Friday, September 30, 2011

More Lumpkin Jail Antics

If you are a member of the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Department, life is not boring. Especially not based on some of the recent reports we've been getting.

There's the story of the inmate at the LCSD detention center who was playing tic-tac-toe. Only problem was that he was ticing, tacing and toeing on his cell door....causing approximately $1,700 in damages to the door. AND, he now has a new charge against him - Criminal Interference with Government Property.

In other LCSD news, last week a LCSD trustee, assigned to the Red Oak Flats county shop, walked away from his work detail. In fact, he walked right into his girl friend's car that just happened to pull up at the same time. Fortunately, LCSD had the trustee back in custody a few hours later.

Before he walked away, the 30 year old trustee was serving a short sentence for a misdemeanor or probation violation. Now according to Lumpkin Sheriff Stacy Jarrard, the 'former' trustee is "looking at five years for nine hours of freedom."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Best of Dahlonega - Our Take

The people have least those who voted in the Dahlonega Nugget's BEST OF contest. The newspaper released Wednesday a list of those people and businesses that were voted Dahlonega's Best of...

While D&B agrees with a number of Best of Picks, we have a few of our own:
  • Best Real Estate Agent - Sandra Williams of Sellers Realty. She patiently showed us dozens of homes before we found our new home in Dahlonega. She was savvy and definitely knowledgeable.
  • Best Coffee - It's not Starbucks. The best coffee in Dahlonega is at the Picnic Cafe and Dessertery on the square. Our favorite is Hazelnut. YUM! 
  • Best Appetizer - In our opinion, the crab cake appetizer at the Backdoor Porch Oyster Bar is the best in the city. The chef doesn't use breading, so the crab cake has LOTS of crab.
  • Best Photographer - Well this is a no-brainer. Lamar Bates of Lamar Photography. A photo volunteer for the Lumpkin Chamber of Commerce, he's doing a fabulous job capturing the fun events in this area. 
  • Best Sunday Brunch - This honor has to go to the Bourbon Street Grill. Eggs Benedict, beignets, coffee with chicory and eating on the porch overlooking the town square. Can't beat that.
  • Best Chicken Pot Pie- This is definitely one of the most popular dishes at Yahoola Creek Grill. After you've eaten the first bite, you will know why.
  • Best Hamburger - When we took friends to Shenanigans Irish Pub and we all ordered the pub burger, one friend announced, "This is the best hamburger I've ever eaten." Yes, their burgers are that good.
  • Best Dog Groomer - PeeWee Grooming wins this award. D&B's Scottie came home with the best cut/trim she's ever had. PeeWee definitely knows their doggie cuts.
  • Best Wine Vixen - That has to be Vicki at Naturally Georgia tasting room in The Bleu Gallery on the downtown square. Vicki serves up wine from two North Ga. wineries, adding a bit of personality with each glass she pours.
  • Best New Wine - According to Mr. B, Cavendar Creek Vineyards and Winery's 2010 vintage of Petit Manseng is fabulous. For a taste test, visit the vineyards' tasting room, 12-5 Friday and Saturday, 1-5 Sunday. Tastings are free.
    Stay tuned to Dahlonega and Beyond for more of our Best Of's.

      Tuesday, September 27, 2011

      Cruise Tips from Monarch of the Seas

      D&B have just returned from a vacation way beyond Dahlonega, cruising on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas, our 5th time on that ship.

      As serial cruisers or frequent floaters, people often ask us for cruising tips. Here's a few we've learned after almost 70 cruises:
      1. Try new foods. For example, B never eats fish, but on this cruise, he tried Shrimp and Mahi Mahi Tempura for the first time. He liked it so much that he ordered a second plate.
      2. Always pack a sewing kit and safety pins. When buttons pop or hems come out, you are prepared.
      3. Just say no to the Seasick Patch. First the seas are usually pretty calm but if you feel woozy, use the motion sickness wrist bands. We tried the seasick patches once. They do work, but after a day or two you feel lightheaded and have trouble focusing. Reading a menu becomes a challenge.
      4. Take a Dramamine before going to sleep at night. We've done this on every cruise and while others complain of feeling the waves while in bed, we sleep the night through.
      5. Think twice before buying spa products. After a massage or other spa treatment, the technicians will offer you a variety of "must have" products. Watch out. They can be expensive, very expensive.
      More cruising tips to come later.

