Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Georgia Antebellum trail: first stop: Monticello

War monument at the square in Monticello.

Behind it, on the right is the Greek revival courthouse building, made famous by the film "My cousin Vinnie".

I was looking forward to a trip to Georgia's Golden Isles on Mother's Day, but the weather forecast, which suggested it would be unseasonably cold - and rainy - there this week, made us to postpone that trip and do a day trip length part of the Georgia antebellum trail that Sunday.

Southern magnolias burst into bloom in Georgia right now!
Their flowers are as big as sandwich plates and they bloom profusely all summer long. they are also a symbol of the south and a symbol of scenic drives in Georgia.

The antebellum trail runs from Athens to Macon and showcases the best examples of remaining antebellum (here meaning pre 1860 war between the North and the South) architecture in central Georgia.

Bank building in Monticello - another example of Greek revival architecture

General Sherman's scorched earth war strategy resulted in most of Georgia (including the city of Atlanta) being burnt to the ground during that war, but he spared Savannah and some towns in middle Georgia, which made the antebellum trail possible. The monument above is dedicated to the memory of soldiers fighting in the war.

Since it was Mother's Day we decided to go to a traditional Mother's Day brunch after all, but to do it with a twist. We had no reservations, so we did not attempt to have brunch in Social Circle, but chose the next best thing: the Red Clay Cafe and Gallery in Georgia's Monticello: a quaint and very picturesque small town.

We had brunch at Red Clay Galleria and Cafe on the square.

The cafe and galleria are owned by Sandra (in the middle of the picture, above), who - like Monticello (My cousin Vinnie was filmed here), is also known from playing in several films: she played in Fried Green Tomatoes with Jessica Tandy and had a dancing role in Medea's Family Reunion.

The patronage of the Red Clay Cafe is racially diverse, which adds to it ambiance.

Just look at the goergeous smile of the lady in the center and the equally gorgeous red hat with pink and magenta flowers of the lady on the right... all of it against the background of a fabulous wall mural!

I love to watch the contrast between the "Sunday casual" outfits of Americans of European extraction with the elaborate - and usually very stylish - "Sunday finery" of African-Americans. I also love - every now and then, since it is definitively not healthy, but good - traditional southern cooking: grits with red eye gravy, melt in your mouth biscuits, fried chicken, cured ham, okra with tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, fresh peach cobblers - to name just the most famous dishes.

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