I love to host. Oh my goodness, do I love to host. Be it a party, a weekend guest, a foreign exchange student for a year – it doesn’t matter! I live for this stuff.
I recently had the honor of hosting two people who happen to mean the world to me…
Yet we had never met! Crazy, right?
Remember waaaaay back when, back when I used to write on the other Destination Unknown (on Blogger,) and had these Bloggy Besties that would always comment? Yep, two of those people actually made the trek from the suburbs of Chicago to little old South Georgia to spend a few days with me.
Guys – it was awesome! The best part? They are blogging about their trip over the next few weeks! I would love for you to read about it, it is a several part series, but start : HERE. Then, when you finish Leanne’s story, head on over to Peggy’s story HERE.
To say we had a wonderful time would be an absolute understatement. Their visit was everything I had hoped it would be. Leanne is exactly the way Leanne writes: warm, thoughtful, funny, and just radiates love and light. Even when dealing with such tremendous loss. And then Peggy is exactly the way I imagined her: quiet, smart, kind, with a hint of snark which is exactly the way I like my friends to be! We had a really, really wonderful visit and I am so glad I got to show off Georgia’s Sumter County to two really awesome people.
I put them up for 2 nights at the Plains Historic Inn and 2 nights at the Bestwestern Windsor Hotel.
We did just about everything you could imagine. We visited:
- Jimmy Carter National Historic Site: Plains High School, Campaign Headquarters, & Boyhood Farm
- Billy Carter Service Station
- Our family cabin on the timber farm
- Richland Rum
- Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village & Discovery Center
- Wolf Creek Plantation
- Koinonia Farm
- Americus Haunted History Tour
- Had a latte art class at the Cafe Campesino Roastery
- Had a glassblowing class at Mobile Glassblowing Studios
I took the ladies to a few fun places to eat locally:
- Buffalo Cafe in Plains
- 1800 Mexican Restaurant in Americus
- Gladys’ in Americus
- Koinonia Farm in Americus
- Pat’s Place in Americus
- Cafe Campesino in Americus/Sweet Georgia Baking Company
- Rosemary & Thyme in the Windsor Hotel
Not too soon after Leanne & Peggy returned home, we ended up having a grand time at the 3rd Annual Hot Glass Craft Beer Festival in Americus.
About a week or so later, I took off for the Golden Isles for the Regional Visitor Information Center Conference. If you can remember, I won that big award there last year! This year, I got the opportunity to present during one of the sessions.
My administrative assistant, tourism assistant, our Main Street Director, and my hubby headed down on a Tuesday. I opted to rent an Airbnb to save a few dollars on our budget. Tim was simply going to chill on the beach and do whatever while the rest of us toiled away in a conference.
I look toiled don’t I?
On the first night, Tim, Qaijuan, Carter and I met our other tourism friends at The Wharf on Jekyll Island for a Dolphin/Sunset Cruise.
Besides sitting in classes, drinking copious amounts of boat drinks, and networking all night – we got to choose FAM Tours. (Stands for familiarization tours.) I chose to go on an actual shrimp boat.
Yeah, baby! I held a shrimp!
Folks – my life is good and full. I do have some really awesome friends – in Chicago, in Birmingham, in Statesboro, in Macon, in Atlanta, Bangkok, Milan, Iraq, Sao Paulo, and so many other places in between. It’s not like I don’t have a tribe. I do. They just live elsewhere.
This past weekend was super awesome. Again… I left town, but it was worth it. Tim’s best friend since the beginning of time is Tag. Tag decided to throw a Cinco de Mayo party on the fourth… so I guess it was a Quattro de Mayo party mixed in with a few Kentucky Derby hijinks.
Three margaritas, 4 shots of tequila, and 6 hours later I can officially say that my laugh tank is full. It was so refreshing to be around people our age, people with our basic sense of humor, and people who are sort of… well.. been there done that.
We watched the Kentucky Derby. You know, all 20 seconds of it and then sat through the controversy of whether a horse shoved another horse in the wrong direction.
We listened to good Classic Rock and 90s Grunge and I got to hum along as guys who actually know how to play guitars and can sing decided to belt a few familiar tunes out.
And the laughter…. oh the laughter. All. Night. Long. It was refreshing and good. All of us have pretty much remarried and found happiness. We all were sharing war stories and next chapter stories. Every one had kids either out of high school or in and we were all rejoicing in how soon – FREEDOM is around the corner!
At the end of the day- 2019 is shaping up nicely. I’ve formed a new life and as I approach 3 years down here, I realize I probably would not change a single thing!