We returned about a little over a week ago from a trip to the south - in some ways it was a trip back home. We flew to New Orleans and did some of the standard tourist stuff (swamp and plantation tours, Friday night walk down Bourbon Street, listening to some fantastic jazz and blues).
Then we drove to Memphis (Graceland, the Lorain Motel and the Civil Rights Museum, Staxx Records and Sun Records, Beals Street, and the Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS). Ate BBQ at Central BBQ - OK but not impressive.
Next stop - Nashville. Went to the Opry and toured the Country Music Hall of Fame.
My son sneaked into the Ryman Auditorium and got a few pix. Went out to the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home.
Nashville involved a little bit of 'time travel'. We drove out to Trevecca. My parents were Deans of Students there in the early 50's. We had an apartment in the old McKay Hall (women's dorm now replaced by another building). I had gone to the old Trevecca Demonstration school (a one-room school house presided over by Mrs. Spruill where we gave student teachers an opportunity to decide whether or not they really wanted to go into teaching). Of course that building (and the school) was long-gone. It had been 60+ years since I'd been on the campus.
Drove down through the western Cumberlands to Chattanooga (sp?) and on to Atlanta. Even though I'd lived in East Point (a southern suburb of Atlanta) as a child I'd never gone to Stone Mountain. Talk about one heck of a big rock. Rode the tram to the top - quite a view. The north face of the mountain contains the huge carving of the Confederate leaders - Davis, Lee, and Jackson. Gutzom Borglum, who carved the figures on Mt. Rushmore, had started the Stone Mtn. carving, had a falling-out with the owners of the site, and departed for SD.
In Atlanta we visited the World of Coke - Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola. Fascinating history exhibits. The invisible 3 ton elephant in the room was the lack of any mention, whatsoever, of 'New Coke'. It was like it had never existed. Went to the Varsity Drive-In near Georgia Tech - featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
We were flying back to Californa late Saturday afternoon - in the morning we drove down to McDonough to the rural Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, the church of my mother's baptism and childhood. Methodists have been worshipping there for about 160 years.
The current church is in the 4th building on that site. Like many churches in that area, there is a cemetery across the road. My maternal grandparents (along with more cousins than I could keep count of) are buried there.
On a previous trip a few years ago I was talking to the president of the county historical society. When I mentioned Mt. Carmel Methodist she laughed and said she was kin to just about everybody in that church - on both sides of the road. After some conversation it turned out that she and I were cousins of some indeterminable degree. Time travel.
Glad to be back home. Tourism (and time-travel) can really wear you out.