20 October 2016

Being a local international tourist

On special - 3 of our Cabbage Patch Kids
We have explored a little further afield over the last few days. Yesterday was to The Cabbage Patch "Hospital" in Cleveland, GA and then Helen, GA, the town that transformed itself into an Austrian Alps themed town.
The Cabbage Patch Hospital is basically a huge themed store with all employees dressed as hospital staff, nurses and doctors pretending that Cabbage Patch Dolls were real and grew from a cabbage patch. The displays were very impressive and it was worth a trip. You could purchase not only dolls, but a wide selection of clothing and accessories, most of which would suit any 18 inch doll. The girls enjoyed the visit very much.
Our next stop was Helen a little way up the road. This town decided to set themselves up as something more than just a nice town in the North Georgia Mountains and decided to upgrade to an Austrian Alpine themed town. This turned out quite successful with lots of craft, food and tourist based businesses.
The streets were well maintained with lots of flowering plants making the place quite pretty. Butterflies were fluttering about everywhere.
Pretty butterflies
We were able to watch the glass-blowers in action creating fine works of art from stems of plain glass. The Fudge and candy store tempted us in with a great scent and we could look in through the window to the small work area where they created their chocolate treats. The sign on the window said "Please don't lick the glass." I can understand the temptation - it all looked very good.
The day's treat was ice cream where we all had the chance to select one or two flavours. Then we had to finish the ice cream in the street as no store allowed food inside (quite reasonably). We also had to visit the public restrooms as Zach tested the efficiency of ice cream styled skin and face conditioner. No photo, but just imagine a brown sticky covering over his face, hands and arms.
After dessert, we went to the back of the parking lot which backed onto the river which trickles through the town and we had our lunch.
BYO Lunch on the river bank
We planned well by bringing the bread, boiled eggs, ham, tomato and lettuce and mayonnaise. It was a delightful way to relax, eating a delightful lunch watching the water trickle along the rocky river bed under the shade of mature trees on a beautiful sunny day.
Today we popped in to Murphy, North Carolina to see what there was to see. The ladies at the Murphy Visitor Centre were very helpful and passed on many pamphlets and directed us to a number of interesting places.
We noticed one interesting object on the sidewalk - A red flag disposal box. It was like a repurposed postal box but specifically designed for people who wished to dispose of their worn or damaged American flags properly. This shows a great respect for the American Flag and we were impressed at this obvious service to the organisation's patriotism. Much as we ensure objects which we venerate and which represent holy or worthy things should be disposed of appropriately, this simple mechanism allows the honourable American Flag to be disposed of in the correct manner.
Practical respect for the Flag.
Once more we can recommend any visitor to the US to visit places off the more common tourist trails, especially in the North Georgia and surrounding areas. We have always had extremely helpful and friendly encounters with locals, both in retail settings and just in public places like parks and on the street. To any of our US friends reading this you can be proud of all your fellow citizens. Thanks for the hospitality.

No comments: