Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion

We came back to Atlanta on Monday evening, 28 December, after having spent a fun week with our daughter and family in Columbus, Ohio. Sunday night, the night before we left Columbus, it snowed. Early on Monday before we drove to the airport, I just had time to take a couple of pictures.

This is the way the street looked upon our departure –

Click on picture to enlarge it

and the view from the aircraft.

When we landed in Atlanta, it was cool but quite sunny, just as when we left Atlanta a week earlier. I wished it had snowed especially when we visited the Georgia Governor’s Mansion the week before Christmas. The mansion was beautifully decorated for the season and the Holiday celebration. Because of the mild weather there were still some roses in the garden.

and a gorgeous tree still had his glorious fall colors.

We are a long way from Ohio and the snow. Actually it is 600 miles or 965 kilometers from Atlanta to Columbus, Ohio. So, let’s enter the Governor’s Mansion (I took so many pictures that I’ll have to place them in various collages. Please click on the pictures to see them up close,)

The home of Georgia governors was completed in 1968 on an eighteen acre estate in North West Atlanta, in the Buckhead area, one of Atlanta’s poshest neighborhoods. The 30 room Greek revival style home is furnished with a fine collection of antiques from the Federalist Period. The mansion is decorated during the Holidays and this year the theme was to depict the vibrant hues and spirit of the season.

Each room had a different theme with brightly decorated trees.

A candy room was guarded by toy soldiers.

The tables had been set with elegant china and crystal. We would have loved to sit and start sampling the savories which were going to be served.

Instead we observed the teddy bear family watching the electric train running at the base of the tree below.

Musical groups from across the state were performing for this festive occasion. The day we were there it was great to listen to holiday music from the Roswell High School Chamber Orchestra, the Voices of Vaughn and the White County Intermediate School.

Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them

Then we all took a cookie break. The cookies had been home-baked by the tour hosts and were served with spiced cider. As soon as a cookie was picked a server would replace it.

As we were close to leaving this beautifully decorated mansion I took some final pictures. I especially liked a table arrangement in front of a tall antique mirror. I shot some close-up pictures of the gorgeous sterling silver candelabra and the ornate silver pitcher. If you look closely in the center of the pitcher you can see my reflection as I took the photo.

There were many Christmas trees in various rooms, each one decorated with sparkling ornaments. For most people Christmas has already passed, but not for all. As I mentioned in my last post, the Eastern Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar (which is 13 days after the Gregorian calendar used by most countries) will celebrate their Christmas next week, on 7 January (members in the USA, Armenia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Republic of Georgia, of Macedonia, Moldova, etc.) Long after the stores have stopped their Christmas music and people are no longer sending Christmas cards, the Orthodox Christians are still waiting to celebrate Christmas (approximately 1,500,000 people in the US.) To them, including members of my father’s family, I wish a very merry Christmas and place the Christmas tree collage below:

Reluctantly we left the mansion and walked back to our car.

We left the holiday celebration at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion a couple weeks ago and now we are seeing the end of 2009 as well as the first decade of the 21st century. In just a few hours we shall celebrate the New Year. While I was in Columbus I found some vintage postcards with New Year greetings. So please accept the following cards as virtual cards to wish you a Prosperous 2010. I hope the coming year will include more happiness, good fortune, joy, and love than you can imagine.

The card below was sent in December 1909 by Lois Bailey to her cousin Miss Mildred Reibel of Columbus, Ohio. The card is 100 years old but the wishes have not changed.

These are my wishes for you -

"…le seul fait de rêver est déjà très important,
Je vous souhaite des rêves à n’en plus finir et l’envie furieuse
d’en réaliser quelques-uns,
Je vous souhaite d’aimer ce qu’il faut aimer
Et d’oublier ce qu’il faut oublier
Je vous souhaite des passions
Je vous souhaite des silences
Je vous souhaite des chants d'oiseaux au réveil
et des rires d'enfants
Je vous souhaite de résister à l'enlisement, à l'indifférence
Aux vertus négatives de notre époque.
Je vous souhaite surtout d'être vous.
L’aventure c’est le trésor
Que l’on découvre à chaque matin.
-Jacques Brel, 1968 (Belgian singer, 1929-1978)

