OK, so: The Vacation.
A good friend of ours moved to Georgia for the summer and when she excitedly told us about the adventures in store for her wonderful family, she let it slip that the place where she was going was a golf cart community. Know what that is? Neither did I. Turns out that Peachtree City, GA, was planned and built around a series of golf cart paths that people can -- and do -- use as an alternative to driving cars. There are more than 90 miles of multi-use paths linking just about everything in the city together. I suppose there are golf courses in the area. There are plenty of golf carts. But for us it was all about the biking.
I'm not sure what I imagined, probably a little something like Switzerland where just about everything is linking by biking and hiking trails and where every small village has it's fair share of restaurants, cafes and bakeries where you can stop and refuel along the way. This was not that. The tourism office was closed (under renovation) when we visited and when I asked several residents where we could find the city center, they directed us to the main shopping area which was a series of giant, swank, outdoor malls -- not the kind of place I'd visit ordinarily and definitely not the kind of place I'd visit with kids on bikes.
Still, there was a gorgeous lake, lots of parks and green areas and we had no trouble finding all kinds of places to explore. Once I figured out that we would not be stopping at cafe's along the way for refueling I simply packed lots of energy food and we were good to go. The boys had a ball. One day we biked for more than four hours, stopping now and then for breaks along the way, and neither one uttered a word of complaint. And best: we discovered the Peachtree City BMX track! Sami and Oliver were in bicycle heaven, riding each day until we dragged them off the track!
It took us two days to drive to Georgia and we opted to stop frequently along the way to see what we could discover. I was amazed -- truly amazed -- at what a beautiful, friendly country we discovered. In Radford, Bristol and Damascus, Virginia, and in Athens, GA, we discovered miles and more miles of bicycle trails. In Buchanan, Virginia we found the Rhine River Inn just as the clock was striking hungry for lunch. In Centerville, SC, we lucked upon a small, beautiful, entirely empty beach on lake Hartwell where the boys could forget the six hours they just spent in transit. And in Athens, again, we discovered Jittery Joe's Coffee -- which fueled our drive home and has kept the vacation memory alive each morning since we returned with it's special aroma.
I can't say enough about my two boys. They were phenomenal. Superstars, really -- so go with the flow, up for anything, that I sometimes forget that they are only 5 and 7 years old.
All in all, it was a phenomenal vacation. We'll miss our good friends but something tells me that there will be more road trips on our horizon this summer. And Georgia? She'll be on my mind.