Georgia, USA - 05

Trip Start Aug 02, 2004
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40
Trip End Sep 25, 2005


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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Georgia
After our in and out jumps into Tennessee we ended up driving south again - heading into Georgia to visit the cities of Atlanta and Savannah (supposedly one of the best walking cities in the greater US).

What we have done and saw:
- Got a laptop - yep we dropped more cash. Seriously though, it is pretty much essential in the US. Internet cafes are few and far between on the road (big cities yes but firewall protection blocks many things and its expensive - think US$10/hr) and most chain hotels have free DSL or wireless connectivity.
- Visited the CNN Building and did the CNN studio tour learning about the world's most watched news station (CNN International, CNN national, CNN Espanol). Mental note - green and blue clothing does not show up on the weather maps.
- Walked around the downtown area seeing the 5 points (somewhat seedy), Centennial Park (beautiful parklands a legacy of the 1996 Olympics), walked through the underground (shops in a historical underground street - would have to agree with Lonely Planet on this one - "it is not much more than a struggling mall in a historic atmosphere"), took a long walk to Grant Park (a large park on each of the city which is a bit of an oasis surrounded by old and beautiful historic houses)
- Stayed in a Hardeeville (actually in South Carolina!!)- described to us by an American as "a bit rough" but also the town where we had a dinner in an authentic Mexican cantina (no English anywhere, Spanish speaking staff and customers and of course very traditional food). This is the hottest food Shaun has ever had - it invoked sweating, dizziness and nausea!!
- Visited Savannah - the home of the first English settlement in the Georgian colony in 1733. It became a very prosperous city on the back of shipping and this wealth was reflected in the city's buildings. You just walk and walk and walk around the numerous green squares, historic streets and the waterfront. It is also home to the biggest burger Shaun has eaten to date - the 1 pound burger - huge but they forgot to make the bun bigger!!
- Caught up with one of Shaun's ex-colleagues who is relocating - Bill and Judi Wulf for an evening of news and dining at a local restaurant.

Insights:
- Electronics equipment is so cheap in America - but don't expect to be able to bargain too much - it is not the done thing and the shelf price is shelf price. Watch out for different county taxes though - in some cases they can be 10% less by driving a few miles down the road.
- People in Georgia, particularly Atlanta are pretty nice and we encountered many that had moved from other states such as Louisiana, New York etc
- Stay away from major towns which have tourist attractions during long weekends - Americans get limited annual leave so make the most of the 3 day weekends.

Favourite things about Georgia:
- Getting a computer - you need to be connected!!
- Savannah - great little city and lots of history to boot.
- CNN tour - Leah is now looking at a career change.
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