We spent our first night in Atlanta visiting Michael McAlister and his wife Scarla. Michael and Barb used to work together back in the old days for Southern Company Services in Savannah. Mike now works for Southern Company Services in Atlanta. We are tremendously indebted to Mike, since he owns and maintains the server for this blog. We took Mike out to dinner in a totally inadequate token of our appreciation; Scarla had a conflict and joined us back at their home later, where they put us up for the night in their beautiful new technologically-sophisticated home. (Mike has a “lamp” that accepts verbal commands to change settings on appliances, turns lights on and off, and tells corny jokes on request. We enjoyed reminiscing about the old days and hearing about all of the former colleagues.
Next day we moved over to see daughter Nellie and her guy Mike Sullivan and his sons Mike and Conner. Nellie’s daughters Katie and Jessie (and Jessie’s friend Deja) flew in later that night. Katie is working in Cary, NC, and Jessie and Deja are students at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Nellie and Mike have just purchased a home together in Atlanta, so one of our projects for the weekend was to go see the new house and to hear the plans for its many rooms. The lives of these two lawyers continue to be as busy as ever, so they don’t anticipate being able to begin the move until after the new year. Mike’s “old” home was too small to accommodate us all, so Barb and I slept in the Marriott Suites Midtown Hotel, complements of a few of Nellie’s many earned travel points.
We had a number of meals in interesting restaurants; I took the opportunity to get some portraits during one lunch. Barb and I visited the High Museum of Art during one lull in the action, where we saw an outstanding exhibit about the Hapsburg Dynasty. And we all visited the fabulous Atlanta aquarium, where my favorite was the gigantic main tank, chock full of fish of all sizes, including at least three whale sharks.
Before we were cruisers, we used to join Nellie in Cary, NC every year for Thanksgiving. This year, we were a little early for Thanksgiving, but we were certainly thankful for the opportunity to spend some time with Nellie and her girls, and to be able to get to know Mike a little better, and to meet his sons Mike and Conner. We look forward to next year when they will have moved into the new home. We hope the pre-Thanksgiving gathering in Atlanta can become a new tradition.