Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dixieland, Part I

I just got back from my almost 2 week visit to Woodstock, Georgia yesterday. This post is going to be about family time. In a few days I'll post friend pictures and will devote some time to the experience of travelling and Airtran. Mom and I took quite a few pictures, so I'm trying to put as many in this post as I can. Sorry if it takes a while to load! (So if you're reading this on Facebook, go look at it on my blog instead, so you can see the pictures!) Enjoy!

When Sprinkles and I arrived at the Atlanta Airport (my favorite airport by far!), Mom met us at baggage claim. She had NOT seen my hair yet. Her reaction was polite: she smiled all big, and as she hugged me she said, "oh wow! That's fun! Now I know what Sue was talking about!" I had emailed two of her friends, Pam and Sue, with the address to my blog saying to look but not mention it to Mom or Dad. Sue apparently sent a "I know something you don't know" email that morning to Mom. She decided it was cute. :-)
From the airport, Mom and I (with pup in tow) headed to Lake Butler, Florida to see Nana on the farm. Dad was already there; he noticed my hair at once. As expected, he smiled and laughed a bit. He's always pretty accepting of whatever crazy thing I do (like another piercing in my ears or a tattoo) as long as it's not toooooo insane! Nana however said, "oh Joanna! You've changed your hair! I sure did like it the way you used to have it!" Ha ha ha! Priceless! After a while people around me stop noticing the pink -- she did too. Sprinkles did GREAT on the farm. He loved to go sit in Nana's lap! (The top picture is Dad and I hand-churning ice cream while Sprinkles sat in Nana's lap to watch.)

We all drove back to Georgia on Sunday afternoon, and most of my time was spent with my family. Every morning except the first one I got up and went to work with Mom at the church office and goofed around there until she got off early at 12:30. Sprinkles even went with us a couple of times and played with the preacher, the Spanish preacher, the other secretary, and anyone and everyone who walked in the door! Everyone loved him! I should have known better thinking that I was going to get almost 2 weeks away from VBS planning though; also should have known better thinking that I would get out of painting backdrops and doing HUGE decorations this year. I helped paint one of Woodstock's backdrops and then helped decorate their stage for VBS! It started last Sunday night. Here's the backdrop I worked on:
Looks pretty good, eh? It's "Outrigger Island" -- a Hawaiian Island theme thing. Mom made that surf board; totally know who I got my talents of making paper into awesome decorations from! In the afternoons, Mom and I would go to lunch or shop or go to a movie until Dad got home from work.

When Dad got home, we would sometimes visit outside on the patio. Sprinkles really enjoyed the giant backyard, I think. He didn't stray far, and he loved to come jump up in Mom and Dad's laps. We only had one little scare when he found a brick of rat poison by the shed. He didn't ingest any, so he was ok -- his mommy just panicked a bit! (Hey, I didn't cry though - wonders never cease!)

I know Dad's eyes are closed in this picture, but I really liked how it showed how relaxed Sprinkles was in his lap. He really just naturally went to Mom and Dad and lounged on them!

Since it had been so long (a couple of years) since I had visited Georgia, I wanted to do some tourist-y stuff. One of the first nights back we met my aunt, her son, his wife, and their 3 kids for dinner and then went to the Laser Show at Stone Mountain, which I mentioned a while back here. Here I am standing in front of the 3+ acre carving. "The Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson." Ah, good ole' Southern Pride -- can't beat it! The Laser Show was in its 25th year... just like me. :-)

The World of Coca-Cola has been torn down and rebuilt since I was last in Georgia. It is by far my favorite Atlanta attraction, well right after Stone Mountain. Basically it's a museum dedicated to Coca-Cola. The remodel really upgraded World of Coke and made it more organized... more categorized. There was a whole section of memorabilia, another of "artifacts", another showing a 4D movie, yet another showing Coke in pop culture. One section was a real working bottling plant -- much smaller and slower moving than the real thing, but it bottled coke in glass bottles that they gave you as you left the attraction. There was a smaller movie area where you could watch Coke ads from around the world and from the past. That was really fun! The tasting area is the last part you go in before the gift shop -- actually you can go in and out of it, so if you're thirsty, you can run grab a cup of coke and head back to continue looking around. There are 60 flavors that you can taste in 5 hubs in the tasting room that are organized geographically. The sixth tasting hub is devoted to Coca-Cola brands (anything with the word "Coke" in the name). It's really fun! Here I am tasting some Cherry Coke -- real daring of me, eh? Below are 2 more pictures in the World of Coke. The first is Mom and Dad in the lobby in front of this cool, giant, Coke bottle from, um, somewhere I couldn't pronounce. The second is the 3 of us on the couch from American Idol! Yes, THE COUCH. I don't watch the show... but that was sort of neat. :-)

It's almost midnight, and looking at all the pictures I have left, I realize I'm going to have to put up an entire post about time I spent with friends. I don't want to relegate them to a tiny mention at the end of this post! I really had a blast with Mom and Dad. I can't tell you how nice it was to just have some time with them and Sprinkles -- to just enjoy them. :-) I don't get a lot of alone time with my parents anymore because they like to spend most of their time with the grandkids with us when they come here. I don't blame them, but this was a nice change of pace. I need to visit again sooner rather than later. Hope you enjoyed seeing part of what I was up to! Check back in a couple of days to see more!


  1. I'm so envious of the "tasting room". That is right up my ally. I'm glad you enjoyed GA, but I'm more glad that you are back home where you belong. I missed you!

  2. So much fun that you got to take Sprinkles with you!! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)