Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Stone Mountain is a quaint village as well as a park featuring the world's largest granite rock 685 feet high and 9 miles deep, 5 acres across and 5 miles around the base. It is about 40 miles from Atlanta which was about a 3 hour drive from Bryson City, North Carolina. In Stone Mountain Park there is am amusement park,a lake, a 4D theater, a laser show in the evenings, a sky tram to the top of the mountain, a Confederacy Museum about the conflict involving the Northern and Southern states between 1861-1865, 2 hotels, tent campgrounds, several nature trails, a bicycle path, a model plantation and farmyard, a quarry exhibit, a 732 bell carrillion, a railway excursion and an amphibious duck bus tour. It costs $10 per vehicle to enter the park. Day passes are $30 per person for admission to all attractions. The Sky tram is $9 for adults, $5 for children or $5.50 for one way. It is a mile & a half to walk from top to bottom of Stone Mountain. Down is the best choice by far. The view from the top was stunning. Hawks soard at eye level and nested in the pine trees. We had fun looking for the cave on the side of the mountain. The side of Stone Mountain features 3 figures representing Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis that are 90 feet high and were carved between 1910 and 1970. After riding the Sky Tram both ways we explored a beautiful nature garden trail. Many of the trees and flowers were marked with signs and the path was clearly marked. There was a shorter path for those with about half an hour marked in green and a much longer trail marked in orange. There is a closed granite quarry that is now an exhibit. It was active between 1840-1970. There were samples of granite and pictures of all stages of production and an old tool shed. We shook hands with Orion and made a solemn promise to bring him back here if he makes straight A's and let him ride every ride they have. if he doesn't make straight a's he has to bring us next time. On the way home we had lunch in Decater, Georgia at This Is It! Seafood Soulfood Barbeque Buffet, 4065 Memorial Drive, Decater. 404-292-5616. There are other restaurants in this small chain around the Atlanta area as well as in St Louis. After I looked up their website I learned we were lucky to find one of the two locations open on Sunday. It was the sweetest famiy oriented place you could hope to find, clean and neat, delicious food made from scratch, all your favorites, beautifully decorated with a friendly attentive staff. There was a banquet room so large groups could be accommodated. A display case at the end of the buffet prominently featured an open Bible and jars of their signature barbeque sauce. The barbequed chicken and ribs just melted in our mouths. I can't remember ever having anything better than that. Create your own plate was an entree and 2 sides for $14.49. Kids' plates were $5.99. The server asked the children how much they wanted & gave them only that so there was no wasted food. Choices on the line were barbequed chicken, country style ribs, chicago rib tips, smothered pork chops, baked or fried talapia, chicken wings, meat loaf, mustard greens, green beans, corn, fried rice, sweet potato souffle, cornbread and even chitterlings. Big selection of desserts included red velvet cake, key lime cake, strawberry shortcake, sweet potato pie. The napkin dispenser on our table had a card promoting something called the Amerian Hoodie Awards sponsored by the Steve Harvey radio show with awards given in 12 categories, voting via the internet between May 14-30,2012, one day for each category. This Is It! urged customers to vote for them on May 21 between 6 AM and 6 PM EDT for best soulfood restaurant and on May 24 for the best barbeque. The other categories were best High School coach May 14, best nail salon May 15, best school teacher May 15, best Car Wash/Detail Shop May 17, best chior May 18,best Barbershop May 22, best High School May 23, best Beauty Salon May 25, best Church May 29, best Community Leader May 30. It was an 8 hour drive from there back home. What a beautiful weekend we had!

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