I do enjoy getting out of the flats for the hills every once in a while. It's the drive that is a pain in the butt. And would you believe I still have passengers that ask, "are we there yet?" It's not like I still make them ride in the trunk. There is one thing I can guarantee when driving in Georgia it is that if your trade is lining up those orange barrels on the highway or driving in the left lane about 10 miles below the posted speed limit, then you will always be employed. If not for those two careers, the drive from our home to our destination would be about 6 hours and not 10. And the highway patrol gets all sneaky now. Hiding up in the woods with some kind of gun looking thing that they call a laser. To me it looks like they are pointing a gun at me so I definitely slow my butt down. Plus again when you know the tricks of the trade you tend to be a little more of a risk taker.
Our first scheduled stop was to be in Columbus, Ga to have lunch with my used to be step-father and his wife. It sounds complicated but remember I am from the South. My brother and his family were going to also meet us there.
While en route to Columbus, I kept seeing all these signs for pecans. I am a lover of pecans. That is pronounced pee-kins. I started saying it that way because I just felt like it and I enjoy controversy. Even when it comes to the pronunciation of the English language. Plus there were those that felt the need to correct me. But depending on where the corrector is from, they also say it different ways. And I noticed the more I said peekins, they would start saying peekins. I remember a story about a dog that would....well anyways I digress.
I stop at this roadside stand selling peekins, peanuts, jellies and the sort. They also had homemade peekin pies, chocolate chip peekin pies, cracked peekins, shelled peekins and peekin butter. Now the place was on the property of a peekin farm. Can you explain why the peekins were still so expensive. I mean all you had to do was put a bucket under the peekin tree and shake. I ended up buying a bag of cracked peekins and two small peekin pies. So which is it. PEEKIN or pecan.
We get to Columbus and caravan to a family owned restaurant named Cooks Place. They are supposed to be known for their hotdogs. This is where my step-father likes to eat. He grew up in Columbus and has been eating there for years. It was one of his high school hang outs. He later became a teacher at the same high school. Oh and the chili dogs were good.
After a few hours visit, we headed north to Canton which is just north of Atlanta. I put all the kids in my brothers car and took the wife and sister-in-law with me. They were actually noisier than the kids were because the kids just put their i-pods in and text everyone. These two actually talked. And boy, that sister-in-law of mine sure did dog out my brother.
That night the grown-ups went out for dinner. A place I like to visit while visiting is called Taco Mac. It's not the food. It is the 100 different drafts and over 300 bottled beers they have. I have never been a fan of the basic domestic beer like Bud and Miller and such. I like to try different beers when given the opportunity. My brother and I will look and the beer menu and lay this game of you pick, I pick. If you don't finish the beer that was picked for you, then you have to buy the next round. We go for the high alcohol content. I have a little more knowledge about beer types than he does. I picked this one beer, more like a beer/wine/lager, for him. Needless to say, the next few beers were on him. Not a late night cause it would be the youngest 13th b-day in the morning and it wouldn't be right for daddy to have a hang over and try to make breakfast.
The b-day girl got to plan the day. She wanted to go shopping and use all her gift cards from Christmas. The place we went was Atlantic Station in Atlanta north of Georgia Tech. I don't mind shopping. I like to people watch and occasionally will try on clothes. I have never been afraid of certain stores either. But I found myself just following my wife and daughters in to Victoria's Secret. I mean they do sell other things besides woo-woos, right. Like perfume and stuffed animals. But once my oldest one started looking at the undies that her mother should have been looking at, I had to walk away. Well I actually ran away from the store and waited across the street. Now what struck me as odd was that my daughters were the only ones that left the store carrying one bag each. And so it goes. Another reason I don't do laundry.
The new teen also wanted to go to Gladys and Ron's Chicken and Waffles. It is a soul food type of restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Gladys Knight is part owner and some of the dishes are from her recipes. We had been there once before and it was great. I discovered the restaurant by accident while watching Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. The Chicken and Waffles are excellent but so is the baked chicken, smothered chicken and to top it all off. An order of sweet potato cheesecake was brought out for the b-day girl. And Gladys herself sang happy birthday. Well it was pre-recorded over the speakers. If you are ever in Atlanta I do suggest you stop by Gladys and Rons and gorge yourself. You will not regret it.
So I now have two teen daughters. Oh lordy. People comment that I don't have any gray hairs. Hell they don't want to stick around. Actually I have no complaints, officially. They are both great in school and stay out of trouble. And no questionable boys have been brought home. Yet.
They know their daddy loves them and would do anything for them. Except eat popcorn in their rooms. Wish me luck.