A March 2003 trip
to Atlanta by DAB JJB
Quote: Our first visit to the Atlanta area was accompanied by the couple who introduced us on our blind date over 40 years ago.
Outside each bedroom's sliding glass doors was a screened-in porch which would have been used much more except for the chilly temperatures in early April. There was also a surprise loft with twin beds at the top of the circular staircase. Each bedroom had its own TV and there were three phones in the unit.
The staff was very helpful as well, except for the problem with the dishwasher which evidently "died" upon our arrival. Upon arriving home Friday evening just before our departure the next morning, we found a huge box on our front porch with a new dishwasher obviously to be installed after we cleared out Saturday morning.
Another evening later in the week we drove over to the Maple Street Mansion and enjoyed a pleasant meal in a wonderful setting. This was an old home that has been converted to a restaurant. It is furnished and decorated in a Victorian style.
Friday was our 39th wedding anniversary, and we celebrated in Douglasville at Max and Roscoe's, a very fine dining restaurant with a good Italian selection as well as steaks and seafood.
However, the place to which we went most often was the WalMart Plaza off of Hwy. 61. It seems we were always in need of a few things and it was so convenient to stop in there on our way back home. We happened upon a wonderful Mexican restaurant in the plaza our first night in town as we intended to stock up on groceries for breakfast and some picnic lunches for our week. Again, the portions at the Mexican restaurant were plentiful, flavorful, and very reasonably priced.
Hotel | "Fairfield Plantation"
We were only 45 minutes from Atlanta and traveled into the big city three times in the week we were there.Best Things About the Resort:We were pleasantly surprised to find the loft area of this unit at the top of a spiral staircase.
The open-air feel provided by the generous windows was wonderful.
A screened in porch was right outside sliding glass doors from each of the main floor bedrooms.
Four TV's were available though we didn't make use of all of them. We were also able to plug our digital movie camera into the TV and watch the video we recorded each day.Resort Experience:Our unit at Fairfield Plantation had just been refurbished - we were only the second occupants. We were very impressed with the accommodations.
The window treatments were unusual allowing for about 180 degree visibility out onto the community lake. The white vinyl blinds opened in the usual way, but also swung open like French Doors or slid like sliding glass doors. Outside each bedroom's sliding glass doors there was a screened in porch which would have been used much more except for the chilly temperatures in early April.
The staff was very helpful as well except for the problem with the dishwasher which evidently "died" upon our arrival. Upon arriving home Friday evening just before our departure the next morning, we found a huge box on our front porch with a new dishwasher obviously to be installed after we cleared out Saturday morning.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 14, 2003
Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Plantation
1602 Lakeview Parkway
Villa Rica, Georgia 30180
Metropolitan Frontiers - 1835-2000 show displays that range from Indian settlements and the railroads through the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement up to and through the 1996 Olympic Games.
There is a permanent display devoted to the American Civil War delving into the causes of the devastating war in which more than 670,000 died. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive exhibitions about one of the most important events in our country. Poignant photos and personal stories show how the war impacted those who experienced it.
Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South is an exhibit focusing on the influence of the music we sing, the stories we share, and the tools and furnishings we use. Sound enclosures create listening environments for visitors to experience folk storytelling, singing, and instrumental music. There are also examples of quilting, woodwork, basketry, weaving, and every pottery.
The story of golf legend Bobby Jones and his trip to the rolling green fairways of Augusta National and the Master is told. This display traces Georgia's story of golf from course development and tournament play to women in the game and the integration of public courses.
There is currently an exhibit of nearly 100 works from cartoonist Jack Davis' work. He has done album covers, animated commercials, and book jackets along with MAD Magazine characters and 36 Time Magazine covers plus much more. A 30-minute video also sheds light on his career and the work he loves.
We also visited the Historic Homes and Gardens on this property. The Swan House is an elegant classically styled mansion named for the swan motif found throughout the building. The house is currently undergoing renovation but the tour tells about the Inman family, the servants and their activities, the lifestyles of the 1920s and 1930s, and the styles present in the house and gardens.
