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Day One: Atlanta and Ruby Falls

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Whitehaven

Day one of our anniversary vacation and we arrived in our favorite stay-over hot spot, HOTlanta! From Atlanta, we went onto Lookout Mountain Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I haven’t been there since I was a kid, and the falls are breathtaking in the belly of the mountain. The hike down is gorgeous and our tour guide was hilarious. It was a great experience for the entire group.  We would recommend this stop to everyone.

From there we moved on to Saint Louis, our original destination, but not before we stopped at this excellent rest area / welcome center on the border of Kentucky and Illinois. This building, called Whitehaven, was built in the 1860s in Paducah.  Stay with us for the rest of the week as we explore the Gateway to the West.

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Crossing the Mighty Mississip at night is beautiful!

The Falls

The Falls

The Falls

Ruby Falls

Help Me Pick a Dream Vacation Spot


So the wife and I were looking at our Marriott Rewards points that we have been squirreling away for a once in a lifetime (or at least once in ten years) vacation opportunity.  My wife wants to go to Ireland.  On the other hand, I want to go back to Italy and see all of the marvelous historical sites that I missed when I went to Genoa in 1998.  Essentially, all I saw was the Riviera and Christopher Columbus’ birth place.  I thoroughly enjoyed it but being there a month, I should have capitalized on the opportunity and seen way more of the historically relevant sites.  Oh wait, I was working during the week so you can cut me some slack.

Interestingly enough, I thought she would have wanted to go to France and see all of the beautiful art and eat in a cafe, etc.  Being the good Irish girl that she is (or is descended from) she wanted to see her homeland.  Being part Irish and part Scottish and part Native American, I feel no real affinity to any particular homeland other than Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida or the Deep South.  I enjoy saying that I am part Irish, mainly in March but through my genealogy I am correct in my boasting.

This vacation getaway would cover a week in the respective country, paid for by our points.  We would just need to get there and feed ourselves.  Therein lies the rub.  I looked up flights to the various locations and a flight to Italy must be covered in gold because it will take a small fortune to get there.  Yikes.  In 1998 it was a mere $2400 for first class travel.  Now it is much more than that just for coach.

If you could go somewhere for a once in a lifetime trip where would you go?  Where would you send me?  Here is the bigger question, what is there to do in Ireland?  I thought we could compromise and go to London, say around the time of SQL BITS conference.  But then I would miss all of the sight-seeing as I get to meet all of my twitter friends from the UK.  It looks like you can take a ferry from Ireland to the UK.  What is that like?  Maybe five days in Ireland and a couple in the UK.  What do you think?

Besides I wanna be Clark Griswold going around the circle saying look kids Big Ben, Parliament House.  Enjoy!

P.S.  If you are interested in joining Marriott Rewards, send me your e-mail address and I will send you a referral whereby I can receive some points to use on this vacation, if you feel so generous.  The Rewards program is free but I will receive some points for referring you.  This is not a pyramid scheme.

Savannah Weekend Getaway Day Three

The final day of our getaway, the saddest day, the trip home.  The long and winding road leads back home.  We are glad to be home, but sad to leave our little getaway.  Being a history buff, I enjoy getaways of these sort of locations and I enjoy spending time with my wife away from home.  Now I am looking forward to our next getaway, Pensacola in June for SQL Saturday!

Enjoy!

Savannah Weekend Getaway Day Two

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Haitian Monument in Franklin Square

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Francis Bartow, Colonel CSA

Day Two of our great weekend anniversary getaway was more subdued than day one.  We walked around Forsythe Park and saw some wonderful statues including the one here of Colonel Francis Bartow of the Confederate States of America.  A fascinating piece of information about the statues in Savannah is that all of them are facing their aggressors.  For example, all Civil War battle monuments are facing the north.

Near the City Market area, we met some old friends who were also here for the weekend.  Having been to Haiti, the Haitian Monument next to the city market was extremely fascinating.  During the Revolutionary War, many Haitians fought with the colonists to help us gain our independence.  That is utterly fascinating to me as I did not know that.  The detail in this sculpture is fascinating.  Of special note, Henri Christophe, depicted as the drummer in the monument, fought in the war and later became King of Haiti after he led them in their independence from France.

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Paula Deen was happy to greet us!

Later in the day, we went to Paula Deen’s The Lady and Son’s restaurant.  It was worth the wait as the southern cook was as good as advertised.
 
Later we returned to the hotel and jumped into the hot tub to relax and unwind.  Tonight we plan on going to the River Street for the nightlife.  Details will follow tomorrow.  Enjoy!
 
[Edited]
 
We had originally planned to scour River Street, however halfway between there and our hotel was the City Market area which appeared to have a vibrant night life of its own.  There was a live band in the market place and several bars and restaurants were outside in a cafe type configuration.  We started at Pour Larry’s, an underground Pub, and then went to the Wild Wing Cafe to devour numerous wings and libations while still listening to the band.  A good time was had by all and that’s all I can say about that.  Enjoy!

Savannah Weekend Getaway Day One

Well we are waiting for dinner at the Pirate’s House restaurant in historic Savannah so I thought it would be a good time to catch everyone up on our adventure!

We arrived in Savannah in the late morning and walked right onto to our Oglethorpe Tour bus. For the next 90 minutes, we enjoyed the beautiful historic district with all of the colorful tales of Revolutionary and Civil War (better known as the War of Northern Aggression) history which was amazing for a Civil War buff like myself. At the conclusion of the tour we were dropped off at the City Market and we were famished on this cool spring afternoon.

After seeing the three block line for Mrs Wilkes restaurant, we decided to take in a cafe with great southern cooking. I had Cajun shrimp with grits and collard greens. My wife had a corned beef sandwich and pasta salad. The food was great.

We then walked a half mile looking through shops to the Leopold’s Ice Cream shop and soda fountain, which has been in Savannah for almost a 100 years. Later we went back to our hotel and enjoyed the hot tub. Tonight we are eating at the Pirate House and then taking the Ghost Tour! Enjoy!

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Movie Memorabilia at Leopold's

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Soda Foundtain at Leopold's

Long Weekend Ahead

Having projects I need to wrap up today before I head out-of-town for the long weekend, I’m having a hard time staying focused.  Traveling for me is like my children going to Disney World, wait a minute I act just like my kids when we go to Disney World.  If I were to win the lotto, I would travel everywhere possible.  Did I mention that I love to travel?  Oh, yeah I think I just did.

This weekend, my wife and I are headed to Savannah, and so are you.  This weekend I plan on blogging about our weekend getaway, well not all of the details.  This will be my first time travel blogging and I am excited to bring you along on our little adventure.  Won’t you join us?

Enjoy!

 

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