Sunday, November 26, 2017

11-25-17  North to Dahlonega for a Hicks's photoshoot and lights at town square:

Heading north to Dahlonega to see the Christmas lights and take  family and couples' pictures of the Hicks's.
Lake Lanier along our way.
 another rural scene
 We didn't know where we were going to photos, but Ben happened to find a waterfall on his phone that was close by---so we went to check it out.  Turned out to be a great place for photos!!! 
Even before we got to the waterfall there were perfect settings!
 Carol and Darrel's 50 anniversary is coming up and they wanted pictures of just them to go on an invitation with their wedding photo.
 so I took several.
 Also got some of the whole group.  We were only able to get to the top of the falls, but that still made for interesting photos.
 I'm glad Angie and Josh wanted some of just them, too. 
 Carol wanted one of just Ben, too, for a present for his girlfriend.
 another of my beautiful daughter and son-in-law.
 Then we headed back a couple miles into the town square of Dahlonega.  It was surprisingly crowded---at least it was surprising to me!  It wasn't anything more spectacular then I'd expect for a small town square lighting, but it sure had the crowds.  We drove around awhile before we found a parking spot.  Then we checked in to a couple restaurants to try and get dinner.  The waits were over 30 minutes, so we gave them our name and walked around the square.
 It was a nice night for a walk---upper 50s?
 I suppose this is a giving tree?
 sign about the "village"
 Ok, it was pretty---but we were hungry and getting crabby.
 there were even horse drawn carriage going around the center.
 heading on around.
 in the center is a gold museum.
 apparently there has been gold found in these mountains and streams
 There are also a lot of antique stores in the town center.

 As we were getting around the where Santa was set up, we saw him walking away. 
We still didn't have a call for dinner, so we headed back to the car and back towards home.  After a little discussion on where we should go, Josh suggested Universal Joint in Lawrenceville.  Sounded good to everyone, so we headed there.  Even called Ken to see if he wanted to join us---he was back at the kids' house watching the dogs.  Dinner was great, even though we had to sit at 2 different tables.  We sent the kids to their own table and us mature adults sat at another one.  Dinner was great.  I had the grilled chicken salad with lemon vinegrette which was exceptional.   I think everyone else had burgers---which are also exceptional.  Great way to end a great day!

Friday, November 24, 2017

11-24-17  Thanksgiving day after:

Thanksgiving was actually yesterday, but with relatives on the road trying to get here, we planned to celebrate today instead.  Ken and I did go and spend the day at Angie and Josh's on the 23rd, but it was a different kind of Thanksgiving.  We had BLTs for lunch and white chili for dinner.
When we got back to the apartment, I prepped the Thanksgiving turkey and threw it in the oven before heading to bed. 
This morning, I waited for the turkey to finish cooking, then prepped the dressing, made gravy, and carved the turkey.  About 12:30, we left for the kids' house.
Angie was still preparing some of the foods.  She also had the table set already.  While the guys watched some football, the gals continued to get everything made.
 Takes a bit of doing to try and get everything warmed up at the same time---thus the reason for me making turkey, gravy and dressing.  Around 1:30 we were ready to dig in. 
 Definately some good eating here!
 Ben and his new little brother, Winston.
After stuffing ourselves silly and watching more football, it was time to play some games.  Started out with our new obsession---Mexican Train Dominoes.
Moved on to Apples to Apples a little later.
About 11 hours later, we bid them farewell and headed home.
It was another fantastic visit --- which I'm truly Thankful for!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11-21-17  Atl. Botanical Garden-Gainesville:

Ken surprised me today with suggesting we go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville.  I, of course, said yes, so off we went to the gardens.  Didn't really expect to find much there this time of year, but I was a little surprised.
First--with a couple cute little lego creations.  I learned me lesson last time when I picked one up and it fell and shattered, so this time I kept my hands off.  Afterall, Angie wasn't there to put it back together again.
Didn't touch the 2nd one, either.
into the garden.  Love the softness of the grass this time of year.
There were still some flowers. 
and lots of dried blooms.
I was surprised how much color was still here.
Many of the trees have lost their leaves now, but there were still some colorful ones here and there.
The pansies were still looking good.  Gardeners were even out planting bulbs---I believe they were tulip bulbs.
Had to check out the train town.
We were pleasantly surprised to see it was decorated for the holidays.

more pretty little flowers.
this guy flew over.  I pressume it's a turkey vulture, but I've never seen one before with one white wing and one black wing.
checking out the little stream in the garden
heading back up the path
interesting plants in the woods
more of the dried blooms off in the distance
another type of dried bloom.
another current bloom.
another another.
there were actually quite a few leaves left on some of the trees.

another view of the little stream.

lots of interesting leafy plants

leaves being cradled by the wispy grass topping.
don't know what these berries are, but they added some nice color.
more interesting leaves.
and some more flowers.
guess the bees were taking advantage of the few flowers still blooming.
almost back to the back of the entrance.
sitting on the swinging bench enjoying the views.
I was actually surprised at how many leaves were still on the trees here.
This downy woodpecker even came over to join us.
just another view of all the colorful leaves still in the trees.

Ken noticed one of these woody towers had fallen.  Originally there were 5 of them.  Now they're down to 2.  Sad to see them deteriorating and falling down.
This little guy came and joined me here.
Looks like he's ready for winter.
one last picture of flowers as we were driving away.
It was another beautiful 65 degree day.  Perfect for wandering around the gardens.  Turned out to be even nicer then I expected.