Carroll County Times

Cimino: Getting away for the holidays

I’ve been thinking about … getting away.

We thought about it for a long time and then we did it. We got away over Christmas. I can’t say there weren’t any feelings of guilt at the thought of saying “I just can’t do this anymore,” at least the way I like to do it. That, of course, means all the cleaning, polishing, decorating, shopping and wrapping. Joe has taken on more and more responsibility for the cooking over the last few years so that has been a great help, but it was finally too much for him as well.


We thought about taking a cruise out of Baltimore but they were all about two weeks long and we wanted to be back by the New Year. We decided we could do one of our “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” road trips so, we made reservation at an Inn in Marietta, Georgia, near Atlanta, and headed south. We thought that was very clever of us, heading south, until we got there. Coldest Christmas on record. Snow, even. The normal, annual snowfall in the area is 1 inch and they saved it all for us.

We took our time on the road, driving by day and spending the night when we got tired. We listened to Casey Kasem play the songs of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and raised our voices when we knew all the words. Sometimes we just enjoyed the quiet. One thing we did notice was the number of tractor-trailers, of every shape and size on the interstate moving goods from one place to another. Hope that’s a good sign for the economy.


The Inn at Marietta was beautiful. We reserved a small efficiency apartment with its own private entrance. It made a good base of operations for some exploring. Marietta is bigger than I thought, about 60,000 people. We drove around town enjoying the Christmas decorations. There was one street where the residents had made 2-foot balls out of chicken wire, wrapped lights around them and put them in the trees on their properties. Great idea, I thought. Can’t wait to tell the people back home about this. And then there was the train. The tracks go through the heart of Marietta and the trains run on the hour, every hour. It didn’t take long to get used to the sound and it actually became pleasing to the ear.

One of the things on my “to do” list was a visit to the Booth Museum of American Western Art in Cartersville, Georgia. The museum was built by the same organization that built the Carroll Nonprofit Center here in Westminster and we were delighted with it. They have a huge collection of paintings, sculptures and artifacts, incredible to behold. I could swear that the large bronze sculptures of cowboys on bucking broncos were moving. We definitely need to go back again.

We took a trip into Atlanta one day and ate at a restaurant called Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Mary Mackenzie was widowed in World War II and had to fend for herself and her children. It went against southern tradition for a woman to open a restaurant but a Tea Room was fine. The fried green tomatoes were lovely and the service impeccable.

We took the long way home and got a taste of Nashville, Tennessee. We didn’t get to see a show but we did see the Honky Tonks on Broadway even though we had to beat our way through the bowl game traffic and a lot of downtown construction to do it. Final word? “There’s no place like home.”