The Tullie Smith Farm is another sight available for touring. It is a plantation-plain house built in the 1840s by the Robert Smith family. Originally located east of Atlanta outside the city limits, the house survived the near-total destruction of Atlanta in 1864. Contrary to popular belief, yeoman farm were more commonplace than the large plantations many people associate with the Deep South. The farm comples serves as tangible evidence of the rural past in a metropolitan area. The house is surrounded by a separate kitchen, blacksmith shop, smokehouse, double corncrib, pioneer log cabin, and barn. Costumed interpreters perform everyday activities typical of nineteenth-centry rural Georgia such as open-hearth cooking, animal care, blacksmithing, basket weaving, candle making, yarn spinning, weaving, and other craft demonstrations.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 23, 2003
Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
+1 404 814 4000
Attraction | "Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum"
We enjoyed the interesting narrative about the ensuing July 22 battle as sections were spotlighted and the platform on which we were seated revolved ever so slowly around it the full 360 degrees. This must have been the best available type of depiction of stories prior to movies of the 20th century.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 21, 2003
Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum
800 Cherokee Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia 30315
Look closely at the museum floors; embedded there are ancient fossil remains from the late Jurassic period.
There are several other permanent exhibitions, including A Walk Through Time in Georgia which tells the story of the earth's development through time and the chronology of life upon it. Eighteen galleries re-create landform regions from the rolling pine-forested foothills of the Piedmont Plateau to the mossy Okefenokee Swamp, from the Cumberland Plateau (where you can walk through a typical "limestone cavern") to the marshy Coast and Barrier Islands. Exhibits are enhanced by creative films and videos, informational audiophones, interactive computers and sound effects. Visitors travel back 15 billion years--to experience the origins of the universe (the Big Bang) and the formation of galaxies and solar systems.
The "Sensing Nature" exhibit tantalizes each of your senses with hands-on opportunities that explore how we experience the natural world. The room bristles with computers, colored lights, and mirrors, and you can step into a life-size kaleidoscope, play with perspective, gaze into infinity, see physical evidence of sound waves, and mix colors on a computer.
Lunch was very pleasant in the restaurant with arched windows overlooking Fernbank Forest where we enjoyed live piano music. There is also outdoor patio seating for warmer days.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 21, 2003
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
767 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
+1 404.929.6300; +1
Attraction | "Georgia's Stone Mountain Park"
A monolithic gray granite outcropping (the world's largest) carved with a massive monument to the Confederacy, Stone Mountain is a distinctive landmark on Atlanta's horizon and the focal point of its major recreation area. It's Georgia's number-one tourist Mecca and one of the 10 most visited paid attractions in the United States.
You can ride the Skylift to the top, where you have an incredible view of Atlanta and the Appalachian Mountains. Visitors who are part mountain goat can take a walking trail down its moss-covered slopes, especially lovely in spring when they're blanketed in wildflowers.
Our first stop was the Discovering Stone Mountain Museum to get some perspective on the mountain's history. Exhibits take you through an intriguing chronological journey from the area's past into its present.
The Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, an open-air train that chugs around the 5-mile base of Stone Mountain takes about 40 minutes. Trains depart from Railroad Depot, an old-fashioned train station.
We then stopped in to see the 4-D movie "Tall Tales" where frogs and snakes and bees and bats were right in our face and it felt like the frogs were jumping around our legs. A skunk even sprayed us with its perfume.
The Scarlett O'Hara, a paddlewheel riverboat, cruises the 363-acre Stone Mountain Lake.
The Antique Car and Treasure Museum is a jumble of old radios, jukeboxes, working nickelodeons, pianos, Lionel trains, carousel horses, and clocks along with classic cars.
The 19-building Antebellum Plantation offers self-guided tours assisted by hosts in period dress at each structure. Highlights include the 1790s Thornton House, elegant home of a large landowner; the smokehouse and well; a doctor's office; a barn, a coach house, and crop-storage cribs; a necessary and a cook house. The grounds also contain formal gardens and a kitchen garden. It takes at least an hour to tour the entire complex.
A drive on Robert E. Lee Drive found the quaint gristmill in a lovely natural setting of blooming trees and flowers. We parked to walk around the area and take some photos.
It's an easy drive (about 30 min.) from downtown Atlanta.
Stone Mountain Park
Highway 78 E
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30086
Attraction | "Etowah Mounds"
The village was located next to the Etowah River where some fish traps are still in place. Signs describe how the traps worked to provide large amounts of fish for the villagers.
Along the riverside are heavy platform swings and benches for a restful stop after exploring the mounds.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2003
Etowah Indian Mounds
813 Indian Mound Road Se
Cartersville, Georgia 30120
St. Louis, Missouri