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It’s great to travel, to experience sights and sounds a bit different from the same-old, same-old. It’s a doubly delicious experience when it involves people you love.

Friday afternoon DH and I left town and headed west to Atlanta for a weekend visit with Amanda and Paul. After a couple of stops along the way (one in Madison, GA where I ate one of the best Chick Fila sandwiches ever), we arrived at their apartment around 10 p.m.  We chatted for a while and headed to Slumberland around 11:00 so that we’d be ready for the next day’s activities.

I set my clock for 6:30 and was out the door by 7:00 for an early morning walk up Roswell Drive. One of the things I enjoy so much about walking is that it allows you to see things in a different way than from a car or tour bus. When Pat and Charlie take you to the streets, you’ll see things you’d never notice otherwise. Case in point…the tiny little sparrows hopping around in an empty parking lot.

After the walk, we all piled in Paul’s car where he drove us to a breakfast diner with quite a reputation. I could see why. There was quite an array of choices, and the food was muy delicioso. Well, my vegetarian omelet was. So were my grits and wheat toast. Amanda’s cinnamon raisin pancakes, which she graciously let me sample, were pretty tasty too. Appetites satisfied, we went back to the apartment to hang out for a little while. I read on the back porch while enjoying the beautiful trees and gentle breeze.

 Soon thereafter, we again loaded up and headed out to do a little shopping and some sightseeing. The young Crolleys had not yet discovered a Marshall’s right up the road from their apartment, but now that they have, I think they’ll go back. All that shopping took a lot of energy so we had to visit the Yogurt Mogul for a little snack. Ummm. Good, especially after I added strawberries, bananas, raspberries, Butterfinger chips, and walnuts to the top. You only live once, right?

Energized, we headed for Roswell, a delightful community about 15 or 20 minutes from Sandy Springs. There we toured an old mill site that included a creek, two waterfalls, a bridge, and many splendors of nature. If you look closely in the top picture above, you might spot a little white dog in the right hand bottom corner. We watched him swim. Fun. We also hiked a little bit and read a lot of historical signs. After leaving the nature walk, we hung around Roswell a little longer before going to  (yes, you guessed it) eat dinner. The restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill, had been recommended by one of Paul’s friends, and we weren’t disappointed. Paul had the most unusual fare, a bison burger.

After dinner, we rushed back to the apartment to get freshened up for the play we were going to see that night, Jersey Boys. Rather than drive downtown, we rode MARTA and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In fact, when I asked DH to tell me his top enjoyable activities, the MARTA ride made the list. Once downtown, we joined the other hundreds of people who seemed to be going in the same direction we were: the Fox Theatre.

What a treat it was to walk inside of that fabulous old theatre. It was beautiful, breathtakingly so. Of course, we had to hustle because of the crowd so I didn’t get to gawk too much, but from what I saw, I’m rating it as the most unique theatre I’ve seen. Once we got to our balcony seats, I wished I’d bought some pricier ones a little lower down. The stage was so far away that we could hardly distinguish one actor/singer from another. Still, the music was phenomenal, and we all enjoyed it. The only thing that was a “fly in the ointment” was the language, but then I guess it was how the Jersey boys talked in the 1960’s.

Play over, we walked out with the other 4,600 people and headed back to the MARTA station. On the way we saw too many interesting sights to mention. We heard some cool stuff too, like the lone trumpet player playing his heart out on a street corner. Beautiful.  I’ll always remember that sound and associate it with a warm summer night after an evening at the theatre with some of my favorite people.

The next morning we all four went to church, the perfect way to end our time together. Although the speakers were inspirational, what I got most from the meeting was the feeling of love. That’s right, the “feeling” of love all around me. Here’s one quick example. The Primary children sang a medley of Father’s Day songs since next week is Stake Conference, hence a different program than one honoring fathers.  DH and I both noticed this cute little boy on the front row who didn’t sing a note. He seemed cooperative, and once in a while, he’d move his lips, but he never really got into it like the other children. When he came back to join his family, he slid into the row behind us, and I heard his father say, “Awesome. Good job.”  Some parents would have said, “Why didn’t you at least try?”  or “What’s wrong with you?” but not this dad.

After Sacrament, Paul and Amanda walked us outside to tell us good-bye, and we chatted briefly about the next time we’ll get together. As I’ve always told my children, there’s the promise of another hello in every farewell. You don’t always know when or where that will take place, but you have to believe it will happen.

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