Day 16 & 17

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Den and Deelee's

Flag of United States  , Georgia
Monday, July 5, 2010

We had a very interesting day yesterday…….the 4th July, Independence Day in the USA!

We went to church at 10.30 in the morning. Den and Deelee's church is part of the Episcopal denomination, which is very similar to the Anglican church. The building is quite impressive; very big, with a tall spire, and it looks like a small cathedral inside with beautiful stained glass windows and high arched ceilings.

Seeing that the 4th has fallen on a Sunday this year, the clergy had taken full advantage of the opportunity, and we sang Battle Hymn of the Republic with great enthusiasm, and the choir sang the American anthem very beautifully. There was an American flag near the altar, and all the flowers were red, white and blue with little flags stuck in them!

We planned to have a picnic dinner at Stone Mountain Park, a national state park about an hours drive out of Atlanta. The main attraction is a huge bald granite mountain rising up out of the surrounding forest area. About half way up one face of the mountain there is a huge relief carving of three civil war generals on their horses. It is the largest of this type of carving in the world, and is the equivalent of about three football fields in size. At the base of the mountain there are all sorts of attractions like a cable car ride up to the top, a reconstructed pioneer village, and various restaurants etc. Yesterday there was a laser light show and fireworks planned for the 4th July celebrations.

We left home at about 3.30; with six of us packed into the car, and were surprised to join the end of a queue of hundreds of cars, about 2 miles from the entrance, all going to the same place! We inched along to the gate, and then had to inch along about another 2 miles until we were directed by rangers into a parking area, which was a real hike from the main area.

We parked, and joined the throngs of people lugging all our chairs, eskies, blankets and food along the road. There is a huge green lawn in front of the mountain, and everybody settled down there in the sun, until there wasn’t even a postage stamp size of space left!! We estimated that there must have about 75 thousand people there………I have never seen so many people, all together in one place like that!

The crowd all had to sit waiting for the laser show at 9.30, and everybody was so good natured; playing cards, chatting, eating and just enjoying the unique situation! The worst part was lining up for the toilets!! There were way too few facilities for such huge crowds; and Deelee literally stood for over 45 minutes, waiting to get in to the toilets!!

Dave and I were interested to note that hardly anyone was drinking alcohol, and we didn’t see a single drunk person!! Sadly…..very different to our Australia Day celebrations!

The fireworks were excellent, probably the best that we have ever seen, a lot of them set to lovely stirring patriotic songs!! After the show finished, the hordes of people all set off on the long walk to their cars; but everyone was very patient and good natured. It took us such a long time to get out of the park, and we only got home at about 12.30pm. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience; but agreed that now we had done it once, we would never need to do it again. Haha!!

This morning we have taken it easy; getting up late, and having a relaxing day. Deelee took me shopping for a short while, which was fun, while Den and Dave stayed home working on the computers! This evening we are going to go out for dinner; probably to a local pizza restaurant, and Den will take us to the airport at about 9 o’clock tomorrow morning, to catch our Delta flight to New York.

We will be sad to leave Den and Deelee and the kids. We have really had a lovely time with them; they have been so hospitable and kind, and we have been completely comfortable… has been like being at home.

I think that Atlanta has definitely been our favourite city so far…….it is certainly the only one that I have thought that I could move to!!!! It has also been wonderful getting to know the kids, and seeing where D & D live, and all the things that we have heard about for so many years. We have created some wonderful memories.
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dad on

your news was so good and welcome.

Maybe when you come back you should write to the West and query why Australia is going backwards in its behavior and and America is so good.

And now to New York. That is one city that Laddy really wants to go to so maybe one day we will.

All well here just blooming cold.

deeleerae on

Dear Jan & Dave, we already miss you! I had a lump in my throat this morning as you left for the airport and when we hugged good-bye, Jan, I didn't want to let go of our hug! It was really wonderfrul having you here with us. We MUST meet up in a few years to vacation together at the Grand Canyon, as we discussed! Hope NYC is fabulous and, Dave, don't let those big crowds of people get to you! Love you guys!! Alex & Mase say "hi" and wish you well, too.

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