Citrus Springs to Gainesville, GA
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Sunny to overcast, low 70s

Bidding a Solemn Farewell Family-Style with Ellie, Elyssa, Michele and Nat

After a wonderful visit with Nat & Michele & family, we were on the road by 8:40 this morning. It was to be another longish drive, 450 miles this time. The final few miles were near the town of Gainesville, about 50 miles north of Atlanta. Gainesville is built around Lake Lanier, an impoundment of the Chattahoochee River. Our destination was set in the hilly developments that surround the lake. Our route took us right by Clark's Bridge Park, site of the 1996 Olympic rowing venue. The area is beautiful!

We arrived at the home of Bill's Penn State roommate, Ron, around 4:00. Bill hadn't seen Ron for years and had only met his wife, Betty, once during a short visit to Lancaster. As always, with long-time, good friends, the years melted away in a few short minutes and we talked the evening away.

Conversation was accompanied by a dinner of excellent hot soup and salad.

Gainesville, GA
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Sunny & gorgeous, 70

Ron and Betty both play the French horn. In fact, the horns were the basis for their becoming reacquainted and eventually marrying after having been high school classmates. In any event, they both play with several musical groups including an ensemble that was to perform at Lakewood Baptist Church this morning. There was no way we would miss that kind of performance so to church we went. The music was grand and the Baptist service was even inspiring for two old-style Methodists.

Musicians and Wannabe Musicians Clowning Around

We had lunch at Pueblos Mexican Restaurant; recommended!

Then it was off to Gold Rush Days in nearby Dahlonega. As I'm sure our readers already knew that in 1828, Dahlonega was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States. Therefore it is home to the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Did I mention that the Appalachian Trail starts at nearby Springer Mountain? And, of course, The University of North Georgia is located in town, one of six Senior Military Colleges in the US. Student/cadets were very much in evidence as they guided us to parking spaces for the Gold Rush Days festival. The festival was fine, as festivals go, with lots of food stands, which we certainly didn't need and craft stands, for which we had no room to carry. But it was still an enjoyable way to spend a glorious October afternoon!

Young Picker Gets Pointers from Dad During Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega

After our hearty lunch we decided that we'd best simply snack instead of eating a "real" dinner.

Gainesville to Raleigh, NC
Monday, October 21, 2013
Mid 30s and overcast early, warming later

Headed for Raleigh, it would be another longish day so we sadly said goodbye to Ron and Betty and hit the road about 9:15.

We arrived at Bill's niece, Jade's, home about 5:45. Jade, husband Nigel and kids Immy & Ollie, ages 6 & 3½, and pug dog, Hammy, live in a nice neighborhood near a corner that is almost like a cul-de-sac. It's a great place with lots of young families where kids can even play in the street.

We set our camper up on the street where we planned to spend the night. The camper always attracts attention but the kids, especially, loved it. Soon there were several inside exploring our tiny, 80 square-foot home and bouncing on the bed.

Another Solemn Family Portrait with Jade, Ollie, Immy and Nigel

Unfortunately, our visit would only be for the evening. Happily, it was a really good visit. We had a dinner of roasted chicken, salad & cold veggies. Then, kids got all the attention until bed time. We got to spend the latter part of the evening with Jade and Nigel. While we see them over holidays, it was good to see them in their home. And, unlike the holidays, we actually had time for pleasant conversation!