We were greeted this morning by a slightly overcast sky and there had been a shower. Not what we wanted to see! However, in no time at all the skies had cleared and were blue with brilliant sunshine and it soon heated up. At the moment it’s a barmy 93º.
After breakfast we headed out to the Atlanta History Centre to explore Georgia’s past. It was fascinating. They have many exhibitions, historic houses and 22 acres of gardens and trails to explore. The one exhibition that stood out was about the American Civil War. It was very moving and the artefacts on show were just mind blowing. There’s a total of 1,400 original Union and Confederate items on show and is one of the largest Civil War exhibitions in the country.
Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty. Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as six million.
One of the houses we visited was called the Swan House. In 1924 Edward Inman who was heir to a large cotton brokerage fortune that was amassed in the post-Civil War “New South” era together with his wife Emily, hired an architectural firm to design a house and gardens for them. They moved in in 1928 but just three years later, Edward, at the age of 49 died from a heart attack. This left Emily and their two children with the large house and 28 acres. Emily lived in the house until she died at the age of 84 in 1965. It was at this time that the Atlanta Historical Society purchased the property and opened it to the public. Most of the items in the house belonged to the Inman family.
The house and the furnishings underwent a four-year $5.4 million (£3.72 million) restoration in 2004. There are living history characters in the house who play the parts of the houses’ former owners and servants and they keep in character the whole time.
Now, you Hunger Games fans sit up and pay attention for the ‘hot news’ of the day …………………. Swan House was used in the filming of Catching Fire and Mockingjay as President Snow’s mansion!!!!
We went for lunch at the Swan House Restaurant. It’s been a restaurant for 50 years and apart from two things added in the past few years, the menu is still exactly the same! It was full of mainly ladies who ‘lunch’. The most popular item on the menu is called ‘Swan’s Favourite’ and is a chicken salad served in delicate hand-made timbales with their famous creamy frozen fruit salad and Swan Coach House cheese straws. It may sound strange but it was fabulous.
This evening we went to see the Atlanta Braves baseball team play the Milwaukee Brewers. The 1996 Olympics were held here in Atlanta and the Olympic stadium is currently the Braves’ home. This will be their last season as they are moving to a new stadium. On the entrance road to the stadium they still have the Olympic rings. As you can imagine, it’s a huge stadium and was mostly empty tonight. It’s a shame, the Braves are not doing very well this season. There wasn’t any atmosphere at all. Not like a football match back home where regular abuse is thrown at the team if they are not ‘up to scratch.’ Baseball is a very family-orientated game and there were lots of babies and young children there tonight. I was amazed at the amount of food and drink consumed during the game.
Unfortunately, very dark clouds rolled in and ‘rain and thunder stopped play.’ Most of the fans got up and left at that point and sadly, the Braves, were losing!
It sure has been hot and humid today, not that we are complaining of course. Tomorrow we are off for a VIP tour of the Coca Cola factory and if we get time, to visit the home and museum of Margaret Mitchell the author of …………………. Gone With The Wind!