By: Sandra Elzie
On March 29th, my husband and I celebrated another anniversary. Some years we simply go out to dinner, but since we eat out quite often, that’s not nearly as special an outing as an anniversary deserves. Hey, when you start counting years together by decades, the day should never be taken for granted, but embraced!
Numerous years ago, my husband told me he didn’t think it was a fair deal that it was always left up to the guy to plan the outing to celebrate the anniversary…and since I had to admit that he had a good point, we decided to trade off. This year it was my turn.
I debated and debated, but then my March copy of Southern Living arrived and I found exactly what I was looking for in one of the articles. I made the reservation and we left home about noon the day before our anniversary, headed to Milledgeville, Georgia.
I can just hear some of you…..Milledgeville, Georgia???? “Never heard of it.” “What in the world is in Milledgeville, GA?” Well, now I’m glad you asked because I’m here to share our overnight trip with you…..well, some of it, anyway. (g)
I made reservations at the Antebellum Inn, a Bed & Breakfast in the historic district of town. I’ve stayed in a few B&Bs before, but I must tell you that the atmosphere, décor and service at this one would be difficult to beat. The owner and hostess is Jane Lorenz and she is the epitome of gracious southern hospitality.
We stayed in the Magnolia Room, but there were four others just as interesting and just as lovely. Our room featured a claw-footed tub, a king-sized four-poster bed and for those who wanted to keep in touch with the outside world, cable TV and Internet. When she escorted us upstairs, she carried a cut crystal decanter of fresh, filtered water and cut crystal glasses. It’s these thoughtful touches that make so much difference.
We asked our hostess for a suggestion where to dine and she immediately recommended Aubri Lane’s Restaurant. Then she offered to call ahead and make a reservation for us.
The restaurant, (named after the owner’s two children), has been beautifully renovated and has a wine list and food menu that makes the choices extremely difficult. We each chose white wine to compliment the Tilapia served on a bed of couscous with a spinach salad and a side of steamed broccoli. It was, hands down, the best Tilapia I’ve ever eaten. (I considered trying to bribe someone for the recipe, but……)
The handsome young man who gave us such impeccable service is a senior at the local college, majoring in Accounting and planning to continue on to get his MBA. He was polite and gave just the right amount of service without hovering. We passed up dessert—another difficult decision, but the fish was so good that I had no room left for anything else.
The owner came out to greet us and wish us a happy anniversary and as we talked, he told us that he and the owner of the B&B are working on plans to offer a package deal in the future to include a room at the Inn and a cooking class with him. Okay, that sealed the deal…I’ll definitely be going back to Milledgeville.
After dinner we walked along the shops in town and planned which ones we’d visit the next day before heading home. We stopped off at the Blackbird Coffee Shop. Our waiter had recommended it and, again, it was fabulous. Despite Easter week vacation, there were a few students there with computers and I see why. Our lattes were perfect…rich, creamy, smooth, and no bitterness from over-roasted beans. Nice ending to our day.
The next morning started with breakfast, prepared with my diet in mind. Having previously being asked about our preferences, we were served scrambled eggs, bacon, a delicious thick-cut wedge of multi-grain bread, fresh fruit compote, juice and coffee. We enjoyed talking with two other couples also staying at the Inn and ended up spending the morning with one of the couples when we took a guided Historic Trolley Tour together.
On the tour, we learned many things about Milledgeville, including that it was once the capital of Georgia. We enjoyed seeing all the antebellum homes in the historic district and learning their history. Oh, and for those interested in old, haunted homes…I’m happy to tell you that Milledgeville has a haunted antebellum home where Miss Sue walked the halls and grounds long after her death.
The city is rich in Civil War history, as is Macon, Gray Clinton, Eatonton, Madison, Watkinsville and Athens, all cities along the Antebellum Trail. www.antebellumtrail.org If the Civil War era interests you, you need to treat yourself to a few days in southern Georgia’s smaller towns. Or, like us, instead of taking a long vacation out of state, take an overnight trip to each of the cities and see what’s right in our own back yard.