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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Georgia Surprise!

My Mom thought it would be fun for us to surprise my Aunt Tina for her 60th birthday... so we hopped on the midnight train/plane to Georgia..and since almost ALL our relatives live in Georgia....the SURPRISING began!

First stop to see my Aunt Kathy at Berry College. We couldn't remember which building she was in, on campus, so I called my Dad and he led us right to her. The first thing she said was, "No wonder my brother was so weird on the phone!" SURPRISE #1! Uncle Mike also works at Berry College so SURPRISE #2... no one knew we were coming, so this was lots of fun!

Berry has such a beautiful campus, so we took a little drive to see the Old Mill.

I was in Georgia 2 years ago, right before I had my Lapband removed. I was so skinny and unhealthy and feeling quite sick, so I had to put this BEFORE and AFTER in. Kind of cool to see the difference in the colors of the trees. The first picture was in June of 2007, the second in November 2009.


Recognize this Country Gravy mix? That's the Old Mill at Berry Colleg on there! "Built in 1930, Rome Georgia"



This is the Frost Chapel, isn't it beautiful?

Look closely, the roots are growing straight out of the ground.
Yes. This is all on the Berry College Campus, it is huge and absolutely breathtaking!
LUNCH BREAK - Krystal Hamburgers Worthington's grew up on Krystal Hamburgers. When we moved to Utah in 1978 I knew there were no Krystal Hamburgers and no Little Debbie snack cakes (at the time) I was for sure I would DIE! (As you can see I did just fine, filling up on Crown Burger and Mrs. Backer's Bakery)
Krystals are small hamburgers on a dinner sized roll. They've been around since 1932. "There's nothing like the steamed-in onion flavor of an all beef patty topped off with mustard and a pickle!"

Aunt Kathy gave us the keys to the old house in Lindale, Georgia. With my grandparents in a nursing home, their home is up for sale. So sad to see it go, but it is time. Aunts, Uncles and Cousins have been fixing it up and it is on the market along with 4 acres of land for the astounding price of just $119,000. Let me know if you are interested!




Freshly painted and newly tiled Bathroom
One of the bedrooms
Looking into the living room
From the living room looking toward the front door. Through the double doors is the dining area. Check out those gorgeous, shiny hardwood floors!
Papa has several fig trees near the house. We picked some and took them for Papa and Muriel. I tasted this one, but decided I'd rather eat a fig newton cookie instead.

When we were walking the property I found this dead scorpion. I kicked it out of the way and realized.... SURPRISE #3
It wasn't so dead..................


Then we were off to visit Papa and Grandma Muriel. They looked so great and seemed in really good spirits! SURPRISE #4

Papa turned 89 years old this year!
"Uncle Andy just lives 11 feet away" from Papa. He was out of town though, so we didn't get to see him.
We were POOPED by this time. Had some dinner at Bill's New York Pizza and headed over to Aunt Tina's house. I called her on the phone and told her I was calling to wish her a Happy Birthday and wondered what she was doing? We knocked on the door and she said, "Hold on, there's someone at the door!" SURPRISE #5... it's US!!! After a short visit we were headed to our hotel for a good night's rest... we were POOPED! We've been up for over 24 hours! So tired!!

The next morning we woke up early and decorated Tina's house. SURPRISE #6

SURPRISE #7 - Tata Tina (that's french for Aunt) has never had a professional pedicure before...after 60 years, we figured it was about time!
I miss my Piggly Wiggly... I wonder if that is why I started collecting pigs when I was younger?
After a long day of pedicures, shopping and eating we headed back to the house for SURPRISE #8 - Uncle John and Aunt Leslie flew up from Florida for the Birthday weekend!
3 Siblings together again - Joan, Tina & John. Pepe (Grandpa Martino) passed away in 1996 and Meme (Grandma Martino) passed away in 2002.

We had heard that their was a new restaurant in town, so we all wanted to check it out. The food was fabulous and the ambiance was wonderful. Tata Tina kept saying she didn't feel like she was in Adairsville! I forced everyone to order some dessert. Coconut Cream Pie and Pecan Delight. As we started pulling out the cameras and flashing some pics, we joked that Aunt Leslie might accidently just finish off the pie... oops? where did it go? We had everyone laughing! It was lots of fun!
What a nice picture of the remaining Martino clan! Mom has tricep tendonitus, thus the arm sling. OUCH!
Tina & Mike Culberson

The next day, Sunday, November 8, Tina's BIRTHDAY!!! After a little persuasion we convinced Tata Tina to take a ride with us all! On our way to Blue Ridge, Georgia we stopped at this Apple Barn. The aroma was amazing! Apples! Apples! Apples!


I couldn't resist taking a picture of this...
Tata Tina & Uncle John on their way back from buying boiled peanuts & pork skins! I don't understand the phenonmena of the peanuts or the skins.... they both gross me out. There are stands every few miles on the roads to buy all the boiled peanuts and pork skins you want....or don't!
Just seeing this picture makes me start dry heaving... moving on.....


Once we reached Blue Ridge it was a cute little town, similar to a mini Park City Main Street. My favorite store was the Christmas Store. This is the Whoville Tree and I LOVED IT!! Notice how the top curls over?
For Lunch we enjoyed some French cuisine.... Uncle John and Mom enjoyed some Crepes, while I loved my Asparagus Quiche and (not so french) Chicken Tortilla soup!
We didn't realize it existed until we got there, but they have a Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. It is a 4 1/2 hour trip and would have been lots of fun, but we weren't ready to invest that much time... maybe next time. It looked similar to the Skunk Train in California or the Heber Creeper in Utah.
Erin and I were in one car and Mom, Leslie, John and Tina were in the other. On our way home, I experienced my first ever SUN DOG. It was really cool! Something I had never seen before and didn't know existed until Erin told me what is was called.

Once we got back to Adairsville, we were going to take Tina for her birthday dinner to Olive Garden, but then my Mom reminded me that The Cracker Barrel would have FRIED OKRA! Yum-O! I HAVE to have fried okra while I'm in Georgia or my trip would NOT be complete! Cracker Barrel did not disappoint! Mmmmmmm! Fried Okra! Yahoo! Here's what it looks like:
Fried Okra

They brought out Coke Cake for Tina's birthday and it was delicious! Yummy, warm, thick chocolate frosting! The waitress, Jenelle, didn't know why it was called Coke cake, it just was. Apparently, it does have Coca Cola in it: Coke Cake Recipe from Cracker Barrel

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TINA!!!

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