August 2004: Atlanta, Georgia
Pat and I made this trip to Atlanta, Georgia so that I could have surgery with Dr. Ken Sinervo of the Center for Endometriosis Care. Though the nature of the trip was for that purpose, I didn’t see why we couldn’t try to have some fun while we were there. Even though Pat was determined not to have any fun, he did admit the first few days were fun, and would like to go back there sometime!
This page concerns the trip unrelated specifically to the surgery. My story relating to my battle with endometriosis, including the surgery, is available at this link.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
We left Saturday morning around 6:30 AM, and had to mainly take the Interstate due to time constraints. We needed to be at our extended stay hotel by 7:00 PM, and we would lose an hour with the time change.
By the time we got to Marietta, GA, just outside of Atlanta, we exited at US 41. There was a big abstract chicken at a Kentucky Fried Chicken I wanted to photograph! We got to Atlanta around 5:00 or so…we managed to make our way to the hotel in enough time to get there an hour before the office closed. Unfortunately, the place was a dump! It was an InTown Suites, and as an extended stay hotel, the redesign left much to be desired. It was originally a normal hotel (a Holiday Inn) which was modified to be an InTown Suites. Contrasted with a real extended stay hotel designed as such, the room design was poor. The kitchenette was pathetic. It was formerly the bathroom alcove (outside the toilet and bath/tub area)….therefore, it had only one sink (which doubled as kitchen and bathroom sink). There was about 1-1/2 sq. feet of counter space (which was painted and the paint was chipping and peeling off onto whatever was placed on it!). It had a mini-fridge was was barely adequate and no cabinets. The microwave barely heated anything. I think the two burner stovetop was OK. When I stayed at a Suburban Lodge when I moved to Chicagoland to look for work, the room was great. It had a bath with a shower, toilet and its own sink (how novel!). The kitchenette had its own sink, decent counter space, cabinets above and below the counters and a decent sized fridge (if I recall). They also had included, all cups, bowls, pots & pans, utensils, etc. This place didn’t – you had to rent them separately if you wanted them, and there was only a few sets to spare. Chalk it up to a bad choice…what can you do? Now that I know… LOL Couple this with the fact that the place was in a well….dumpy area with lots of strip bars near it. The clientele of this hotel left much to be desired. I was less worried about surviving the surgery as I was surviving the hotel stay!!
Sunday, August 15, 2005
On Sunday, we went to Juliette, GA. We took U.S. 23 out of Atlanta, and followed that all the way to Juliette. We took a left onto Juliette Road, followed by a right onto McCrackin Street – and there we were in the fictional town of Whistle Stop, Alabama!
In reality, Juliette is a very small town 60 -70 miles southeast of Atlanta. Its current claim to fame was that it was used as the movie set for the film Fried Green Tomatoes. The book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, was based on a cafe called the Irondale Cafe, in Irondale, Alabama (outside Birmingham). For the book, Ms. Flagg named the town Whistle Stop, and the cafe was named The Whistle Stop Cafe. I don’t know the whole story why they didn’t use Irondale – maybe because area where the real Irondale Cafe is, is somewhat modernized or just didn’t have the right look, the producers wanted a town that looked old. They found it in Juliette, GA. A waitress at the cafe told us that way the town looked at the beginning of the film when Kathy Bates’ character, Evelyn, drove through, was how the town looked when the movie scouts found it…old, run down and abandoned. They filmed those present day scenes first, as it was in 1991. They did, however, cover the streets with dirt to make it look like a dirt road. Then, to film the scenes which took place in the 1920’s and 1930’s, the filmmakers gave the town a nice facelift and cleaned it all up. All the buildings were refurbished and so was the little building which they would use as The Whistle Stop Cafe. The building was built in 1927 and was a general store. It later became an office. After the movie, the owner of the building decided to run the place as an actual restaurant as used in the movie – and called it – what else – The Whistle Stop Cafe and it looks as it did in the movie. The inside looks as it did in the movie too; however, the walls are adorned with movie posters, photographs, and articles written about the town and cafe since the movie. Obviously, the movie did wonders for Juliette, because it was really a busy place. All the buildings had shops occupying them: gift shops, candy factory, etc. If you’re looking for ANY memorabilia, photos, t-shirts, etc. that have anything to do with Fried Green Tomatoes, this is the place to get it. My daughter Amber is a huge fan of the movie, so of course my mission was to take pictures. Before I left, I made screen captures of the movie and was going to do “side by sides”. All those photos are here: Juliette, Georgia: Fried Green Tomatoes Filming Locations
Back in Atlanta, we wanted to see some diners that I had found on the Internet and get some pictures. We went to the Varsity, apparently an Atlanta institution. We didn’t eat there because I wasn’t feeling very well.
Monday, August 16, 2004
We decided to get some groceries this morning, since we would have a busy day tomorrow with pre-op appointments with the doctor and hospital. After we finished, we went downtown and visited World of Coca-Cola. I love Coca-Cola, both the drink and any memorabilia, advertising and so forth. It was very interesting and fun…and all the Coca-Cola you can drink…there’s a deal!
Throughout the trip, we also took pictures of some diners we had been able to locate.
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