Athens, Georgia

Will’s porch at night, Athens, GA.

We spent the weekend in Athens, GA. – home of REM and the B-52s and more recently, the Elephant 6 bands. Also home of Will, Sergio’s friend from San Francisco who issued an invite to his birthday hootenany. Given we now live 6 hours drive away, rather than 6 days, and also given that we are desperate for friendly, creative human company, we made the drive. Our slightly elderly car is refusing to provide AC when the weather gets too hot – paradoxically, hot weather is exactly when we need AC. I think our little Pacific NW Outback is having a hard time adjusting to hot and humid, which August has brought in force. So a very warm drive brought us to Athens, which turned out to be my postcard perfect image of a college town. Small but dense, walkable and interesting, restaurants and interesting shops and theatres…Chapel Hill could take some lessons out of Athens book.

But they could leave the bugs in Georgia…Will has a little house outside of town where he pursues his painting career – here’s a link to his paintings but I’m not going to tell you the ones I have my eye on. We spent most of the night on the porch where the lights and the tiki torches attracted a swarm of exotic creatures including the famed Palmetto Bug, essentially a flying roach. I am not ashamed to admit I squealed a little and ran inside when it blundered its way near me. Giant beatles, moths, and spiders also made an appearance but the food was fine, the beer was cold (water for me, of course) and the company excellent so we braved the bugs on the porch ’til the wee hours.

We took the back roads home, lazily winding our way through the Georgia countryside and the small towns of South Carolina. The kind of small towns where you pick your lunch stop based on the number of people who are lined up outside in their nice clothes, looking for a post-church lunch. Barns, old houses, rusting trucks, mac n’ cheese – we managed to cram in all the Southern cliches. And we reminded ourselves to get off the highways and try to take the slow red dirt roads more often.