Thursday, July 25, 2013

Americus and Plains - Historic Hotel, Habitat Homes and Presidential Peanuts


Downtown Americus has the kind of buildings most towns wish they hadn't demolished. Brick, painted signs, touches of a more gracious time.

Debi photographs displays at the Visitors Center, Photo © by Judy Wells.
Inside the Visitors Center, though, it's as bright and shiny as today. Friendly faces, lively displays and interesting souvenirs join the usual racks of brochures. Good stop; favorite products, FROG and T.O.E. Jam; favorite button: "Bad decisions make good stories".

Lobby of the Windsor Hotel, Photo © by Debi Lander.
Across the street is the elegant old Windsor Hotel. We were running late - what else is new? - but made time to take a look at the spacious lobby, Al Capone's old room, now the bridal suite, with its private stairway and the Rosemary and Thyme restaurant, cool in its white and blue color scheme.

While enjoying lunch at Little Brothers - their pecan muffins are to die for but don't; eat them instead - hotel manager Sharad Patel told more about the hotel.

Global Village - Housing hell and heaven

 Then it was off to Habitat for Humanity's Global Village. 
Start of walk through sub-standard housing, Photo by @ by Debi Lander.

After a brief introduction we headed out into the muggy, mid-afternoon Georgia heat and into examples of how the poor around the world, including the U.S.A., live.

House designed to withstand the earthquakes and hurricanes of Haiti. Photo © by Debi Lander.
That segued into what Habitat for Humanity volunteers build for the lucky needy ones who've put in their sweat equity and can make minimal mortgage payments. Each design is built to accommodate a particular country's culture using as many local products as possible.

House designed for Papua, New Guinea. Photo © by Debi Lander.
Talk about planting a mustard seed. From the idea of one American couple, Linda and Millard Fuller, in 1976, in 80 countries more than 600,000 families have been helped by 200-plus affiliates worldwide.

Most impressive.

Posing again,
Presidential peanuts and more

Driving into Plains you would think peanuts were grown nowhere else in the world.

Main street, Plains. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Of course it doesn't take much driving to get through Plains, a sweet little - emphasis on the little - town of one commercial block, peanut warehouses and some pretty homes. Oh, and the big peanut which we photographed and with which we posed.

Guided by the handsome Park rangers there, we

Trying to look presidential. Don't think we made it.
Toured Pres. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's school from grades 1-11 (that's as far as it went) and tried out the presidential desk.

The Carters' church. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Drove by the "compound," ranger-eeze for where the Carters currently live and visited their church, where the presidential couple take their turns cleaning and mowing.

Carter family farm. Photo ©by Debi Lander.
Stopped in at the family farm where Jimmy grew up.

Flowers and butterflies thrive in Rosalynn's garden, Photo © by Debi Lander.
After admiring Rosalynn's butterfly garden, a new project....

Young Jimmy slept here. Photo © by Debi Lander.
.... We toured the house, sampled the figs and pickling peaches growing in the yard and admired the tennis court and commissary Earl Carter maintained.
Georgia farms, windmills and tennis courts aren't usually seen together. Photo © by Debi Lander.

Then it was back to "downtown" Plains for a taste of the peanut butter soft-serve ice cream created by Bobby Salter at Plain Peanuts. If you want to see how many ways peanuts can be marketed, that is the place to go.
Plain Peanuts is in the old Carter store. Photo © by Debi Lander.

Sated with peanuts and up to the end of our patience with bothersome gnats, we hit the road back to Albany, where it was eat pizza, pack and prepare to get on with our invasion of Georgia.

- Post by Judy Wells


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