Today you can find me…

relaxing after a long weekend on the road.

Meat + bacon = Mmm! :)

- We began on Friday night meeting up with a bunch of friends at a traditional Japanese restaurant called Shoya, where we ordered various things on sticks. I ate bacon wrapped tomatoes and asparagus, steak, and steamed rice. Justin got some sort of seafood soup dish. Then, for dessert, we had tempura green tea ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Yum. :)

- Saturday morning we had breakfast with Justin's parents in celebration of Justin's birthday. Our meal was pretty simple – a chicken biscuit for me and a meal for my husband. (By which to say, I have no idea what he got.) The food at Breakfast Apothecary was meh. Nothing to write home about.

- So, then I got my hair curled by my fabulous hair designer, Denise.

- And we were on our way to Columbus, GA headed toward the Callaway Garden hot air balloon festivities…

Even now, two days later, that bed still looks mighty comfy! *yawn*

- Once we got to the hotel though, I laid down on the bed and ended up taking a long two hour nap. We had reservations at a restaurant in the area called the Meritage Café at 5PM.

- Meritage Café was okay in terms of dining experiences. We began with an order of local cheeses (an assortment of five served with nuts, Savannah honey, gherkins, and two different kinds of meat), then moved on to bruschetta (too many onions, even Justin agreed!), and a salad (with gross dressing). We had a malbec with our meal that the restaurant kindly split between two glasses.

I think the most telling sign about our dinner was that only two other couples entered during our entire time there.

Maybe the problem was that we ate our cheese first? The Germans do say
that cheese "closes the stomach". :)

Obviously the local cheese plate was amazing and well-worth the expense, but Justin and I felt that the business was charging too much in too small of a town for food that was hit or miss. And with unattentive servers?

Meritage Café, are you listening?!?!

- Finally it was time to venture on to Callaway Gardens. We had missed the hot air balloon lift off, but we were looking forward to seeing the fireworks. :) After driving around the park a few times with my husband getting frustrated, I decided to call and get directions. A friendly, unhelpful woman answered the phone. *sigh* But at least we knew we were in the correct location AND it was still happening.

As we followed the park roads around and through the resort area, a man at an unspecified gate let us in. Only later did we see the actual, real gate for non-resort guests in which Callaway Gardens was collecting a fee and handing out armbands. Oops. :-/

Justin and I wanted the Robin Lake "beach" seeking out the hot air balloons and watching as they tethered overhead taking guests one person (or group) at a time, to a top height of 10 feet into the air, and bringing them back down. Then, we sought beer (and a virgin daiquiri). We took the walking path around the lake eyeing the fireworks workers were preparing for launch and watching the sun go down. A band played near the beach area, heavily packed with guests, getting louder just in time for the firework display at around 9PM. The entire time spent at the park was close to 2.5 hours. Then we went back to our hotel for some sleep.

Check out that crowd!

- The next morning, rather than return to Callaway Gardens (which we had decided wasn't worth it), we checked out Ruth Ann's, a diner in the Columbus area that had been open since the 1950s. They had typical fare (eggs, bacon, toast), Southern favorites (grits, corned beef hash, biscuits and sausage gravy), and a few unique offerings as well (red velvet pancakes). The food was delicious, the plates were large, and Justin and I both ate for $15! We came out of the restaurant full and stayed that way for most of the rest of the day!

- This is when we began our drive to Savannah, GA, a long four hour trip. We stopped midway to get a Dairy Queen oreo blizzard, because four hour drives on I-16 (they has no signage or anything of any interest at all) are the worst.

- In Savannah, GA, we checked into our hotel on river street, gave my car keys to the valet, and didn't look for them again until Monday morning, making my husband a very happy individual!

- We ate dinner at Rocks on the River – truffle fries as an appetizer, caesar salad and margherita pizza for dinner, aperol spritz for the hubbs and perrier for me. Fancy and yummy.

us on a boat (see the water?)

- Then, we boarded the Savannah River Queen for a ride down the Savannah River at sunset. It was as boring as you might suspect, but what else is there to do in Savannah? At least the sunset was pretty! :)

- Afterward, Justin and I went bar hopping. We started at Huey's and then wound up at our hotel's rooftop bar, Top Deck. It was quite the night. My only regret is that I didn't get to try a pina colada. Next time.

- Monday morning, we started the day off at Huey's (yes, again). We ordered a poached egg atop chicken tenders and an English muffin. I considered a mimosa but ultimately decided against it. (Too early, worried about money, and such.) Before leaving, we also ordered some fried green tomatoes (yum!) and fried beignets with a pecan sauce. We were soooo full when we left.

- But, of course, with it being my brother's and nephew's birthdays, we had to eat even more for lunch when we arrived to their hometown. Cracker Barrel ftw? (Umm… no.) Burger steak, okra, fries, and terrible-tasting cornbread made it hard to get a bite in.

This guy is as big as me!

- Then it was cake and presents.

- Ending with a 4 hour drive home and a Mexican dinner of fajitas.

It was a busy weekend. Time for recovery.

How was your Labor Day weekend?

* Participating in #30lists. (Day 5.)

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