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» Saturday, March 20, 2021Sweet and Sour, Pizza and Ribs (Atomicon, Day 3)
It was our last full day in Helen, so we celebrated by having a long, long breakfast with everyone. Hopefully next year we can go back to proper breakfasts and we won't have to juggle cereal bowls and cups over to the conference room; previous years they brought us eggs and sausage and we could use trays. (This year the tables used for breakfasts were covered in their extra inventory of paper products.) Luckily it was a little cooler today than yesterday, so the fact that we didn’t go out until almost noon was okay. Once again we traversed the back street and took the bridge over the Chattahoochee, and this time we did find the Olive Tree–it is now downtown on Main Street next to the coffee shop, in a terribly teeny space (I think it was formerly a T-shirt and sunglasses shop!), but we did manage. They didn’t have their sign out yet, so they had to keep shooing people in, though. (They can't leave the door open because the vinegar samples attract flies.) We already had a second bottle of the white peach balsamic vinegar, but we had loved the honey ginger as a finishing sauce for pork and chicken last year, so we got a larger bottle of that.
This time we walked all the way down to Hofer’s bakery and sandwich shop, where the nice broad sidewalk ends and turns into a narrower path not suitable for the power chair. James wanted a slice of German chocolate cake, but the ramp at Hofer's is not wide and kind of hard for him to navigate, so I went in to get it for him, and found a bonus: Ritter dark chocolate-covered peppermint cream bars. They were terribly expensive, but I got two as a treat. We used to find these all the time at Nam Dae Mun, then they quit carrying them, and I'd wondered if they had quit making them.
On the way back we peeked in the other stores on the opposite side of the street and I bought my yearly half-pound of almond bark from the Hansel and Gretel candy shop, and got James some sugar-free caramels as well. It was another lovely, breezy day, and we loitered under the overhangs of the different little shops, listened to the live music being played in the performance area, then walked/rolled under the bridge again, along the river, and wound through the parking lots through the back via Edelweiss Street.
Once again we had leftovers for lunch–James had the big chili bowl he didn’t expect last night at Bigg Daddy’s and I had the other half of my personal pizza. People wandered in and out, and we always had someone to talk with.
A big group went out for dinner tonight at Bodensee, the German place down the road, but it’s rather expensive, and Bodensee is not a large place. I was also kinda jonesing for barbecue. We found two likely places, both a few miles away in Cleveland, but one was going to close in a half hour. So James and I, plus Alice and Ken, and their former church pastor, Amy, went to a place just past the Walmart we went to yesterday, Rib Country BBQ. We had to wait about 20 minutes, but, boy, what great food and the service was terrific! I wanted ribs and James said “Let’s splurge!” and we got a dinner for two: a rack of ribs, a pound of barbecue, a pound of brisket, and half a barbecue chicken, plus french fries and I had applesauce on the side and he had baked beans. I ate every single rib except for the one I gave to James, he ate a little of everything, and we had two big containers of leftovers to take home. [Later: James used the fries to make eggs, Spam, and potato breakfasts, and we ate off the leftovers as well!]
By the time we got back, people were already playing games. Oreta had the new anniversary edition of Chronology, and she, Melinda, Shawn, and I played both versions. The new version has a lot more modern stuff and isn’t as “nerdy,” I think. She also showed us how the locked room mystery games work, but we didn’t play one. There were different “conversation pits,” and James partook of several, and we wandered sleepily off to bed sometime after midnight.