“Time flies when you’re having fun.” You’ve heard that before, and it’s true. This past year has absolutely flown by for the Picky Peaches. We’ve been having a ball as we’ve visited all the yummy places in the Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we started on this delicious journey.
You may be wondering how the Picky Peaches came to be. In September 2016, we had tickets to see a play and it was P2’s turn to pick a place to have dinner beforehand. She chose Darwin’s Burgers and Blues, based on Yelp reviews (see 10/14/17 blog post). While we were eating, we realized that we were analyzing everything from the food, to the service, to the restrooms. About a week earlier, P2 had found a website listing 12 Little Known Restaurants in Georgia. http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/georgia/little-known-restaurants-in-ga/ and we had decided to visit one each month for the next year. So P1 suggested that we start a blog about the restaurant, since we critique everything anyway. Did you ever think about the ramifications of eating at places you’ve never been? Or that weren’t referred to you by a friend? We must admit that, sometimes, if we hadn’t committed to the list, we may not have chosen these places on our own. However, we’re glad we ate at all of them. Our experience is further proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
So, you know that we ate at all of these restaurants and visited nearby attractions. Did you ever wonder what really went on behind the scenes? Besides driving hundreds of miles and drinking gallons of sweet tea, the table wine of the South, we learned a lot.
Some of the things were quite surprising:
When we went on a road trip last fall, the attraction we’d planned to visit was closed, so we were trying to find another place to visit and happened to stop next to a church. P2 said, “Let’s stop here, I want to see the cemetery.” That’s the week we learned a new word, taphophilia, and that P2 has it. Taphophilia is the enjoyment of visiting cemeteries. Most people only visit cemeteries when necessary. Taphophiles like to roam around cemeteries for hours, whether they know anyone there or not.
Even if you have a lot of food allergies or restrictions, you can usually find something to eat on any given menu. However, if you have a lot of allergies, many times the best thing to get is a burger, even if you have to deconstruct it. That’s why we reviewed burgers so many times this past year. The biggest challenge may have been remembering to take pictures before it got pulled apart.
Pimento cheese appears on many more menus than you can imagine. We ordered it at our first restaurant, Aubri Lane’s. It was so delicious that every time it appeared on a menu after that, either P1 or P3 ordered it. It soon became a “rule” that we had to get the pimento cheese every time it was on a menu. You’d be surprised at how many variations there are. We never got tired of it. Comfort food at its finest!
You’re never too old to face your fears. Good friends can encourage you to try something new so you can experience something wonderful. Maybe you’re afraid of water or, more specifically, boats. Good friends will buy your ticket, find you a seat and not let you step on the big snake on the dock. You’ll forget all about being afraid when you see those amazing manatees and alligators up close. You’ll be so busy oohing and aahing over all the beautiful birds and taking pictures that you’ll forget you’re on a boat.
At the end of the ride, you might even say, “That was so much fun!” It’s good to try something new.
In friend groups, there are roles. Some groups have a queen bee. We’re happy to say that our roles are equitable. We have a designated driver, navigator and cruise director. This works extremely well. The person who doesn’t drink at all, happens to love to drive and the faster the better. The one who gets carsick the easiest, loves to navigate, so she gets the front seat, and the cruise director loves to stretch out in her backseat “suite” while perusing travel websites. All I have to say about that is, “TURN HERE!”
One of the unexpected things we learned is that it helps to maintain a sense of humor at all times. We’re not really sure how it happened, but P2 never lost her composure even when she was on the floor of Matthews Cafeteria in a pile of green Jell-o and green beans (or, as she prefers to call them haricots vert), soaked in sweet tea. Yes, there were paramedics involved, but thankfully, no one was seriously injured.
We’ve had a blast on this 12-month journey and we hope you’ve enjoyed it too. We hope it has inspired and encouraged you to try new things and step outside your comfort zone. The biggest blessing for us in this entire process has been how much sharing these adventures has strengthened the bond of our friendship.
This will be the last regular Picky Peaches post for awhile. We completed the Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge and we’re ready for a break. Like the fruit, the Peaches have experienced a season of growth and will now enter a state of dormancy. As we periodically visit small towns and new restaurants, we’ll share what we discover and even do an occasional Peaches on the Road. We’ll let you know on Facebook when we do a new blog post.
Many thanks to our families and friends for their encouragement, help and support along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Love and Peaches,
Gaye, Julie and Susan
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