Athens, Georgia is home to the University of Georgia and the Georgia Bulldogs. And in case you didn’t know that before arriving here, you quickly learn.
If you want to increase your business, I’m told all you need to do is incorporate the word “Bulldog” into your name or plaster the image of one on your front window. Incidentally, if you want to go out of business in a rapidly declining spiral, substitute the word “Gator” for “Bulldog.” The residents of Athens are not particularly partial to the University of Florida.
First meal of the trip was at the East West Bistro in downtown Athens, which was above-standard pub fare though not exactly the Southern menu I’ve been anticipating.
But it was late evening when I arrived and all I wanted was a satisfying meal in some great atmosphere, and East West delivered both. I’m sure there are eateries in Los Angeles where you can order a salad that comes with a big ball of fried cheese in the middle, but I have not come across them yet.
We sat at the bar and I ordered up an “East West” Martini, which is a two-count of sake, a five-count of Grey Goose with some cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. It looks deceptively like some sort of candy-coated Cosmo, which was the concern I expressed to the bartender, but he assured me that was not the flavor that was going to hit my tongue, and he was right. In fact, aside from a hint of the cranberry, this cocktail was nearly tasteless. I reluctantly yet wisely stopped after one.
Back to Michael’s mama’s house, where I was listening to Michael’s aunt tell a story but continued to be distracted by little pops of light out of the corner of my eye. Thank God I asked and found out the answer was as simple as lightning bugs, because for a moment I thought I might be having a stroke. The Granberry back yard is also home to deer, squirrels, cicadas that serenade one another day and night, and lots and lots AND LOTS of bats. Therefore, you will not be finding me in the Granberry back yard. You may however find me in the Granberry spare room, where Mama Granberry left me a nice surprise to help take the edge of my culture shock… one which, for me, defines the phrase, “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”