Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2,000 Miles Later, We're Back...

Judy and I left for New Orleans on Friday, May 10th.  It was an intermediate stop before continuing on to Hiawassee, Georgia.  We left New Orleans Monday morning and continued to Montgomery, Alabama, then drove on to Helen, Georgia after stopping at the Big Green Egg corporate offices in Tucker, Georgia.  We could have driven on to Hiawassee 20 miles away, but decided to spend the night in Helen.  It is a quant little German Village right on the Chattahoochee River.  We stayed in an old hotel right on the river.  Very peaceful.

The main purpose of our trip was to attend the Georgia Mountain Eggfest in Hiawassee, Georgia.  Needless to say, we had a lot of fun.  A video of the event can be seen here:


But it was what we did along the way that we enjoyed most.

For example, on Saturday morning in New Orleans (Actually Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans) we visited with Judy's sister to celebrate our two birthdays.  Joyce and I share May 8th, just 10 years apart. 

Then we coaxed Joyce's son, David, to drive me over to the Big Green Egg dealer so I could get something too large for my car.

Of course, this was all arranged ahead of time but we asked to speak to Fred, the store owner, and introduced him to David.  That's when he told David his Egg was ready and is being loaded in his truck.  David was totally surprised. 

He will be in for a lifetime of enjoyment cooking on his Big Green Egg.

We encouraged him to come up with a 'handle' for himself and participate on the GreenEggers.com chat room.  We know he like to play darts and is quite good at it, so why not use "Dart Vegger" which identifies him as a Dart player and as an Egger.  He likes it and immediately registered his new handle on the forum.

We enjoyed our visit but they had to return to work and we had to leave for Hiawassee.

Our drive to Montgomery was uneventful until we got a little hungry.  Well, there's not a lot of roadside restaurants so we decided to go off route and find a small town with a local restaurant where everyone ate.  We found it in Ardmore, Alabama.  Busters Restaurant looked the part and the lot was full.  It had to be some good, down-home food.

Of course, we got the 'stranger's in town' look when we walked in, because I was wearing my bright yellow, "I'm an Egghead" shirt.  We sat down and the waitress came right over and smiled brightly as she announced that she was an Egghead too, and she loved her Egg.  She was much too busy to chat but we thought "small world" the entire time we were there.

We spent the night in Montgomery, went to bed early and slept late.  Nothing happened there but a few hours later we were in Big Green Egg's store at their HQ in Tucker.  Naturally, I bought a lot of stuff.  More importantly, I met the store manager, Terry McMillian.  What a nice surprise, another McMillin, only we spelled our name differently.  There we were, him black and me white, talking about our ancestors.  Funny...  I called him 'cuz.'  Very nice young man.  I wish we could have talked longer.

We left there and drove on up to Helen, Georgia and spent the night in the Helendorf Inn. It's one of the oldest and largest inns in Helen, and is right on the banks of the river. 

We had dinner, went to bed early, slept late and toured the town the next morning before driving the 20 miles to Hiawassee.

Along the way we also stopped to look at a mountain cabin on the water that got my attention in the real estate listings.  It was nice but too small to live in and too far away to weekend in.

A couple of hours later we started hugging friends from all over as they started arriving for the Eggfest.  I'll talk about the Eggfest later in another post because there's a lot to talk about.

Wednesday night we had dinner at John and Joan Hall's house on the mountain.  It was delicious and we were among friends. 

And we were looking out over the entire world from their balcony.

The Eggfest itself was really great.  We got to see a lot of old friends and make new ones.  We didn't cook this time and that gave us plenty of time to visit with some of the 1,000 + people who came to see what the Big Green Egg is all about.

We awoke early on Sunday morning and drove straight home.  Yes, it was 927 miles and had it not been for bladders and leaving on a half tank of gas, we could have made it with only one fuel stop.  We arrived home at 9:30 pm Sunday, 5-19-13.  14 hours.  Yes, as a matter of fact I am still very tired.

Yes, we're going again in 2014.  Meanwhile, here's the link again to the video I prepared of the Eggfest.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLdHXA9haqI

No comments: