Our last day in Atlanta we arose shortly after the crack of dawn to drive Thatfamily back to the airport. Thatboy and I had scheduled a later flight so we could do more exploring. After we dropped them off, we headed to breakfast, another one of Josie's recommendations, Ria's Bluebird Cafe.
Once again, because of our early arrival, parking was easy and we were able to secure a seat without waiting. We were offered a giant table, but since it was the last open table, and there were only two of us, we felt too guilty to take it. So we plopped ourselves up on the counter. Which was perfect, because Thatboy had been dying for a counter service restaurant.
On the menu, we noticed that the pancakes were declared the world's best pancakes by the NY Times. It was a challenge Thatboy was happy to take. Especially when he saw he could get a side of real bacon - made from real pork! Now here's the thing that gets me every time. These pancakes were light and fluffy and perfect. I love light, fluffy pancakes. Thatboy claims to hate them. He never lets me make them. Instead he only will eat gooey thin pancakes. So I was all ready for him to hate these. Nope. He loves them. He just lives to make my life difficult.
I ordered the omelet special of the day. It came with enough food to feed a small family. The bacon - which I gave to Thatboy, the biscuit - which was fabulous topped with their homemade raspberry preserves, and a sweet potato cake.
The problem with it being early on a Sunday morning is that nothing was open. Which was okay by us, because it gave us hours to spend in the Oakland Cemetery. I'd been dying to visit, but I wasn't sure we'd make it over there. Lucky for us, Ria's was located directly across the street.
The Oakland Cemetery is one of those cemeteries that traces the history of America. It has graves dating back before the civil war, through modern day. It's gorgeous and the day was perfect for meandering through. Cool, and slightly overcast, and the week of Halloween.
It's fascinating to walk and read through the tombstones, many of them bringing a tear to my eye as it described short lives, and people who were obviously loved.
For me, the most famous resident of the Oakland Cemetery was Margaret Mitchell Marsh. I mean, everything I know about Atlanta comes from Gone with the Wind. (I know, it's not much - but really I grew up in Pennsylvania, so our civil war history focused a lot on Gettysburg.
There's something so romantic about this tree which covers two graves. It reminds me of the tree that was supposed to have grown up over Tristan and Iseult's graves.
The thing I LOVE about old southern cemeteries is that they used to be a place of celebration in addition to a place of sorrow. It was a place the families would go on Sundays after church for Sunday supper. I can just picture a family sitting on a spring day under this gazebo which would probably be covered in flowers.
This gorgeous statute represents all the soldiers who got somehow disconnected from their friends, family, and any identification. So sad when you think about the age of most of the soldiers in the Civil War.
It's not hard to believe that the section for Confederate graves stretches past the eyeline. If you saw Gone with the Wind, you'd know that Atlanta, and its inhabitants were devastated by the Civil War.
After the cemetery, we headed over to Virginia Highlands which had a cute little collection of stores, and some gorgeous houses. We seriously considered visiting an open house, but then thought that we'd each have to take another Bar exam had us just walk by and admire instead.
We made friends with the people in the gourmet food store (surprise surprise) and they recommended we check out Piedmont Park. We did, and I am SO glad we took them up on their suggestion.
Piedmont Park is Atlanta's version of Central Park. The weather was beautiful, so there were so many other people (and dogs) out enjoying the day with us.
Thatboy aptly named the bridge "The Fairytale Bridge." I'm sure it has a real name, but frankly, I kind of like "Fairytale Bridge."
More of those leaves I was telling you about. We're seriously going to have to take a trip to the East Coast every fall.
Anyone know what kind of waterfowl this is? It was so unusual I had to snap a picture. One of those birds that was so ugly it was beautiful. (*Super duper thanks to Jen who has identified this duck as a "Muscovy duck")