I have returned. My journey started on Friday July 3rd. We left Miami and got to Gainesville for a quick overnight stop and proceeded to Atlanta on Saturday July 4th. Atlanta is a typical big city. Got to eat at Flip. Very good burgers with some great combinations. Blue cheese burger is always a winner! The Spanish chorizo burger is a little to thick for such a spicy rich sausage. Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles is a MUST! I never thought I'd enjoy the combination but WOW! The best waffles I have had in a long time. Soft and mildly crisp on the outside combined with perfectly cooked fried chicken. Not overly spiced but crisp and tender at the same time. I didn't have mustard for it which really sucked as I have heard that is the way to have them. Chicken and waffles with mustard on top. Some highlights are the World of Coke and the Atlanta Aquarium. The World of Coke is definitely the place to see. It's like a Coke-themed Disney World. There are wonderful exhibits with vintage coke posters, bottles, clothing, jewelry, and art work. My favorite were the life sized decorated Coke bottles lining the building. But the best part is that you get to drink EVERY SINGLE COKE PRODUCT ever!! Wahooooo! I thought I was going to explode! Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Mellow Yellow and a bunch of other stuff they sell all over the world. The Asian drinks are super sweet. The European drinks are very Euro-trash tasting. The bitter lemon drink called Kinley from England tastes like a mixer for gin. But the worst had to be Beverly from Italy. Absolutely repulsive. EVERYONE who drank Beverly left with a bad taste in their mouths. That stuff is rank. The African beverages had a lot of ginger in them. Krest from Mozambique was super-powered ginger ale. Some of those African ones had strange fruit flavors that were unidentifiable. The Latin America drinks aren't that different except that the Nestea is flavored with Mango and Inca Cola from Peru is actually for sale here in Miami. I can't imagine why as I can't even think of one Peruvian here in Miami. The most eventful portion of the trip occurred in Atlanta. We went to the Vortex for lunch. This place has very delicious, outrageous burgers. After we sat down I ordered my double bypass burger. Two grilled cheese sandwiches are the "bread" for a 1/3 lb. burger covered with 3 more slices of cheese, 5 slices of bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles and 3 fried eggs! Yummmmmmmieeeeee. Well as you can imagine you need to wait a while to receive your lunch so as we waited we were just chatting. When I suddenly felt a cold "plop" on my chest. I immediately looked down and there he was. A lovely little mouse just sitting on my arm slightly stunned from his fall off of all the junk hanging from the ceiling. I let out a terrifying scream and whipped my arm out which sent the poor little fellow flying to the floor. One guy a few tables down screamed right after I screamed. He didn't even know why he was screaming. When the little mouse fell to the ground two girls sitting at another table started screaming and another table full of people started screaming. They didn't charge us for our Cokes.
The next leg of the tour led us to North Carolina. The people are wonderfully friendly, warm and inviting. What a pleasure! All these great people surrounded by beautiful, winding mountain roads, rich red soil and emerald green trees. We stayed in a moderately small town only a stones throw from all the great national parks. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns, Linville Falls only to mention a few! Incredible hiking trails and a pleasant temperature for July. I am used to scorching sun and baking temps here in Miami. The BBQ in North Carolina was spicy and tangy. I really should have bought some of that sauce damn it! The hush puppies were not what I am used to but they are delicious.
The next stop was Savannah, GA. A lovely town. The historic district is filled with important American history. You can feel the ghosts in that town. Which reminds me. We went to a ghost walking tour at the Sorrel-Weed house. It's one of those the master-is-screwing -the-slave-and-the-lady-of-the-house-kills-herself-and-now-they-all-haunt-the-mansion thing. Anybody ever read King's Rose Red? Similar story. There is the house where the owner was the subject of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the Kehoe House is now an inn. The last stop was at Gainesville and then home. Great stuff. I haven't been on vacation in years and really needed this. I want to visit North Carolina again. Don't need to see Atlanta and Savannah is a good place to return.