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Atlanta – hidden gem?! by Ann Treacy
March 17, 2012, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee

We spent one last day in Florida with Patrick’s family. I enjoy them very much – but there’s a lot of inertia going on with making a plan there. All I’ll say is Joe’s Crab Shack is never going to make my 10 Ten Must-See List in any city. (Partially because you can find them in any city.) But it was fun to talk to all of his family and celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday. Did I note – 80 years old and spent 10+ hours at Disney World?!

Saturday morning we got up very early and poured the kids into the car. We drove *all day*. It turns out that Tennessee and Kentucky are really pretty states. The mountains are beautiful. We stopped in Macon Georgia for lunch. I found someplace on Trip Advisor that was well noted for pizza. It was good – and fun not to go to a burger joint for a change.

Then I decided that we had to have a break of some sort and we stopped in Atlanta. We went to visit the Martin Luther King Jr History Center. It is amazing! I think I mentioned that Lily had been working on a paper on MLK and Malcolm X – so it was timely and we had all been talking about racism and life back in the 1960s. The Center is an emotional and inspiring place. They have a nice timeline of events in MLK’s life, which was helpful in talking to Aine about who MLK was. She knew who he was and knew about his assignation – but not so much about his life.

Also the whole area is peppered with quotes about nonviolence and standing up for what you believe. Obviously good lessons for everyone!

States visited: FL, GA, TN, KT, IN
States visited next day: IN, IL, MN!

Disney World – made perfect with a personal tour guide! by Ann Treacy
March 17, 2012, 3:19 am
Filed under: Florida

Disney World is the happiest place on Earth! We actually went to the Magic Kingdom, which is apparently one chamber in the house of the happiest place on Earth. And we had a personal guide, which meant it really was like the happiest place.

My friend Lynn is the biggest advocate for Disney that I have ever seen. She was so kind – plus she knows everything about Disney. For example – Disney has 62,000 cast members (aka staff) and there’s a river that has a cup of water from a river in each continent. And there’s a whole underground to Disney where much of the work takes place. Also Lynn knows super practical things – like how the fast passes work, which save you time waiting in line. (And that if you’re chicken you can get a sneak peek at Magic Mountain by riding the People Mover!)

Anyways, Lynn took the day off to tour all of us – 13 people aged 18 months to 80 – through the Magic Kingdom for the day. I’m not sure she knew what she was getting into. The day started at 9 am and 12 hours later we headed away from the Magic Kingdom to have dinner at an Irish pub. (You can take ‘em out of Dublin…)

I know we didn’t go on every ride – but it sure felt like we went on all of the rides we wanted to see – and the tea drinkers got tea when they needed it!

Jacksonville – great beach & car wash by Ann Treacy
March 17, 2012, 2:42 am
Filed under: Florida

We stopped in Jacksonville mostly because Grandpa had a car wash he wanted to check out. But a very big bonus was the beach. When you’re from the Midwest you think all of Florida is the beach – but Orlando isn’t on the beach. And the kids have never been on a US beach. So even though it wasn’t the warmest day – it was a heck of a lot warmer than Bray Head.

Jacksonville looks a lot like any other suburb. We did check out the Target, because I am the worst packer and Target has everything – but the beach made Jacksonville definitely worth the trip.

From Jacksonville we headed to Orlando. I just have to remark at our *amazing* timing. Grandpa was going to the airport to head to Arizona. Patrick was flying in. Our hope was that we could make this happen at the same time. But not even we could have planned so well. We pulled up. I called Patrick. He had just gotten through security– I said run upstairs and before we had unpacked Grandpa’s bags from the car, Patrick walked out of the airport!!

Walking through Savannah by Ann Treacy
March 13, 2012, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Florida, Georgia

We woke up in suburban Savannah. We all went to have breakfast in Savannah – then Grandpa headed back to the hotel while the girls and I scoped out Svannah. We checked out the City Market, where there are touristy shops. The shops were cute, if you’re in shopping. Then we walked along the waterfront. Savannah is a place I’d like to visit again – because even though we probably spent more time checking out the city than we spent anywhere else on the drive down, I feel like I didn’t get to see too much.

I did notice a few things. It’s a very ornate city. There are little urban squares throughout the city. Many had statues or gazebos. The City Market square had a statue of songwriter Johnny Mercer. There were some beautiful flower boxes in the windows – and Lily noticed the fish-head ends to the drain pipes, which were great. Also we saw the FBI, and boats to see dolphins lots of other things to help us recognize that Savannah is worth another visit!

After Savannah, we headed to Jacksonville, Florida.

States visited: GA, FLA

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