Updated on August 30, 2016
Atlanta 2- The Great American Road Trip
One of the things that I like the most about Atlanta is the proximity of other beautiful southern cities. Savannah is not far away, as well as Chattanooga and Charleston. I remember my favorable impression of these cities from our visits years ago. The one that impressed me the most was Charleston. Aunt Margaret and I decided that we would take a weekend trip up to see this lovely city.
Even though we knew that we would be visiting Charleston, we kinda waited until the last minute to make any plans. We got in the car, let the windows down and turned up the music. This was a different experience for Bean who is usually takes turn with me in choosing the songs we want to listen to, the games we will play and if she is able to watch a movie or not. Bean was so tired from the heat of summer and the busyness of our days that she decided to take a nap till we arrived. It always helps for her to hear that if she takes a nap, she will get there quicker.
Once we arrived in Charleston, we headed straight for the water. The visitor’s center was closed so there was no point in going there until the following morning. The tide was coming in and there was a great breeze coming in off of the ocean. Bean and I went across the street so she could climb the cannons and pose for pictures. Aunt Margaret soaked up the view, smell and feel of the water. It was all lovely and just what I remembered.
We headed into town to find hotel rooms and as a result of waiting until the last minute, we had trouble finding one right away. We finally found a room at a hotel. I went inside and there was a line of people waiting for a room. Some people left and the night attendant noticed me. She told me there wasn’t anything. I went outside to break the news to the others. I am so thankful we sat there a minute waiting for an idea because a few minutes later the same woman came outside and said someone had just cancelled a reservation and we could have it if we wanted it! That was exciting. We were able enjoy a great nights sleep in a comfortable bed. That is all we were asking for.
The next morning we stopped by the visitor’s center and noted a few places that we wanted to see, and then we took off walking. If you didn’t believe before that I like to walk, maybe you get the picture by now. I feel that it is one of the best ways to discover a place. Charleston is just too beautiful to spend the day in the car going from place to place. We walked some portions of the downtown historic area, we walked through neighborhoods, we walked along the waterfront, we walked everywhere. When we were tired of walking, we stopped in the park so that Aunt Margaret could soak up the beautiful waterfront views and Bean could play. She had a blast jumping on the cannons and the statues and making up stories. We walked so much that we decided it was necessary to find the free trolley and take it wherever it was going.
We stopped and played at the Charleston Waterfront Park while we waited for the trolley to arrive. Once it did, it was a race to get on. Everyone seemed to have the same idea and one group was huge. Thankfully there was enough room for us all. We road around the city, past the Straw Market, the downtown shops, over by the visitor’s center and back to the water park area where we originally got on the trolley. We were starving! I mean, this was a hunger so big that the only thing on our mind was getting off of the trolley and getting food immediately. As we went around the city earlier, we noticed a quiet, clean-looking building that served Mediterranean food. It was right within a few feet of the trolley stop and with visions of baba ganoush, falafel and tziki the only thing on our minds, we practically ran down the street, oblivious to anything but getting to the restaurant.
Aunt Margaret got to the hostess before me, I was looking around in bewilderment because this unassuming place was blaring pop music at full blast. Where we at the right place? I tried to open the door to the building, but this was indeed the entrance. The hostess asked if we would like a place in the front or the back. In puzzlement, Thinking we would get away from the blaring music, I mouthed ‘the back please’. She didn’t ask any questions and led us the back of the restaurant. Little did we know, we were in for an even bigger shock. There was a big fountain in the back, a wet and wild bikini hoola hoop contest, and a bachelor party taking place in the back…and the music was still outrageously loud because they had a live DJ.
Once we got seated, the waitress came over an asked if we would like to have cocktails and a hookah. Huh? What was this place? We were starving, we just wanted some food. What happened? Bean was getting an eyeful. She was really checking out the models in their bikinis and their speedos. Inside I was mortified, but outside I acted as if I was the single parent who brought her six-year-old to places like this all the time. There was a couple at the next table and they mentioned how they were also surprised with the atmosphere. They came out for a bike ride and just wanted a bite to eat before going too far to find food. They came too far to turn around by the time they made it inside the restaurant.
We finally placed our order and asked the waitress what was going on. She told us that every Sunday they had a hoola hoop contest along with the hookahs and drinks. It was Tabbuli’s version of a Sunday brunch. I swear, I did not see anything advertising that on the signage on our way into the place. We got our food and it was pretty good. I stopped worrying about what my child was learning when she bent over and whispered into my ear “Mom, don’t tell Aunt Margaret, but I like the naked people”. Whew, she was taking it all with a grain of salt and seeing the humor of the situation. It was definitely one of those times when you know you will laugh later on.
When we left Tabbuli’s we walked back up the street in the direction of the straw market. Imagine our amazement to see that we had passed many restaurants on our way to the Mediterranean joint. We truly had a single-minded focus getting off of the trolley: food!
The rest of our visit to Charleston passed with nothing of particular note. We did more tourist things like visit the Straw Market, local shops and museums. Getting back to the Atlanta area, Bean and I made sure to go to a few more community events like the French bakery and café to eat quiche and tarts, one dollar movie day to see Annie,
the local ice cream and candy shop, and the historic houses in Roswell. I would rate them in order of what was our favorite, but for Bean, it was all her favorite. She even loved going into the attic at the Bulloch House, the former home of Theodore Roosevelt’s mother.
Our time spent in Atlanta with Aunt Margaret was truly special and the hospitality that she showed us, we will treasure forever. Early on Monday morning, before the traffic truly began, we got in the car to visit our family one state over, Alabama.
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