Christmas holidays rolled around and Greg (the SO) and I took a bit of a “catch up with people we haven’t seen in years–or even decades–trip”. We started in Michigan, stopped at the brother’s house in Ohio for Christmas, then on to friends in or near Asheville (North Carolina, Atlanta (Georgia), and Hollywood (Florida). Despite much complaining on the SO’s part, we drove the whole way there and back. I had to sign a contract that we would never do that again. The driving, not the vacation.
In Columbus we went with friends to see the Christmas light display at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
And then there was this–
The day after Christmas we were on our way to a somewhat warmer clime, at least in the daytime, in the mountains of North Carolina. We took the scenic route and it was spectacular, and even better was when we (finally) arrived at John and Mary’s house near a tiny town called Burnsville. This mountain was out their back door, and it was a steep climb up. The last 100 feet or so were more or less straight up. Most of this part of North Carolina looks just like this, and we loved it!
A couple of days later, on to Atlanta. The SO is fond of AirBnB so we tried our darnedest to find one but apparently they aren’t specialists in last-second booking. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we ended up in this funky but cool hotel right near Greg’s old neighborhood where he lived, oh, 4 decades ago. Before I get to the Atlanta tour, let me show you one of the reasons this hotel was so neat–
Pirate pretty much rules the hotel. He prowls the hallways, visits guests in their rooms, and pretty much keeps watch over the place. You can tell he deserves his name by the mangled left ear. Arrrrghh!
We did a lot of walking in Atlanta, starting at the nearby house where Greg lived so many years ago. It looked great–until we saw the garage! Further up the street (it was fairly hilly) while looking for an old ravine, we came upon this neat grove of really mature bamboo. The chairs suggest that someone likes to relax in this mini-forest. Greg said this wasn’t the ravine he was looking for, and as we kept walking we finally found it, except it had morphed into streets and houses. Near the shopping area of the neighborhood we found this crazy bike sculpture along with a plaque explaining how it got there. Up the street from the bike was this metal-front pizza parlor with some very faint neon which somehow intrigued our neon expert. He wanted to digitally preserve it but it was hard when the neon wasn’t real bright and it was also mid-day. We did the best we could. Our final walk adventure was the Beltline, Atlanta’s version of New York’s High Line, both of which have made walking/bicycling paths over what used to be old railway lines. There were lots of sculpture and murals along the way but this crystal-shaped metal one really caught my eye. We also liked someone’s whimsical way of letting pedestrians know they need to look out for the bikes.
Next stop, Hollywood, Florida. It’s nothing like that other Hollywood except maybe for a lot of people with a lot of money. Our friends John and Lauren don’t fall into that category, but they have a really nice apartment on an inlet behind the Atlantic Ocean. Owners tie up their boats right outside their back door. Non-boat owners like Lauren feed the birds outside her back door instead. Again walking! The actual beach was right across the street and it wasn’t exactly deserted. We spent quite a few minutes watching pros and wanna-be surfers practicing on artificially generated waves at a place where you could rent time on a boogie board. Later we took a stroll through a beachside residential area where John and Lauren lived before they got their apartment. Lots of mega-buildings, and some odd sculptures and signs. Apparently there has also been quite a feral cat issue.
So now that we’re back in freezer-land (have actually been back for a few weeks) I’ve had time to finally get to work on another Sky Pads. This one has the background pour done last year, and one and a half layers of lily pads on top. Will probably have to do another two and a half layers or so before it’s finished.