Day 2: Travels With Rosie

“I like pigs. Cats look down on us. Dogs look up to us. Pigs treat us as equals.” — Winston Churchill.

First, to set the record straight, while Churchill is clear about his feelings about pigs, I’m not. At this point, call me undecided. Maybe by the end of this trip, I’ll have made up my mind, for now now, I’m just not sure how I feel about our daughter’s pet pig. Now, back to our trip . . .

Well, it’s still incredibly cold down south, with no let-up in sight. We’re now in Atlanta, where there’s still some snow on the ground, and more snow forecast for Monday. We’ll keep driving until it gets warm or we hit water. Why do I feel that we’ll hit water first?

This morning, we were slow out of the starting blocks. The night passed uneventfully, with the four of us in beds and Rosie on the bathroom floor. I generally get up early, and tried to get a newspaper (“We don’t have newspapers on weekends”) or an early cup of coffee (all out) at our hotel. We found a Peete’s but — in a way that can only happen in the deep South or on a Caribbean Island — it took twenty minutes to get coffee and juice.

Despite some early hassles, we were happy that we exited the Sheraton without being arrested for pig smuggling. As you can see from our luggage cart, though, we may not have been completely transparent about having a pig with us during our stay. Where’s Rosie?

We then headed southeast toward Atlanta, passing through the westernmost corner of South Carolina on the way. A couple of years ago, we lived in Charleston for four years, but never made it to this region of the state. Well, today we finally made it to Spartanburg, briefly (see left for scenery) and concluded that Spartanburg makes Scranton or Gary look good.

But we loved Greenville, a cute little town with a great downtown area. We ate lunch there, and strolled around the city. We had heard good things about Greenville, and we were really captivated by it. Funny how some out of the way places can be so appealing.

The same phenomena that happened in Roanoke was repeated in Greenville, with Rosie turning lots of heads. I’m sure the adults we meet have all seen pigs before (although many of the young children probably haven’t), but there’s something about seeing a pig in the middle of the city. It reminds me of the way people used to react on the old television show Candid Camera. At one point today, someone a half block away was yelling congratulations to us for having such a “great dog.”

Greenville, it turns out, is also hometown to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Our son is a big baseball player, and has always been interested in Shoeless Joe. So we were excited to see his statue in a city square, and to be reminded of how he was banned for fixing the World Series — a series in which he played excellent baseball and forever denied involvement in the fraud.

In Atlanta, we’re staying with our great long-term friends, the Seabrooks. They have two great boys, and a household full of pets (two dogs and a Bearded Dragon), so our gang is having a blast. We went for a river walk this afternoon, and watched some of the Olympics tonight after a fabulous dinner. Now that we’re back on the east coast, we’re able to spend time with our very best friends, and are really thankful for the proximity.

At this point, we don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow night. We’re debating heading west toward Vicksburg and New Orleans, or east toward the Okeefenokee Swamp and Jacksonville. We’ll spend a bunch of time tomorrow exploring Atlanta, and then figure something out.

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