To some, it might not seem like a big trip but to us, it was exactly what was needed.
I never really had a huge interest in travelling the United States, but when a trip home fell in line with my best friend’s plan to head south I jumped on it.
Originally born in Georgia, Tiffany and I grew up together and have been friends for roughly 23 years.
Unfortunately, despite decades of friendship we had never been on a trip together, so to me this was the one thing that had been missing. Her and I finally able to spend time together, uninterrupted and free as the birds painted on her basement door.
Having already planned the trip, with a last minute cancellation by her original travel buddy, I fell into the plan with ease; excited to hit the road and face anything that came to meet us… with just a little planning for accommodations of course.
Prior to the trip, Tiffany had stated that it would be like Thelma and Louise, except with less crime and death. Although I almost died of laughter at that point and it would set the tone for our trip, two weirdos hitting the road together.
So, with a long day driving ahead of us, we headed to the deep south, but first with a quick stop over for a little honky-tonk.
Talk about whirl-wind.
After 13 hours on the road, and doing a couple circles downtown after missing our hostel, we arrived in the heart of country music.
Nashville was electric and the overall nature of the place was light, joyful, and ready for a good time.
Starting the night right we scoped out the area, checking out back alley taverns and maybe a few lesser known spots, where sometimes the most beautiful things can be surprisingly be found.
Famished after a full day on the road we opted for something central to the crowds with a sit down restaurant so that we could eat and make it passed 10 pm.
Naturally, when eating at Margaritaville you start the night with a beach themed cocktail, but it was a night of PBR that saw us going up and town Broadway taking in the lights, the people, and the music.
Every bar was alive, literally. Each one had live bands gracing a stage of every size adding to what was already a magnetic feeling, no matter where you went.
Naturally, friends are made, beers are shared, and the night disappears before you.
Sadly unable to stay past one night, Nashville was one hell of a good time.
From guitar strings to R&B beats this city has it all, and our one night stand left us wanting to come back for another round.
Another adventure for another time, but alas we moved on to what would be our main portion of the trip.
Roughly a 4-hour drive from Nashville, Newnan will forever be in my heart and was a much-needed slice of heaven for our sleep-deprived bodies.
Offering us the chance to unwind and relax, we reached our accommodations, Tiffany’s grandma’s, and were instantly greeted with love and seclusion.
Located in the heart of the growing community of Newnan, the roughly 18-acre property offered daily getaways following strenuous afternoons spent shopping, visiting local restaurants, as well as relaxing on the porch having bloody Mary’s and talking the night away.
Although our time there was low key, the visit was special because of the people, as well as the conversations, and was full of simple moments that would create the fondest memories going forward.
From nights spent playing cards and morning beers in the sauna, to a Bratschitsch family barbecue, the five days went by too quickly and couldn’t have been any better.
Ever the gracious host, Ursula (Tiffany’s grandma), as well as Irene, Elizabeth, and Catherine, ensured we had a great time visiting, and were never without delicious food or a cold refreshing drink.
Naturally, when travelling with a high-energy extrovert, we took advantage of every opportunity to have a fun night out, which came in the form of Atlanta.
It was an unexpected quick trip to the city, and although slow, it wasn’t hard to find a fun night and good conversations at a local Irish pub.
Quick visits were what this trip was all about and none felt shorter than the time spent with a family that welcomed me into their home and hearts.
I had always felt like a bit of a Bratschitsch, but the visit Newnan, and lovely scarf Ursula gave me to take back home, made it seem even more real.
Leaving was sad, but after big hugs and well wishes for the rest of our trip we once again hit the road for the last leg of our adventure.
Although the tail end of this road trip made it seem longer, just a 4-hour drive brought us to Savannah, a place of ornate beauty and mystery.
We spent two nights, and one day, travelling the streets of the historic district, where cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and street performers stimulated the senses and brought the city to life.
With so much history in one place it was disappointing we did not get to explore the cultural undertones more, but rainy weather, and hurricane Matthew’s previous visit, meant closures of things such as the Bonaveture Cemetery, which was the main things I had wanted to see.
Although disappointed, it was hard to feel bad. Just walking the streets and taking in the trees, and small pieces of history were inspiring and instantly triggered a need to one-day return.
Travelling the streets by moonlight our first night in the city saw us take in a haunted pub crawl.
Following the dim lantern of our host for the evening, we traversed the busy district learning the darker and less pleasing side of the city, catching glimpses of shadows passing in the dark and hearing the horror stories of bars we would later find out selves socializing.
Much like Nashville, Savannah’s historic district was buzzing with people and no matter where we went people were happy to meet us, share laughter and stories, and maybe a round or two of giant Jenga.
As with any trip I take I was all about the food, and living in Alberta where large bodies of water are not easy to come by, I was especially excited by the prospect of fresh seafood.
Every meal I ate had to have something different, and never once was I disappointed. I ate a lot on this trip and not much of it included vegetables, but boy was that 5 pounds worth it.
Realistically should anyone really be surprised I gained a bit of weight? One week of nothing but sitting, eating, and drinking can do a lot for rest and relaxation, but not so much for the waistline.
Our trip back home was definitely a little less energetic than the beginning, as we left fun and freedom behind and headed back to responsibilities and work.
The drive down and back up were beautiful ways to take in the United States and despite all the trouble you hear about down there, our trip to the south proved to be nothing but good.
Throughout the trip we had the opportunity to talk to people of different cultures, races, religions and more, each sharing their story and a piece of themselves.
From the streets of Nashville to the cobble roads of Savannah, people welcomed us with open arms and were always excited to learn that we were Canadians.
As with all trips, it isn’t necessarily the destinations that leave a mark on a person, but rather the people who make the cities and countries what they are and help you to really get a sense of what it’s like to be a part of that location.
Now back home and reflecting on our time I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again one day, but this time maybe I’ll actually get to see that cemetery.