|Ray Charles Plaza, Albany. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Children playing in the pop-up fountain. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
Albany couldn't come soon enough and when it did it was a breath of fresh air. Parents and children walking and biking along the Flint River, stopping to watch the bronze homage to Albany native Ray Charles pivot slowly around around its plaza as his recorded music played in the background. A few heading into the air-conditioned bliss of the Flint Riverquarium and a downtown deep in renewal.
Our canoe trip down the Flint has been cancelled - the river is too high and fast - as was our jaunt out to Radium Springs, one of Georgia's seven wonders, for the same reason: Too much rain.
Never mind. What we saw was in a very bearable high 80 degrees without the usual mid-summer mugginess. A fair trade in anyone's book, as we told our hosts with Visit Albany.
|"The Pond," Flint Riverquarium. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Judy watches fish in the "blue hole." Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Gulf toadfish. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
|Fried chicken, squash casserole, collards and peach cobbler at Carter's. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Miss Lucy Phelps and her squash casserole. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Eland. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Zebra. Photo © Debi Lander.|
|Sam Houston, a black rhino. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Meercat on watch. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
A quick swing through a science museum and its planetarium and it was off to Merry Acres Inn, a true full-service motor inn, with a genial pub, breakfast room, a shuttle that takes you to locally-owned area restaurants (the Good
|Grouper at Catch. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
Judy, who lived in Albany from 1st through 3rd grades, also learned that you can go home again. Most of it will have been replaced, but some remnants will still be recognizable. Memories you didn't know you had will start flooding back and coincidences pop up like tree frogs after a rain.
Recognizing that Merry Acres
1) stood atop what had once been a plantation with the horse stable that
2) had been turned into apartments in the post-World War II housing crunch that
3) had been her family's first home in Albany and is today owned by
4) the nephew of one of her family's good friends and his sons
left a maximum of one-degree of separation between past and present.
Well worth a tedious trek on an interstate lined with boring and unsightly billboards.
The Good Girls in the Badlands invasion of Georgia has begun. Join us for the rest of the ride. We'll try not to burn anything down.
- Post by Judy Wells