17 August 2004

Douglas Georgia

David had business in Southern Georgia about six hours drive away, not far from Douglas. Lana decided the initial installation and training would be a good excuse for a family visit and tour. David would work and Lana, her parents and the children would get to look around.

Douglas is a typical Southern town with a majority of people that have always been local. In contrast Blairsville has a great many residents that came from other parts of the US. The local visitor information center was very excited to have Australians visit. She gave all the children rulers, pens and other samples, offered a free tour and was extremely helpful. “I don’t know if the others on the tour care about having some Australians on the tour, but I do!” The lady in charge of the evening shift, Alison, was ringing around for good deals for families. The staff at Hampton Inn were very accommodating, even defending the noise of the children running along the hallway from the pool, “like a herd of elephants”. The other guests understood that “they’re young children that are settling down soon”. That was OK. The guest feared they might have unruly teenagers. Younger children were given a lot more leeway.

There was one big black guy who heard Ariel, James and Clare talking in the lift (elevator) and asked Ariel, “Where are you from?”. “Australia”. “Can you talk like that guy from the outback?” Ariel replied, “No. But my dad can.”
A little while later, he saw David standing behind Ariel and Eric and asked, “Is this your dad?”. David replied (in a good Aussie accent), “Yeah. How are you?” He thought it was great and they did some high fives. A little while later they chatted some more, and David was able to do some Steve Irwin impressions, which seemed to make the guy’s day.

During a visit to “Coffee State Park” in Douglas, there were a couple of ladies fishing. Peter went over and starting talking to them whilst Lana and her parents were getting lunch ready. Next thing Lana knew, there he was with a fishing rod in his hand! So much for homeschooling children having poor socialization!

Peter and Eric fishing using borrowed rods.

They also went to Okefenokee swamp. One fellow was surprised that Lana and the children didn’t see an alligator and he mentioned the alligators normally gather near boardwalk. Lana replied that we have five children that want to run along the boardwalk. The noise of the children obviously kept the critters at bay.

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