I’m feeling a bit guilty about being so anti-Atlanta so we decided to get out of the city and see if we could find anything redeeming about Georgia. It was raining so that (literally) put a damper on many activities. Racking our brains to come up with something to cheer us all up, we decided Christmas could do the trick. We saw online that Stone Mountain Park has an incredible display of Christmas lights, a village, train depot, all sorts of cool, happy things, so we plugged the address in Aidan and went on our way. After brief detours at Starbucks and Target, we found our way to the adorable Stone Mountain Village. We loved the red brick building with the generic ‘Bank’ sign on it, the town hall that looks like a train station, the wreaths with fake candles adorning the streets. We tried to visit the visitor’s center, but it was closed. We did find a real pecan tree there though. Then we made our way to the park entrance.
Well, to quote Delanie, it was our Wally World. There WAS a person at the gate, but she basically talked us out of entering. She explained that everything but two museums were closed and the Christmas lights, etc., are only on weekends – something the web site failed to mention. So I put the car in reverse and we parked, trying to come up with plan B. A real southern belle plantation, fit for Scarlett, was just what we needed. We tried googling on our phones, looking through the Georgia brochures I’d grabbed at the visitor center, searching through the Tourist Attraction listings on the GPS. We were almost sidetracked by the world’s largest peanut, but found it was too far away. Then we learned of Stately Oaks in Jonesboro where Gone With the Wind was set. Perfect!
I won’t go into detail, except to say it wasn’t really what we were looking for. It’s a quaint home with a few outbuildings (including Juddy’s Country Store – best gift shop we’ve encountered yet), but not the grand mansion with acres of fields and dozens of outbuildings, somewhere the O’Hara’s would have lived. We asked if there are any around and they looked at us as if we were crazy. Not in real life Georgia. Figures.
We met Delanie’s friend Dana for dinner and he told us what we already knew – those are not the places to go in Georgia. He also informed us that we missed the coolest thing about Stone Mountain: we somehow completely missed the fact that it’s Georgia’s version of Mount Rushmore. There’s a huge carving in the side of the mountain. He even showed us a picture of it on his phone. No clue how we possibly missed that. Oh well – figures. It’s Georgia.