Sunday, October 31, 2010

Georgia Aquarium

I FINALLY got a chance to get downtown and see the Georgia Aquarium, and it was more amazing than I expected! (It was so wonderfully un-crowded that day, which made it very easy to get around and see everything)

What an incredible place to view a mermaid's underwater dream world up close and personal--right here in Atlanta!!

Right inside the doors you can pet the rays and small sharks swimming in a shallow pool, and then choose between many different habitat entrances.

This was my absolute FAVORITE fish at the aquarium.....the Leafy Sea Dragon!! You have to go just to see these incredibly unique creatures!! I couldn't take my eyes off of them!

This tank was filled with so many multi-colored fish that it was like looking through a kaleidoscope....and you felt like you were swimming in the reef with them.

I loved all the aquariums in the ceilings! You walk UNDER the fish tanks in many places--these were the freshwater habitats.

The whale sharks and the gigantic rays are mesmerizing to watch, and the theater area is the best place to see them.

I forgot to get a pic of the Garden Eels (creepy, but fascinating) and the Beluga pics didn't turn out--photography can be tricky here!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Along the Antebellum Trail

On a beautiful autumn weekend in Dixie, football may be KING----but pickin' should at least be QUEEN, right? (That's ANTIQUE pickin' of course----most of the cotton around here has already been picked)

While everyone else was heading to the games or the mountains, I drove South---swapping the view of car bumpers for the view of stately homes along Georgia's historic Antebellum Trail---hoping to find two of my favorite things: good pickin' and architectural dereliction to photograph.

On the way to Madison--my first stop on the AT (which runs from Athens to Macon)--I went through Bostwick, a tiny town known for cotton and cyclists (this being a favorite scenic route to ride) and guilt/envy already sets in....I should be out riding my bike! (I spend more time on two wheels WITHOUT an engine these days) But it's really hard to carry antiques that way, right?

Bostwick is home to the Cotton Gin Festival the first Saturday in November, and there were trailers full of newly-picked cotton behind the working gin that sits along the road.

Madison has the largest National Historic District in the state, and is a show-stopper with all the incredibly restored homes and the scenic downtown area.....but I crave dereliction, so I press on....

Eatonton and Milledgeville are next on the trail--Eatonton has a rich literary history (think Alice Walker, Joel Chandler Harris, and Andalusia, the home of Flannery O'Connor which is nearby) and Milledgeville used to be the state capitol, so it has some incredible buildings and stately homes.

(wonder what the INSIDE of this upper floor room loooks like!)

Love that classic Southern architecture! (Compared to the huge elegant mansions--this must have been a middle class home?)

While at the Eatonton Antiques Market (I did find a great chippy green table there), I asked the owner if he knew of any interesting "un-restored" historic homes in the area, and he told me about a cool place at the very end of a nearby road, and said, "you'll come to some gate posts, but just drive on in--I don't think any one lives there".

I drove to the gate posts, and was dying to go in....but what if someone DID live there? My curiosity got the best and I drove towards the house.... had an interesting roof-line and what seemed like unusual architecture for this area, but it was a bit hard to see with the overgrown bushes.

As I came closer, I noticed lace curtains in the windows and porch lights on, and decided to beat a hasty retreat---it was too pretty of a day to be shot at!

On a side street, south of Milledgeville was the KING of derelict mansions: an old "summer home" of an early 1900's governor.....

This place had the most incredible iron fencing and posts! and what a cool mansion! It looked empty, but apparantly someone did live here.....barking dogs soon came running out to protect it.

I couldn't get very good pics of the house and grounds, but it was really fabulous!
I'm so glad all these towns, homes, and history along the AT escaped Sherman's burning march to Savannah!

I didn't find much in the way of good pickin's, but I did get to meet some interesting people! (be sure to stop by "Jean's Antiques"-- in a little house just south of the gov's mansion above)

From the cotton fields and pecan groves, to the mountains and (my personal favorite) the coastline----I really heart this state!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Country Living Fair--Atlanta

For the very first Atlanta CL Fair--held at Stone Mountain-- I came with my son and daughter-in-law (veterans of the huge Yellow Daisy Festival held in this same location), and my two adorable punkin's.

It was pretty crowded when we got there, and I couldn't get any pictures of, or even GET INTO, some great booths......but these were the best pics I could shoot---- that didn't include the backside of a bunch of people!

I loved "French Vanilla"'s booth....

...especially the repurposed lighting....

....and I really enjoyed meeting Jeanne of Junxtaposition.....(oops, I guess I did get the backsides of some people)

Below are two of the sweetest girls from the jewelry booth "twist style"...

A unique vendor new to me was "Happy Chair"by Shawna Robinson (former race car driver) shown below in the apron (my daughter-in-law Devon is getting her card for me). She had some really unique, collaged fabric upholstered pieces.

There was Christmas, and Halloween....

(I liked the below banner with the lettering on burlap.....)
....and lots of primitive handmades (deja vu.....this is stuff we did 25 years ago??)

Kayla and I loved the fairy gardens...especially the Halloween one below....
Breaktime!! My son Matt, with Jaden and Kayla found a place to rest a minute.....
I couldn't get near several booths.....especially "Findings" (when you've been a dealer for so many years you're not as patient 'cuz you usually get to see everything before the show starts!) but I really enjoyed the "Earth Angels" booth-----although I didn't take pics 'cuz I felt like they wouldn't appreciate people taking pics of their artwork (even though just about everyone at our show takes pictures of our stuff) , and I was surprised to find that there were a lot of antiques which were reasonably priced....for the most part!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Visiting Jimmy

I love to drive out and visit Jimmy Poss at his row of historic shops along the railroad line in Carlton, GA.....especially when I find pieces like this one with the awesome chippy, green patina!!
I don't get out here as often as I would like to, but when I do, there is always lots of interesting architectural antiques, and tons of cool stuff you just don't see around town.

Jimmy is one of the nicest people ever---you really need to come out and visit him if you are ever in the Athens area.

I never get enough of wandering through the cool stuff he has tucked away in every building....
....and if you don't see what you are looking for, just ask, 'cuz he probably has it around there somewhere.

He kindly opened this old house up next door, and let me wander around.....there are dozens of cool shutters out back, and his wife also has some really neat vintage clothing, hats, books and lots of other stuff to look through.

I loved this interesting old parasol--it seemed to be made out of some sort of paper.

If you get out that way, Jimmy is open Fri, Sat, and Sun from 12-5 and you can reach him at 706-797-3317

From here you can drive South to the little town of Lexington, which has several antiques shops and lots of historic homes. We visited there the other day, and I was really surprised to learn about the history of that area!