Hopping out of the car to see the capitol, a cold breeze let me know I wasn’t in Florida any longer.
Under the glimmer of the gold dome, I found Jimmy Carter who has been an idol of mine for a long time, namely because he comes from humble beginnings and has spent his whole life advocating for peace, justice and equality. He embraced diversity and inclusion, long before it was even called that, at a time of deep segregation.
Ended up shimmying into my jeans in an empty parking lot because goosebumps were real, and I had a long way to walk on the Freedom Trail, the path that connects the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and the Carter Center.
The World Peace Rose Garden touched me. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the meditative serenity of that moment was interrupted by a man who wanted to recite poetry to me for a price. I wished him well and walked on.
Around the neighborhood are buildings preserved as they were decades ago, including a department store, old firehouse and Baptist church.
There were also signs with a sense of humor, street art and cuteness.
Military recruiting billboards were prevalent, as well.
Peaches were out of season, so will need to come back another time for fresh pie and homemade ice cream.
Thankfully, Luke Bryan, another son of Georgia, is in season year round.
Two women asked me for directions to the MLK site as I was leaving and provided the funniest moment of the day: “Some other history was almost made today – the two that never made it!”
We laughed and chatted about where we were from, and what kinds of trouble we get into, and talking to them made me aware that I was alone. Kept thinking how much more fun it’d be to experience this journey with a friend or two, someone to share with and bear witness.
Jacksonville to Atlanta: 346 miles
Stay: Apartment via airbnb, $100/night
Memorable Meal: Half slab, slaw and boiled peanuts from Fat Matt’s Rib Shack
Song of the Day: Drunk on You by Luke Bryan