I shall try to translate it -

the mere fact of dreaming is already very important,
I wish you endless dreams and the fervent desire

to achieve some of them
I wish you to love what/who needs to be loved
and to forget what/who needs to be forgotten
I wish you passions
I wish you silences
I wish you bird songs upon awakening
and the laughter of children
I wish that you can resist quagmires, indifferences,
and the negative virtues of our time.
I especially wish for you to be yourself.
Adventure is the treasure
Which you discover in each morning."
-Jacques Brel, 1968 (Belgian singer, 1929-1978)


""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Bonjour Vagabonde ! ***

Tes photos sont splendides !! La neige chez vous à Atlanta et vue par avion et puis la maison des gouverneurs, les décors et les groupes musicaux ... QUE DU BONHEUR chez toi Vagabonde !

Lundi des travaux commenceront chez toi , dans ta cuisine mais avant je te présente tous mes vœux, je te souhaite une très bonne année 2010, argent,bonheur et santé ! GROS BISOUS et bon réveillon à toi Vagabonde !!!!! :o)

Jinksy said...

The thought of having to decorate a Christmas tree in every room is awe inspiring; but weren't they all beautiful, and worth the effort?
And the old postcards are a positive joy. Thanks for sharing them.

claude said...

Je passe vite fait ce matin mais repasserai ce tantôt pour appré cier mieux ce post qui me semble bien beau, comme d'habitude. A plus tard donc.

Ruth said...

So very elegant, Vagabonde.

Forget what must be forgotten.

All those trees. Almost as many as my sister has. I think she could decorate 100 trees with all the ornaments she has collected. I especially liked the fucshia satin bows on one tree in the mansion. The bears are very sweet on that gorgeous chair looking at the tree.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. You were a little bit closer to me for a week and had some snow, so nice.

Wishing you good travels, postcards and research in the coming year. I value your writing and informative posts always.

DJan said...

As usual, VB, I am impressed with the elegance of your post, and also moved by the lovely poem at the end. I also wish you passions, silences, and birdsongs upon awakening.

I was in Macedonia this past April celebrating Eastern Orthodox Easter. It was one week after the "usual" one but we had simply forgotten that the whole world doesn't follow the same calendar we do here in the US. You continue to widen my universe. Thank you.

wenn said...

happy new year!

Friko said...

Hallo Vagabonde,

We haven't got there yet, still the 31st here for many hours. Glad to have you back again, after yet another of your interesting trips. I wonder how many people worked on the decorations in the Governor's Mansion and how many hours it took to create this splendid effect.

Are those toy soldiers guarding the candy room German? They certainly look like some of the figures standing around in my house at the moment.

Have a very happy new year and may all go well.

I'll be in touch soon.

Vicki Lane said...

Many thanks, Vagabonde, for the virtual tour! That tree (a Japanese maple?) is spectacular! And I love the words from Jacques Brel -- "birdsongs upon awakening" is one of my favorite things (we hear mourning doves in the summer.)

Happiest of New Years!

Roger Gauthier said...

Thanks for these photos. Lucky you to have snow... but I trhink we have some too! :-)

Happy New Year,

Roger G.

Unknown said...

Les photos sont magnifiques.
Bonne et heureuse année 2010.
Je vous souhaite beaucoup de bonheur

Amitié Yves

Elaine said...

What a perfect time to tour the Governor's Mansion. The house is lovely, but with the addition of all the Christmas decorations is spectacular. I enjoyed the tour. The vintage postcards once again are very nice and the words from Mr. Brel are delightful.

A Very Happy New Year to you and yoru family!

Kenza said...

Très belle et heureuse année 2010!!
Et gros bisous de bonne année de France

BJM said...

Happy New Year to you and yours!

2 Dogs said...

Hello there! I'm glad you found me. Just today I was thinking ~ now that hubby has the scanner going again ~ that I need to post some of my travel photos. All taken pre-digital photography.

We lived in Germany then Scotland. I have tons of pics. Two years ago we went to Niagara Falls and Wash DC and took 1000 photos. LOL!

