Southern Hospitality

Trip Start Aug 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 11, 2012

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Where I stayed
Casa de Bell

Flag of United States  , Georgia
Thursday, October 20, 2011

As I travel around the world, I continue to be amazed and blessed with the generosity and hospitality of those I encounter. There's something to be said about the welcoming spirit from the people of the South. It's called Southern Hospitality for a reason.

It all started when my mate, Eric, picked me up from the airport. Unfortunately, he was off to a 2-day business trip a few hours later. Before he left, we were at least able to catch up over a nice breakfast. Despite him being gone, he was gracious enough to leave me his car and house me in his spare bedroom that had a massive king-sized bed, its own bathroom, both of which were larger than any I've ever lived in. It was truly a gesture that was far beyond what I had expected, and yet, despite Eric being a transplant from San Diego, it embodies that said Southern Hospitality, his friendship to me, and his giving nature. So for the next two days, I had my own car, my own 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, multilevel town home all to myself in Atlanta's Grant Park neighbourhood thanks to Eric. Who does that??

This visit to Atlanta was one of reunions. Later that evening, I had dinner with a girl friend named Bevan whom I hadn't seen in nearly 4 years. The first time we met was in Prague back in 2003. The next time we saw each other was in Madrid, and a few  years later, we met up in Vancouver. It was indeed a nice reunion.

Earlier in the day, I had managed to get in touch with another dear girl friend named Meg whom I hadn't seen nor spoken to in nearly 6 years. When she learned of my visit, she was quick to make time for me later that evening, allowing me to crash a birthday party she was a part of. The following day, she canceled all her work meetings and took the entire day off just to spend time with me and show me around. Who does that??

We started with a quick shopping trip to the local mall, and then had Mexican food that was to die for at Nuevo Laredo.

I must say, for a Mexican restaurant in this part of the country, I was rather impressed. And although I'm not much of a tequila person, their Cadillac Margaritas are worth the visit alone.

After lunch, she took me to Atlanta's Botanical Garden. Little did she know that I've recently become an aficionado of botanical gardens, having been to Sydney's, Melbourne's, and Perth's in Oz. When we got there, I was surprised and disappointed to learn that they charge $18 just to enter the park. Every other botanical garden I've been to outside of America was FREE! I was equally disappointed to see that the size of this garden was what seemed like the size of one, maybe two city blocks. Even more disappointing was that they had these hydrangeas that were dead. But aside from the disappointments, the park had loads to offer, and I've come to learn that when you're in a place like this, it's about the company you're with that makes it all worthwhile.

I wasn't even in Atlanta two days yet and it had already been pretty epic. I continue to count my lucky stars at how I'm blessed with such wonderful people to be a part of my journey. And as I write to this to share it with all of you, I'm able to relive it all over again and simply smile.

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Mark T on

I'll be there in Dec to see Alice Cooper! You should try Memphis on
Yr travels Ernie! Really cool place.

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