Monday, November 30, 2009

Dahlonega Days & Thanksgiving Buffets

(note.... part one of this non-epic, yet still frankly enjoyable half-week vacation, the part that takes place at the home of Cabbage Patch Kids, can be found here)

So, after we left Babyland General Hospital (thankfully, I never found the nursing station...), we hopped in the car and headed up the road... down the road?  I still don't even know where we were... over to a town called Dahlonega.  My first thought was the Six Flags roller coaster, Dahlonega Mine Train, and who knew there was a real Dahlonega?  I didn't.

Dahlonega is one of those touristy type towns with a big central landmark (in this case, the Gold Museum), surrounded on all four sides, and then some, by antique shops, boutiques, small bookstores, cafes, ice cream parlors and the like.  Angie, the niece & nephew, Mama Ruthie, The Lovely Steph Leann and I parked on one of the side streets and found The Crimson Moon Cafe, which declares itself to be "The South's Most Intimate Music Venue".  No wonder... walk in, and there is a dining area with about 70 seats (while waiting for our food, I counted), and as you walk through the cafe, in the back of the room there is a door to a small coffee shop.

On the left side of the dining room, there is a small stage which would hold maybe a four person band--definately not a drum set.  The food was a bit overpriced, it perhaps relies too much on "quaint" to be a great restaurant, and on a random Thursday night when there is a blues or jazz band, or a decent cover band playing some good music, I'm sure a burger and chips and a big glass of something (I don't drink beer, but you can imagine it might work), there's probably not a better place to be in Dahlonega than The Crimson Moon.  For me, however, it was overpriced.  And burger was just eh. 

After lunch, we walked the block down to the little fudge shop, containing about all the chocolately goodness you can possibly imagine.  Cookies, brownies, fudge, taffy, candy, hard candy, soft candy, chocolate candy, tarts, M&M covered everything, sprinkle covered anything... The Lovely Steph Leann and I settled for a piece of fudge each (her the peanut butter, me the cheesecake), a couple of chocolate and white chocolate pretzels, and one each of the dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate covered cherries.   Its vacation.  We're not concerned.  Our diabetes might be, but we are not.

Outside, we met up with White Jada and her childrens, and the rest of the vacation group.  The Lovely Steph Leann and I split up from the others, and headed down the road to tour some antique shops and see the sights. 

Saw a group of these guys on the left here.  No joke, I swear I had no idea they still had black and white striped jumpsuits for prisoners.  I questioned if they were in some sort of costume, but there was a small group of them cleaning up, hanging decorations around the town and such.  Thought it was kinda fun.

We walked through some of the antique shops there in the downtown area, but really, none of them had the charm or flair that we found from the one in Panama City we always visit.  One of the more bizarre and odd finds, though, was this plate.  I missed it completely, but The Lovely Steph Leann called me over, pointed, and said, "Check that out."  I had to get a picture.
We did manage to find a few things of interest, though.  There was a little area with some older books, soft and hard back, and she found a pretty decent copy of "Fiery Cross" by Diana Gabaldon and I managed to procure a copy of "The Regulators" by Richard Bachman.   Also, The Lovely Steph Leann found the hat area, and tried on several.  Someone at my church, Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship, natch), once said, "No one wears a hat like The Lovely Steph Leann", and I deem it true. 

We walked around the square, taking in the sites and enjoying the shops and such, even stopping into the little General Store for some rock candy.  Matter of fact, while I type this, my piece lay uneaten on our kitchen counter... excuse me just a minute...

(currently nibbling on a piece bubble gum flavored rock candy from the general store in Dahlonega, Georgia)

(slowly realizing why its important to eat rock candy within 24 hours of buying it, as when I bit my piece of bubble gum flavored rock candy from the general store in Dahlonega, Georgia, it crumbled into a dozen pieces, spilling all over my lap, the recliner in which I sit and all over the floor)

(distressed because I'm having to pick up the pieces from the rug and floor, and of course, eating them because I don't want to waste it)

(further distressed because that last piece was not only spongy, it had a hair on it.)

Okay, I'm back.  Mmm mmm mmm, that was good rock candy. 

