On Friday afternoon, we flew from Syracuse to Charlotte, NC, picked up a rental car, and drove to Atlanta, arriving just in time for a party at the Spruill Gallery north of the city, where Michael is having a highly successful show of truly gorgeous photographs. On Saturday morning, we joined Deb and Judy for a wonderful breakfast with superb coffee here. Later on Saturday, Deb organized a field trip for the aunties to a knitting store. (She is angling for the Social Director For Life Fish Hat, and she just might get it.) We found a highly appropriate spot for a picture:
During the afternoon, Uncle Rob and Uncle Art took a Segway tour of Atlanta. They loved it, and in spite of recent alarming Segway-related news, I'm sorry I missed it. The wedding started at 10:30 that night, with the ceremony shortly after midnight. Here are a few shots taken by Aunt Judy (I forgot my camera . . . )
(The cupcakes were exceptionally delicious.) Here's Alyson in the pretty dress and half-veil she wore for the first part of the party:
She changed to a lovely full-length gown for the wedding ceremony.
This is her dad:
and this is the Big Moment:
In case you wish you could see it all, here's a time-lapse of the whole evening. Don't overlook Aunt Judy in her gorgeous, perfectly-fitted pumpkin-colored raw silk (or some other utterly elegant fabric). See her there at the back, eclipsing Uncle Don? And that's Alyson's bouquet on the table in the foreground. As you can see, there was an autumnal color theme.
the W hotel in Atlanta, which was . . . different. To say the least. Quite modern, rather like sleeping in a nightclub, but . . . not exactly wholesome, somehow. Here's a sentence from a follow-up email sent to Deb: "We hope W delivered a sensory multiplex that allowed your guests to flirt with their emotional desires." Um. Well. Maybe. Here's a picture of a sensory multiplex room something like ours -- but ours was darker:
We had a floor lamp just like that, and I liked it - it cast entertaining squiggly spiral shadows all over the room. The bed was remarkably comfy, too. But the shower -- oh, the shower. I should have taken a picture, so you would believe me. It was bigger than the bed, smack in the middle of the room, crowding everything else off to the sides, with a clear glass wall on the side facing the bed, and a glass wall beside a great big walk-in opening in the other side with no door or curtain -- fully exposed to the door to the hall. Yikes! It was definitely interesting.
On Sunday, after the wedding, Dad and I drove into the Blue Ridge Mountains, through north Georgia to Duckworth, Tennessee (birthplace of kudzu, at least as far as the South is concerned, as I learned after we left) and then back east into North Carolina and another appropriate location:
We took Murphy Road (NC Route 64) to Franklin, NC, where we spent the night in a lovely Hampton Inn with this view from the window (and, thank goodness, with a shower curtain):
The next morning, we set out on what I intended to be an exploration of North Carolina's "Waterfall Byway." The day and the scenery were gorgeous.
However, I paid insufficient attention to the difference between "Route 64" and "Truck Route 64," resulting in a wrong turn that used up an hour of our trip, but did lead us to this lovely spot along a little winding mountain road leading back to where we meant to be:
As for waterfalls, my wrong turn kept us from seeing Bridal Veil Falls or Dry Falls. Once we found our way back to Route 64, we didn't see Whitewater Falls because it would have taken us 18 miles out of our way, we didn't see Rainbow Falls because it would have involved a trail hike we didn't have time for, and we didn't see Toxaway Falls, even though we were right on top of it, because a brand new highway bridge makes the cascade inaccessible and invisible. After that, we didn't see Looking Glass Falls because all the parking places at the overlook were full, and we didn't see Sliding Rock Falls when we drove right past it because I didn't know it was there. All in all, I think we managed to miss seeing quite an impressive list of waterfalls in just one day -- don't you?
We did, however, find our way onto the Blue Ridge Parkway as it wends its way through North Carolina, and it was spectacular beyond words.
After leaving the Parkway, we drove east across NC back to Charlotte, returned the car, flew back to Syracuse while thunderstorms made booming, flashing fireworks over D.C., Philadelphia, and New York to our east, landed around midnight, drove home through the upstate NY country darkness, and tried to get up on Tuesday morning and go back to regular life as though nothing had happened. When's the next time we can go someplace??