27 May 2016
Last night Mom flew in from Pennsylvania and I drove from Tennessee to meet at the Best Western by the airport. For some reason we spent the night in a handicapped room which even had its own doorbell. We did some planning and then settled in to get some sleep before hitting the Gone with the Wind Trail in the morning.
After a typical Best Western breakfast we drove about 30 minutes to Marietta, Georgia and the Scarlett on the Square, Gone with the Wind Museum. The building was constructed around 1875 and is a former cotton warehouse and carriage stable. The museum is actually a privately owned collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan from Akron, Ohio. The small museum is full of memorabilia in all languages, even Russian and Chinese. Even though the book has been in print for 70 years it still sells 250,000 copies a year. There are many representations of the book in all languages here.
The spotlight though is on the Bengaline Gown. It is the original honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie. The dress was in this ecru shade so it would appear white on the Technicolor film reels.
After making our way through the gift shop we returned to midtown Atlanta for lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea House. It is a fabulous institution for southern cooking and one of the only places in the world that I wrote down my order. I enjoyed the shrimp and cheese grits with sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese while mom got chicken pot pie. As first timers to the restaurant we also got a sample of the pot likker which was excellent. I topped it off with some strawberry shortcake to keep my energy up for our next museum.
Not far from the restaurant is the Margaret Mitchell House. It was previously an apartment building which she dubbed “the dump”. It was abandoned for 10 years before the Benz Company paid for the renovations. In exchange they wanted to use it during the Olympics. However it was damaged by an arsonist and they were not able to have it in working order by the games. The company still paid for the renovations and never asked for anything else in exchange. Here they have a guided tour through the small apartment and you can see where she wrote most of Gone with the Wind. She had broken her ankle and back then that meant you had to stay home for a few months. So to keep busy she started a novel. She never thought it was any good and couldn’t believe how huge it became. There are displays here on the opening night in Atlanta where 30,000 people gathered to try to see the stars as they entered.
After this we headed 30 more minutes east to Covington, Georgia and the site of our bed and breakfast, twelve Oaks. It is a massive antebellum manor and little did I know our room was up two flights of stairs. It is adorable though with a TV and DVD player for watching Gone with the Wind.
The B&B has a nibbling hour with free wine, cheese and crackers and we passed a wonderful hour on the white rocking chairs on the porch. The main square is only 0.3 miles away so we walked in to town to Your Pie for pizza. It is a chipotle for pizza and it seemed kind of silly to get only cheese pizza but it was still delicious. Conveniently there is an ice cream place called Scoops two doors down and we packed on another pound before walking back to the B&B.