I used the photos I took of Elena during her performance to play with them with my new cell phone app. You can see the results below.
Rainy weather came the following fifteen days, as well as thunderstorms and some tornadoes. I looked at the weather forecast every morning to see if two days of sunny weather were coming up. Finally two days of full sun were forecast, this last Tuesday April 21 and also April 22. We went on a little trip east of Atlanta. First we stopped at my husband's former firm. When he retired he left behind a lovely quilt that his cousin had made for him so we picked it up. You can see it below. Since my husband was working for a wildlife and conservation organization, the quilt shows wild animals in the dark material. A variety of nature and outdoor life motifs were embroidered in the light squares.
For a late lunch, we drove a bit further east to the small town of Social Circle, Georgia. There is a well-known inn there called The Blue Willow Inn. It features traditional Southern cuisine. On the Web, Yelp, urbanspoon, tripadvisor and roadfood give the inn from 4 1/2 to 5 stars for their food. The inn is located in a 1917 neoclassical Greek revival mansion with a wide portico porch supported by four fluted columns with Corinthian capitals.
Lunch came with a choice of iced tea, homemade lemonade or coffee. Before choosing food from the buffet, I took several pictures.
As you can see above, there was a lot of choices: baked ham, chicken livers, fried chicken, roast beef and gravy, chicken and dumplings, baked salmon, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, corn, green beans, creamed potatoes, black-eyed peas, sweet potato soufflé, fried green tomatoes and chutney, rice, lima beans, tomatoes and okra, buttermilk biscuits, corn bread muffins as well as a salad bar. I tried to take just a little bit of several items but my plate was very full. I could not finish it. My husband's plate was quite full too.
Did you know that fried green tomatoes were a Native American dish? They introduced it to the colonists who exported it to Europe. The Catholic Church had banned eating ripe tomatoes because they felt that the skin of a ripe tomato had the texture of human skin and believed it was an aphrodisiac ... Then I took a look at the dessert buffet while my husband was finishing his plate.
I passed the peanut pie, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue pie, apple pie, chess pie, spiced muffins, Blue Willow squares, brownies, coconut layer cake, peach cobbler and settled for a thin slice of chocolate cake and a small piece of pecan pie - but could not finish either.
There are several cookbooks from the inn, the latest is called The Blue Willow Inn Cookbook and is in paperback I think. Mine, bought second-hand, is the 2005 edition of the Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking, with 600 recipes.
The inn is named for the china pattern "Blue Willow." A collection of dishes in that pattern is exhibited throughout the house. The mansion, decorated with antique furniture, accessories and beautiful crystal chandeliers is a perfect background for a leisurely lunch.
After lunch we stopped briefly by the front porch and sat in rocking chairs close to rhododendrons in full bloom.
It was such a beautiful warm and sunny day that we hated to leave. We slowly toured the garden, passing the elegant three-tiered fountain and the little garden statues.
Across the street is another impressive mansion, not quite as large as the Blue Willow Inn.
Later on I found out that this mansion was built for Sanders Upshaw in 1916. His older brother, John, decided to have a pillared mansion built for his wife Bertha, and to have it constructed directly across the street. In 1917, as a friendly rivalry with his brother Sanders, John Upshaw built his stately mansion larger and grander (which has been the Blue Willow Inn since 1991.) First, John Upshaw had to have a two-story Victorian cottage built in 1899 moved to the side of his lot. The name "Upshaw" sounded familiar to me, so I researched it on the Web. The first husband of Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, was named Red Upshaw. Below is Margaret Mitchell with Red Upshaw and underneath, Margaret as a flapper in the 1920s. (Courtesy Atlanta History Center.)
I selected 3 photos to use with my cell phone apps - the watercolor and the paint apps. Below are the original photos, then the way they look after going through my apps.