We returned to the cabin that evening, had some dinner--which was green bean casserole and poppy seed chicken, two of my favorites--and played some Mexican Train Dominoes with Bill, Jennifer, White Jada, Jake & The Lovely Steph Leann.  Sat up reading, and just felt great being lazy.

Thanksgiving allowed me to sleep in just a bit, and then we were on our way to some country club up... down... the road to have a big Thanksgiving buffet.  There are those who are traditionalists, and feel that Thanksgiving meal should be a meal cooked only at home, with turkey and ham and dressing and the like... but not me.  Yes, yes, at home is great.  But if someone else will do it for you, that's fine too. 

If you are keeping score at home, remember this is the Campbells, the Wests, the Smiths, the Youngs, all the children, and The Lovely Steph Leann and Yours Truly.

We took a few pictures in front of the rather large Christmas tree, had some fun family moments, I snuck around to the bar to watch a few minutes of whatever game was on--I don't remember, but its football, it doesn't matter--and finally, we were seated.  They brought me my Co-Cola in a goblet, I waited for the signal, and then I was up and in the line for some hearty Thanksgiving lunch. 

An on my plate, I managed to throw on some corn casserole, some creamed potatoes, about a half dozen chilled shrimp, some crab legs, a biscuit, a crouissant, some sweet potato souffle, some salmon, some stuff there on the right side that I cannot even remember eating (nor liking) and, after my plate was full, and I was at the end of the line with no more room on my own plate, I turned around to see The Lovely Steph Leann in another part of the line, and said, "Hey, The Lovely Steph Leann, please hand me another plate!"  She did, and I got some roast beast sliced and layed on it.  Calm down, calm down... she got to the line a minute or so after I did, and when I motioned for her to join me, she waved me off, not wanting to offend those ten people between she and I.   So that's an example of how great she is... she knew I'd need another plate, and when I did, I turned around, and there she is.

And of course, there is dessert.  There is always dessert.  After two plates of lunch (though no more crab legs--they were delicious, but crab legs are just too much work), I headed towards the superb dessert spread, gathering up a banana pudding parfait, a piece of pumpkin pie (covered in homemade whipped cream), a piece of pecan pie (covered in homemade whipped cream), a pecan pie brownie (covered in homemade whipped cream), a piece of German chocolate cake... and I think a cookie.  And I ate.  And I ate some more.  And it was awesome.  And just when my stomach knocked on my insides and said, "Hey, yo... uh... we're getting kinda packed down here, so you... uh... you may want to ease up, or even stop..."  To which I said, "Stomach.  Shut up.  Its vacation.  Its Thanksgiving.  You'll speak when you're spoken too.  For now, take what I give you."  And with that, I took another bite of the chocolate parfait I had just retrieved. 

Full, stuffed to the gills and knowing that deep down inside, my stomach is snickering, muttering, "Yeah, yeah... you wait... laugh now, go ahead...", we loaded up the vehicles and headed back to the cabin.  There were naps in all of our futures... and we took advantage.

Later that night, The Lovely Steph Leann played some rook with Jason and some others, I watched an excellent football game between Texas and Texas A&M, chatted with Randy, Tyler and White Jada and later that evening, after chowing on warmed up green bean casserole and poppy seed chicken, it all wound down to a game of Phase 10. 

I joined the game late, wanting to watch the end of the football game, and though I always finish any card game I start, I just couldn't finish... tired, full, sleepy, and knowing I had to get up the next morning (Black Friday!) to travel back to Birmingham, to go to work at The Happiest Place in the Mall later in the afternoon.

What am I thankful for?  Well, I'm thankful my own mom is still kickin' it, I'm thankful that my in-laws are such great people, and I'm thankful that I married The Lovely Steph Leann, who has such a great family.  I'm thankful that I'm blessed enough by God to have the resources to travel a little bit, and though its frustrating to have to join vacation mid-week, then leave before its over, its thankful that I have a job that I enjoy so much that forces me to do just that very thing. 

And I'm thankful for chilled shrimp, buffets that have crab legs, pecan pie (covered in homemade whipped cream) and poppy seed chicken. 

And thankful that you, dear Coffee Drinker, keep coming back.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. My family owns some land in Dahlonega! And on the other side of the family, they actually gather in Dahlonega for Thanksgiving every year. Extended family, so we don't usually make it but almost went this year. How fun. I love that quaint little town.


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