Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Don't All Vacations End In A Cemetery?

Georgia Aquarium
We visited Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend and fell in love with the city, the people, the soulful flavor and sacred history of the south. 

Atlanta Zoo

We explored all the touristy places. Banqueted on local cuisine. Some of us read while others frolicked in the pool. It was both exhilarating and relaxing. Pretty much perfection.

 Of course I brought library books:
Creating Room To Read (John Wood = my newest hero)
 
But nothing could have prepared me for the Oakland Cemetery. I had read about it in the tourist guide you find next to the hotel room phone. It was  conveniently located two blocks from the zoo, so convincing hubby we couldn't miss this sacred ground only required a beer and appetizer of calamari at lunch.

The Oakland Cemetery

Consulting the visitor center map we made a game of finding the Lion Of Atlanta statue. He stands guard over almost 3000 unknown confederate soldiers. I'll skip the part of navigating the map upside-down, consequently searching in the opposite direction for the better part of an hour until youngest son had a V8 moment. John took me by the hand and led me to the most heart-wrenching statue I've ever laid eyes on. I sat on the bench and wept. Leave me here, I told the family. Persuading me to depart only required a Haagen Daz Coffee Almond Crunch bar, but it's the first place I'll want to visit if we are lucky enough to go back to Atlanta.

 As Pat Conroy once stated, this is The Iliad with a southern accent.

I should mention that Margaret Mitchell is also buried in this historic cemetery, which prompted a date this weekend with Arielle to watch Gone With The Wind, and for me a re-reading of the timeless classic. A dear girlfriend also recommended this and this.

Had a vacation end in an beautifully unexpected location? Please share.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.