Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Days 13-15: 'Lanta

The drive from Memphis to Atlanta was really boring (the drive from Atlanta to South Carolina was just as dull, with one very minor exception). Solid trees on both sides, no view, lots of construction, and generally bad drivers. Meh.

We came to Atlanta to visit with Neil, whom Karen has known for 25+ years. The weather was not the best for doing a lot of exploring (it started raining not long after we arrived, and was still at it in the morning), so we went to the Botanical Garden for most of the day, which was both beautiful and very relaxing. The gardens have several interesting fountains...
Faced with this fountain, what would you think? 
KC taking a shower
...fascinating sculpture...
Designer birdhouses 
Dale Chihuly glass (one of 2), a cool gate in behind frogs and lizards.
Trying to hide in plain sight 
Dart frogs 
In the lilies
Peeking out 
Up close... 
...and personal
But botanical gardens are about the flowers. There were lots, especially a very impressive orchid collection. We took 264 photos of them. As with last year at the Keukenhof gardens in The Netherlands, I will not bore you with all 264 photos (nor even just the 185 photos that I took, which are obviously better than Karen's...). But I will offer a sample:
Water lilies 
Insect eating pitcher plants 
One of many cool orchids
I did not take this photo of a rude plant 
Nor this one 
Nor this one 
Sunlit ferns
Yet more orchids
After the gardens, we made it downtown for a few moments.
The dancing fountains of the Olympic Rings 
KC at the shrine of Ted
We did not have high expectations for the city of Atlanta, as our reason for stopping was to spend time with Neil. Our day was, in fact, fabulous. Our stay was relaxed, unhurried, pretty and entertaining thanks to Neil. We ate Southern at an historical old place (The Collonnade) that has being going strong (with basically the same menu) since 1927 and still does not take credit cards. His hospitality was wonderful, and he put up with us storing our butter in his fridge.

Now, if it just hadn't started raining. Because it was raining when we left, and it rained the whole (boring) 5 hour drive to South Carolina. It's pretty much rained since then, too.

The one not boring part? We past Talledega SuperSpeedway on the way. It (and its 5,000 RV campground) is right on the Interstate. Shades of Ricky Bobby. Formula 1 it ain't.

As we are pressed for time at this short internet connection site, photos & stories of Charelston and swamps - both in our campsite and not -- ferries and tacky hotel strips will have to wait. Here's hoping the rain ends. Soon. 

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