We have been hunkered down in the cold in Athens, Georgia for the past few weeks. I did not intend to spend much time in cold weather on this trip and packed light when it came to long pants and warm coats. So, I was under dressed for the cold spell (into the teens some nights) and spent more time in the trailer than I would have liked. George just continued to wear shorts, except for one particularly cold night. He’s tougher than I am.
We have been in Athens to visit our son and daughter-in-law and to catch up on routine medical visits. The simple procedure of having your teeth cleaned becomes a lot more complicated when you are traveling. Finding a reputable dentist who takes traveling patients, scheduling an appointment on short notice, and trying to just get a cleaning rather than the full blown “new” patient treatment is a challenge. But, thanks to our daughter-in-law, we succeeded.
The leaves have been at their peak.
We visited our old neighborhoods from our time living in Georgia in the 1990s. And we went to one of our favorite places–the DeKalb Farmers’ Market. It is a misleading name because it is not a mere farmers’ market, but a cavernous warehouse-like expanse filled with every edible product–animal, mineral, vegetable–that you could possibly want or imagine. We hit it on a Saturday and it was absolutely packed with people from most corners of the world, seeking the food they like to eat. And they probably found it. If you like food and are ever in the vicinity of Decatur, Georgia, check it out. I was dying to take pictures, but they were prohibited.
One of my favorite things in Athens was the yoga. I am new to yoga, having resisted anything to do with it for decades because it seemed too touchy-feely for me. But, in an attempt to lessen my insomnia and to find another way to keep in shape on this trip, I took classes for a few months before we left Anchorage. I usually avoid exercise classes and gyms—I like to exercise on my own. But surprise—I loved it. This was the first time on this trip that we have been in one place long enough for me to have the time to go to yoga classes. I researched online and found a wonderful (donations only?!) yoga studio not far from the campground. The people there were extraordinarily warm and welcoming.
Athens itself is one of my favorite college towns. The University of Georgia’s North campus runs right into the downtown, which is full of lovely old buildings and a wide variety of shops, bars, and businesses.
In the 1970s and 80s, Athens was a musical petri dish, giving birth to groups such as REM and the B-52s. I’m not sure how much music is generated there now, but the restaurants are thriving. Hugh Acheson—the black browed chef with the caustic wit who often serves as a judge on Top Chef—has two restaurants in town. We had a pretty amazing meal at his restaurant, the 5&10.
Our campground was full of Georgia football fans on the weekends with home games, but now is about half empty and everyone is cocooned inside their RVs.
The countryside near Athens is rolling hills with woods, creeks, and pastures bordered by wide-branched hardwoods. We drove to the Watson Mill State Park on a rare warm day. It was almost deserted.
Now we are getting ready for our first Thanksgiving in over ten years with both of our children and their families. Sweet.