We arrived at Barb's beautiful home right around 5:30 where we met Barb's parents as well as Al and his wife Barbara and then later on Barb's neighbors from across the street - Mike, Peggy, and their daughter Vicky. Such a nice group of people all the way around and there was none of that awkward first-meeting stuff going on as when you meet someone you've met through blogging it's like you've already met before and you're just picking up where you left off since the last get-together!
And of course there was Whitey who I briefly thought about trying to fit into my suitcase so that I could smuggle him out! What a grand fellow he is and just the nicest cat ever! And soft! Oh my gosh is this guy soft!
Anyhow, after dinner Barb and I chatted and sipped wine into the late hours until I looked at a clock and was surprised to see that it was 1:00 a.m.! Those who read Barb's blog know that she's a very early morning person and here I was keeping her up to almost the time that she gets up! I'm going to blame that on her, though, as she's just so darned easy to talk to and somehow the Chianti kept reappearing in my glass and well ... you know!
Before packing up to head south towards Saint Augustine and the next stop on our trip, I took some pictures of the swamp behind Barb's house. The geese and their goslings weren't there but the swamp was still beautiful regardless.
Following hugs good-bye and talk about getting together again sometime (perhaps when it's a bit cooler!), Jamie and I began the next leg of our journey but not before I stopped off in downtown Valdosta to take some pictures:
Of course, once I arrived home I just had to do a little research on the place where my former-Yankee-turned-Southern-belle blogging friend lives so here's a few fun facts about Valdosta, Georgia:
In 1837, the city of Troupville became the Lowndes county seat. When the Gulf and Atlantic Railroad decided to put a right-of-way four miles south of Troupville, the citizens of Troupville made an interesting move to ensure the future prosperity of their town – they picked it up and moved it four miles. The town was then renamed Valdosta , in honor of “Val d’Aosta,” the plantation home of former Governor George Troup. In 1860, Valdosta was incorporated as the new seat of county government.
Valdosta’s history has been closely tied to the soil. The sandy loam allowed the city to become the inland capital for Sea Island cotton. When cotton crops were devastated by the boll weevil in the early 1900s, other crops such as pecans, peanuts, and tobacco rose in popularity.
Valdosta is the 11th largest city in Georgia .
Valdosta has a population of over 48,000+.
The composer of “Jingle Bells,” James Lord Pierpoint, was from Valdosta .
Famous gunfighter and gambler, Doc Holliday, was from Valdosta .
The Valdosta High School Wildcat football team which has won more games than any other high school in the nation has given rise to the city’s nickname — “Winnersville.”