One place we didn't visit and I wish we had ~ Paris!!

I'm putting you on my sidebar. Hugs

இڿڰۣ FLO said...

Bonjour je passe te souhaiter une belle et douce année

""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Un petit passage chez toi Vagabonde pour te souhaiter un TRÈS BON WEEK END ! :o) BISES AMICALES !!!! ***

Nefertiti said...

tres bonne annee 2010,quelle vous comble !

RennyBA's Terella said...

Love the snowy pics - but then I'm a Norwegian :-)

What unique Christmas ornaments and decorations - thanks for sharing!

Happy New Year to you too :-)

✿France✿ said...

Bonsoir et bien je suis ravie de voir votre blog. De superbes photos un régal pour mes yeux
je vous souhaite doncnune belle et nouvelle Année

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tour. SO beautiful! White Christmas with all those glittering ornamentations! :)

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Fennie said...

Happy New Year, Vagabonde. Amazing guided tour and lovely poem (or was it a song?) by Brel. I'm still gasping in amazement at that wonderful tree in its fall colours.
Atlanta - is it still the home of Coca-Cola? And why call a place that is where Atlanta is, Atlanta? It would be like calling Phoenix Pacifica wouldn't it? Or is my geography up the spout? Who chose the name, I wonder?

Baino said...

There are some things that Americans simply excel at particularly parades and Christmas decorating. The mansion is spectacular, simply stunning. One of my dear friends is Macedonian and they too have Christmas on 7th Jan. Great for me! I get to celebrate it twice! Happy new year to you too Vagabonde and hoping for many more of your beautiful posts. I really love this blog.

Louis la Vache said...

Meilleurs voeux! Nouvelle année heureuse!

Rajesh said...

What a =fantastic set of snaps. Very beautiful.
Wish you Happy & Prosperous New Year.

Marguerite said...

Beautiful mansion and post! Your photos are spectacular! Merci beaucoup for the lovely tour and poem Wishing you and yours every happiness in the New Year! Cheers, mon cher ami!

Glennis said...

A great collection of montage photos and a nice New year calender.

Reader Wil said...

Toutes les photos sont très belles! Je vous souhaite aussi une très bonne année! Paix dans le monde ! J'aime aussi le poème de Jacques Brel.
Avez-vous été en Indonésie aussi? Comme enfant j'ai habité en Java jusqu'à l'age de douze ans après la guerre. La musique des "Aborigines" est très monotone, mais le son du "didgeridoo est très imposant et mystique sans doute. Comment puis- je traduire "Aborigines"et "didgeridoo"en français?

Angela said...

Salut! I came over from Janet`s blog where you left such a lovely comment. I liked your pictures and also Jacques Brel`s song - I have a CD of him and of course LOVE him. I am a German and gather that you came to the States either from France of Belgium? I spent a high school year in PA when I was 16 and also considered staying, but life had other plans.
It was nice meeting you. Viele Grüße von Angela

Linda said...

Thank you for a year of lovely posts, pictures and elegant cards. Your blog is such a joy to read.

Oh! I'm so sorry about the leak. That is truly an ordeal.

Happy (leak free) New Year!

Zuzana said...

Absolutely stunning pictures, what a a difference between the states.;) Love the tree in fall colours, unbelievable! Here we have not seen leaves for almost two months.
Happy 2010 to you and yours, hope it is a great one.;)

Shammickite said...

Thank you for your good wishes, and I say the same to you and your family..... A happy and healthy New Year liberally sprinkled with passion, energy and love!

PeterParis said...

Wow, what a rich post!!

I especially appreciated to see some pics from Columbus Ohio where I spent three months as an exchange student in 1965, some warm summer months without snow. I'm still in contact with my special hosts there, have never been back, but have met the nice couple at other places.

All the best for 2010!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the whole 12 days of Christmas, and then some, are in these beautiful pictures. Nice post.

le banc moussu said...

Hello I come here thru Leesa's blog.
Je te souhaite une belle et douce année 2010.
Les photos sous la neige sont superbes.

Vagabonde said...

