Before you jump on me about the peaches, I do realize I was not in Georgia at the right time to get some of the famous Georgia peaches…guess I will have to make a return journey to get the full experience with the big juicy peaches. That being said, I couldn’t leave the state without at least eating a peach in the state, so I purchased some not so ripe peaches and they are actually now pretty good as I sit eating them two states away in North Carolina.
The second half of my 10 day stay in Georgia landed me in Statesboro. Statesboro is a classic college town where the city size doubles every time the students roll in. It felt very similar to the college town feel of Athens, OH where I had done my graduate work at Ohio University. Too stubborn to bring my air mattress in for the 5 night stay, I made the couches work at a buddy’s place in the town. Despite being a 5 person house, I pretty much had the place to myself all day to turn into my office during the week as the Athletic Training master’s program at Georgia Southern seems to keep their students pretty busy.
As seems to be the case with every weekend of the trip so far, I tried to pack it in knowing I only had one weekend in the city. Nate led me on a wonderful campus tour of Georgia Southern, where one of the two water towers ironically has the old school logo on it while the new one is displayed prominently on the other water tower. We walked around the rec which had palm trees in the middle of it…definitely not in Missouri anymore.
That evening, Nate convinced the (almost) whole crew to head to Savannah for dinner and a walking tour of the city. Savannah was incredible. A great combination of small town feel, waterfront, and history in an easy to walk around area. If you have not been, it is worth stopping in for a stay. During the walking tour, I even experienced my first praline. Unlike the “Georgia peach,” the praline did not disappoint. I guess sugar is never out of season. Possibly my favorite part of the trip was the historic steps. They talked up the stairs on the way there, and I thought to myself what can be so cool about stairs. Once I made it down to the stairs, I was convinced. They have left in the old stairs going down to the waterfront and they are STEEP. The sign really capped it off, saying “use at your own risk”.
On Sunday Nate had a double header at East Georgia where he is the head Athletic Trainer, so I explored Statesboro on bike. Convinced to go with no directions on this bike journey, I rolled around town going up and down Main Street (both ways) as they have a north-south version as well as an east-west version and following any signs for attractions. This landed me everywhere imaginable in Statesboro and was well worth the trip. I even got a little workout in on some old school workout machines. Wrapped up the day catching the last few innings of East Georgia baseball, doing my best to act like a scout. I would never root for a serious injury, but I kind of wanted to see a minor cramp to see Nate charging on to the field…it didn’t happen though.
As if packing it in to the weekend wasn’t enough, I knew my trip to Georgia wouldn’t be complete without attempting to visit one of the most historic golf courses in the world. I had been told you can’t get in, but I just had to see it for myself. A 5:00 AM wake up call had me on the road before 5:30 and in Augusta, GA by sunrise. For the non-golfers that haven’t figured out where I am going with this yet…I was at Augusta National where the Master’s is held. Only members or “guests” of members can visit the course during the 51 weeks that are not the Masters championship. Those who warned me were correct, you can’t get anywhere close. I traveled around the entire perimeter and saw nothing more than a fairway through a fence and trees. I decided to give up efforts as I was slightly “encouraged” back into my car while taking a picture of the main entrance by a security guard. The picture was worth it.