Last week Dad and I boarded a plane to Georgia with a few simple goals in mind.
First the bikes. These are never on the official to-do list. But they’re also never officially off of them. Bikes are my happy place, and I guess I inherited that from dear old Dad. There’s really not a town/city/river we see that doesn’t sound more fun to explore by bike. Twelve years ago we took this same trip to see the same friends, except we went by road instead of air. Dad and I loaded up my Toyota Tacoma (may she rest in peace) with, that’s right, our bicycles. We cycled in every state between California and Georgia. And let me be clear: we are not cyclists. We are just two kids who like to ride bikes and feel the wind in our hair. So, on this trip we made good on that at Tybee Island and in Atlanta. Travel tip: ride Tybee Island at low tide. Especially sunrise.
And check out Atlanta’s Beltline – a fun student project that is replacing old railway tracks with a paved walkway/bikeway for connecting urban neighborhoods undergoing renewal. Think NY highline. Except in Atlanta. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Now for the boys. On that roadtrip of yester-year, we had lots of talks about boys. Well, a boy. See, there was this one boy that loved me and I wasn’t sure whether I loved him back. Now, neither of us knew that. No one had said “the L word”. We hadn’t even really dated. But Dad knew. And Dad prodded. And Dad helped me see. He was right about it all. I just celebrated my ten-year anniversary with the boy we talked about on that trip.
On this trip, another boy was ever close to our minds and hearts. Our framily (friends that are really family) had tragedy strike their story in December,when their vibrant twenty-two year old son/brother was struck and killed while crossing a crosswalk one foggy night. Our heads and hearts still can’t wrap around the idea that Andrew is no longer here. That his smile has faded from this world all the while undoubtedly brilliant in the next.
And the ballads. Oh the ballads. I don’t think there’s much better than a southern rain storm ala guitar music. I grew up on Eric Clapton, Kenny Rogers, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Both Dad and our friend, Bill, have voices that are as soothing as the water coming down, and deep enough to match the thunder rolls. My favorite night of this trip was out in Savannah overlooking the marshes. Also, screened-in-porches are quite possibly the best thing ever. A gentle thunder storm graced the horizon as the evening turned to night. Guitar music filled the air as Dad and Bill took turns strumming through their memories. We bounced from hymn to rock-song to ballad and back again. Singing lines and humming verses where we could. Our hosts were generous with the red wine and the frogs and crickets were generous with their harmonies. It was one for the books.
Georgia, you charmed us with your true southern hospitality. Thanks for the memories, both old and new.