Jinsky, Ruth, DJan, Wenn, Friko, Vicki Lane, Elaine, BJM, RennyBA’s Terella, Soleilian, Baino, Rajesh, Marguerite, Linda, Protégé, Shammickite, Peter and Abraham Lincoln - thank you friends for coming to my blog and for your good wishes. I hope you had some good times during the holidays and are ready to attack 2010 with great hope and enthusiasm. I appreciate your kind words and the fact that you took the time to come and leave a comment. Thank you all again.

Vagabonde said...

Nancy, Claude, Roger, Yves1947, Kenza, France, Louis la Vache et Reader Wil - Merci beaucoup chers amis pour vos gentils souhaits. J’espère que vous avez passé de bons moments pendants les vacances de fin d’année et que vous êtes en forme pour attaquer la nouvelle année avec enthousiasme et espoir. Je suis très sensible au fait que vous avez pris le temps de passer voir mon blog pour laisser un commentaire. Merci encore.

Vagabonde said...

Patti Cakes – Welcome to my blog and I look forward to looking at your travel pictures, please come to my blog again.
Glennis – Welcome to my blog and thanks for your nice wishes and for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back.

Vagabonde said...

Fennie – I went to your blog to answer about Atlanta’s name. It dates from the mid 1800s and I’ll try to do a post on it sometimes. The piece from Jacques Brel is a letter he sent to a friend once and was listed in his quotations. Thanks for stopping by – I always enjoy your comments.

Vagabonde said...

Angela – Welcome to my blog. Yes I came to the USA from France and I also lived near Philadelphia for a couple of years while my husband was in grad school at the University of Pennsylvania. Jacques Brel is one of my all time favorite. Thanks for coming to my blog and I’ll return the visit.

Vagabonde said...

Le banc moussu – merci d’être venu sur mon blog et pour le gentil compliment. J’ai regardé ton blog et il me semble très artistique et sophistiqué - et j'y retournerai. J’espère que tu reviendras passer me voir.

Ginnie said...

In all my years in Atlanta, Vagabonde, I'm so sorry to say I never visited the Governor's Mansion. Isn't that how it often is with things in your own backyard. I hate it. But thankfully, I have now seen it through your eyes and lens. What a magnificent job of sharing that delightful treasure. Thank you.

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar from Holland. Hopefully you're off to a great 2010!

""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Hello Vagabonde ! ***

Je viens te remercier pour ton message chez moi et je te souhaite un bon mardi ! :o)

*** GROS BISOUS A TOI VAGABONDE !!!! Amitiés... ***

PassionNature78 said...

Merci pour la balade en Georgie, un pays que je ne connais pas du tout. Merci pour le partage...
Je vois dans ton blog que tu as gardé un peu de nostalgie pour ton pays d'origine. Superbe photos..

Tous mes meilleurs voeux pour l'année 2010...

Mes blogs &

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

You must have felt so good and honored to visit such a great house! Thanks so much sharing. Indeed a pleasure to see.

Village Life

Ratty said...

Seeing so many rooms decorated for Christmas must have been amazing. Like being at the north pole with Santa Claus.

Vagabonde said...

Nancy – Merci pour ta visite, je suis toujours contente de lire tes messages
PassionNature78 - Merci d’etre venu me rendre visite et pour le gentil message. Je suis heureuse d’avoir de nouveaux amis bloggeurs

Vagabonde said...

Ginny - I am pleased that you visited the Governor’s Mansion though my blog. It is true that we rarely visit what is close to us. I have not been to the Atlanta Aquarium yet and a lot of visitors come from very far to see it.
Bavesh Chhhatbar - It certainly was wonderful to visit the beautiful mansion and listen to the children singing. I appreciate your visit to my blog.

Ratty – It was amazing to see so many Christmas trees, and everyone was different. It was a magical world. Thanks for your comment.

Paty said...

Hey, it´s very nice to hear taht you met Charles Aznavour. It must have been so delightful to live near Montmartre. I hope one day in the future I could spend more time in Paris to really understand its culture and history, as I had only one day in my vacation trip to meet this neighborhood. Be welcome to visit both of my blogs anytime you want!

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