One of the many advantages to living close to family now is the opportunity for weekend getaways without Evie. We took advantage of this holiday season to make a quick visit to Atlanta to see our friends and explore.
On the way to Atlanta, we did something we’ve often talked about but have never been able to make happen. It’s been a legend in Alabama for a long time and is just now starting to get some national acclaim. And it has nothing to do with football….
That’s right – the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro. If you’ve ever wondered where those lost/abandoned suitcases and lost/abandoned shipments (aka Unclaimed Cargo) go, well wonder no longer!
The UBC, as it is affectionately and efficiently nicknamed, has all those things that you’d lose in luggage or on a plane. Think tons of jackets and sweaters, insane amounts of portable DVD players, plenty of headsets (especially the noise canceling type), clothes, cameras, and of course, luggage.
I came away with a Marmot down jacket for $50 and an HP-12c calculator for $15. I was very happy! My wife scored a very nice winter jacket and many sweaters, all total around $100. In my opinion it’s a cross between Goodwill stores and Nordstrom Rack. Plenty of junk to pick through, but enough jewels to keep you hunting.
We enjoyed a dinner with our friends in downtown Lilburn (don’t blink) at a new restaurant, the 1910 Public House. Cute decor! They have some great ideas but seem to falling down on execution. The fact that it was fairly empty on a Saturday doesn’t bode well.
The next day was our exploration day. We’ve been hunting for a new dining table for a while, and were pointed to some shops in Chamblee. We came, we saw, we bought. Bagged it and fit it into the wagon for the long journey home. One more thing off the list!
We then explored Piedmont Park and Virginia Highlands, going to all the cute, local, and trendy stores we could find. We then took some time to see a movie, Inside Llewelyn Davis, which now gets us up to two movies we’ve seen in a movie theater in the last year. Yep, we don’t get out much.
Then I took her to my favorite haunt, Little Five Points. In my college days, it was gritty, a bit grimy, plenty of character, and great bands. I remember seeing this local duo play in the mid 80s in the Little Five Points Pub. They called themselves the Indigo Girls. I hear they got famous.
Anyway, it hasn’t changed much. A little bit of gentrification, but plenty of character left. The pub is no more, but we stumbled across a beer mecca, The Porter Beer Bar.
When they plop down a 40 page menu of beer, you know it’s serious. And the food was actually memorable. I had fried chicken livers on peanut butter grits paired with some great fish tacos with black-eyed peas. What really got me going though was the Vintage Beer List
As you can tell, they take this seriously. And it harkened me back to my FNBC (Friday Night Beer Club) in California where in December we would do vertical tastings (the last three vintages) of Trader Joe’s Vintage Ales to see how time was changing and developing the flavors of the beer. Well, now you don’t have to cellar them yourself! Here’s a sampling of what they have:
Needless to say, I was very, very impressed.
Our journey ended the next morning as we headed back to Huntsville, but not before we got to spend more time with my godson, Van. He got a pogo stick for Christmas and has become quite proficient.
He’s up to over 300 jumps in a row and he was looking for a challenge. So I gave him one: Roll my suitcase out to the car while on the pogo stick. Not only did he quickly learn how to jump with one hand, he dang near made it the whole way. I’m telling you, this guy is a special talent.
Good memories, great friends, face time with my wife, and a bit of satisfying exploration. That’s what makes a great getaway weekend.