Treated Royally in Atlanta, GA

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 28, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Sunday, April 27, 2008

Have you ever felt like things were too good to be true?  Well, that's what we felt like after being spoiled by David and Erin Hall in Atlanta, GA.  Originally, we had planned on staying only a few days in Atlanta, but we decided to rearrange our schedule so Susan could attend the Orange conference (a family ministry leader's conference ) with the other children's ministry leaders from church ( 
After boon-docking at yet another Wal*Mart on Saturday night we meet up with Erin and David (our friends that used to live in Oregon and left us for Atlanta six years ago) at their church ( on Sunday morning.  David is an excellent cook so naturally we had wonderful ribs that afternoon (he says they were only passable, but they were actually amazing to us!).  Then we enjoyed the dog walking activities (see video), which the kids loved.  There was an old snapping turtle on the sidewalk not too far from David and Erin's house, so we also had a mini zoo experience.
The next day, Monday, was set aside for service and cleaning on the RV, haircuts, grocery shopping and clothes washing (thank you again Erin and David).  That night TJ was able to hook up with an old roommate, Dave, from his days in California.  Dave coincidentally was also attending the Orange conference, so while Susan awaited the arrival of Jennifer and Alyssa (children's ministry leaders from our church) TJ caught up with Dave.  For a brief moment we were all together as Susan, Jennifer, and Alyssa meet up with TJ and Dave just before the Orange conference, it was nice to see everyone together.  We apologize for not getting any pictures of Jennifer and Alyssa in Atlanta.  (By the way, they all had a great time at the conference and it was a great "girl time" break for Susan.)
For the next two days while Susan was at the conference, TJ took the kids to Stone Mountain and camped in a wonderful RV park.  Stone Mountain is a Georgia state park with much history and many activities.  You can read more about it on the web at  The first day found us exploring the campsite and swimming in the pool of course.  The second day we rode the train around the mountain, visited the amusement park, took the tram up to the top of the mountain and back down, and then expected to spend a few hours at the pool but unbeknownst to us the pool was closed that day.  So what do you do when the pool is closed?  You do school, then you buy some good ole southern tea (which is very sweet) and you sit around in the shade sipping a drink that contains a little tea, some water and a lot of sugar.  The night was rounded off with a rented video of the Apple Dumpling Gang, an old Disney movie with Don Knotts.
Thursday brought us to the museum that covered some Civil War history, geological exhibit about Stone Mountain which contains a cave that Will really liked but Madison and Caden didn't care for.  Later that morning, Susan, David and Erin meet up with us at the Quarry exhibit on the other side of the mountain.  Then we went to the Plantation, which was celebrating their Frontier days that weekend.  We would like to have said that we planned the timing of our stay and frontier days but it was by coincidence.  After seeing several museums containing Civil War items it was a real high light to see a musket actually being demonstrated and shot.  It's nice to see that the kids are leaning when we first saw the confederate exhibitor Caden said directly, "He is in the Confederate army because he is wearing grey."  After taking in all the exhibits we took another ride up to the top of Stone Mountain on the tram and saw the exact spot on top of the mountain where David and Erin were married 14 years ago.  Congrats David and Erin!
We came back to the RV camp site to utilize the pool, drink our free slushies and have a great bbq dinner (thanks for the help David).  Ending the night with a camp fire was perfect.  We said good night to Erin and David and prayed with them as Erin was going into mouth surgery the next morning.
Friday morning we took another dip in the pool, visited the museum again (Susan missed it the first time and Will had some important things to show her) and then drove downtown to the Cyclorama.  For those who don't know what a Cyclorama is (of which I, TJ was one), a Cyclorama is a circular painting that tells a story.  It was a popular form of entertainment in the late 19th Century.  There are 19 Cycloramas left in the world, three in America.  The one in Atlanta, which depicts the Civil War battle for Atlanta, is the largest in the world.  It was historical, interesting and entertaining.
Since we were in downtown Atlanta we decided to visit the Coca-Cola center but after arriving we decided not to purchase tickets due to lack of time and the increase in ticket price from what we thought it would cost.  So, the cheap Johnsons purchased a coke product from the vending machine and drank it on the lawn of the Coca-Cola center.  It wasn't a total loss.  We enjoyed the beautiful day in downtown Atlanta and it was a great experience driving the RV downtown.  It actually was not bad.  I guess we can drive it just about anywhere now!
Friday night brought us back to 12Stone church for a worship service which Erin, now doing well from oral surgery that morning, played the congas/percussion.  Really, she probably should not have been up there right after surgery, but you can not hold Erin down, especially when it comes to worshiping with her percussion.  God pulled her through and she did great!  We worshiped God in a well crafted contemporary service for believers, took communion and rejoiced in 20 baptisms of public faith in Jesus Christ.
The next morning Erin and David spoiled us with another great breakfast and sent us on our way with extra food to eat.  We thank God for Erin and David who fed us, allowed us to park in their drive way for several nights, hosted Susan, Jennifer, and Alyssa during the Orange conference, fed us so much, played with our children, let us use their washer and dryer, fed us, allowed us to be part of their lives for a week, took personal days off of work, encourage us to worship with them at church, introduced us to their two kids (their dogs, Jessie and Sid), fed us, and just plain spoiled us.
TJ & Susan
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