before closing and getting some yummy fresh vegies and bread. Better than getting panhandled first thing. (Though I did get panhandled as soon as I'd walked back to my building from the car!)

Anyway, naturally I took tons and tons of pictures, for myself and for Caleb, who uses them in "visual preference surveys" and other work documents, so here are a few of them. I'm going to start with pics of Downtown Washington and then do pictures of homes in a separate post.

Washington, GA -- Downtown


The Welcome Center was indeed very welcoming!


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