      Friday, September 23, 2011

      The Smith House - The Legend, The Fried Chicken

      The Smith House is legendary in North Georgia. On Sundays, the front yard of this Dahlonega home style restaurant is filled with people waiting their turn for family-style fare - for fried chicken, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn bread, fried okra and so much more.

      The Smith House is a boarding house style eatery (with great reviews) where strangers are thrown together for the meal. People share conversation as they crunch on the extra crispy chicken, sip the super sweet tea, and repeatedly ask, "Would you pass the..."

      Long before Paula Deen's Southern fare became popular, Georgians flocked to The Smith House for a true Southern food. D&B included. In fact our first trip there was over 30 years ago.

      D&B was back at The Smith House a few days ago. We were seated at a table with a man from Elijah who had migrated to North Georgia from metro Atlanta. A true Southern gentleman, the man from Elijah didn't mind a bit when we asked him to pass the potatoes, pass the gravy, and please pass us another piece of chicken!

      While The Smith House may never win a James Beard award or five culinary stars, it's a great place for Southern fare and a great place to make new friends. It's also another MUST VISIT spot when traveling North Georgia.

      Thursday, September 22, 2011

      Fiddlehead Fest

      America's Got Talent may not have loved the Fiddleheads, but Dahlonega sure does. The Fiddleheads are a local group of North Georgia College and State University grads and students who competed on America's Got Talent earlier this summer.

      The local group wowed fans, but, unfortunately, not all the judges. But that was then....this is now. The fiddling fan favorite is making their first post-competition appearance in Dahlonega on Thursday, Sept. 29. The 'new grass' band will play at the university's Greenfest, at 6:30 p.m.on the school's drill-field.

      The Greenfest organizers are hoping for a large crowd as the community and university welcome the Fiddleheads back home. If you can't make the Fiddleheads' Dahlonega show, plan on buying the group's first CD, which they are in the process of recording.

      Wednesday, September 21, 2011

      Inmate Restrained Because of Sprinkler

      Last month, Dahlonega and Beyond wrote about how a couple of inmates at the Lumpkin County Detention Center had a weird fascination with toilet water. This month, instead of the toilet, sprinkler heads are the latest point of interest for an inmate.

      According to the Dahlonega Nugget's Crime Beat, a Lumpkin County inmate was restrained "after he reportedly tried to throw his mattress at the sprinkler heads in his cell. That was the second time the inmate had to be restrained that day. Earlier he was "put in a restraint chair after he threatened to bang his head on the wall."

      Guess those spending time at the local jail just like water containment devises.

      Tuesday, September 20, 2011

      Cyclists Coming to Dahlonega

      Over 3,000 people are coming to Dahlonega, Saturday, Sept. 25, to participate in or watch Georgia's Premier Cycling event, the Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty rides. Hundreds of cyclists will travel along curvy, challenging mountain roads across North Georgia, riding on Tour de Georgia routes.

      The Six Gap route includes six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia mountains, with more than 11,200 feet of vertical climbing over 104 miles. Elevations, according to race officials, range from 1,400 to 3,460 ft. The Hogpen Gap has a 7% grade for seven miles. The Three Gap Fifty is half what the distance of the Six Gap, but cyclists will still face the same elevations.

      D&B will work as a volunteer for the race with Mr. D&B photographing the event for the Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce, the key sponsor the race. A bike expo will take place on Dahlonega's square Saturday. The races kick off Saturday and Sunday at the Dahlonega High School.
      Click Photo to See Race Details and Video

      Saturday, September 17, 2011

      Bad Guy Take on Taser

      Tasers work. They stop do-badders right in their tracks. At least that's what a Lumpkin County deputy thought until he tased a man who was resisting arrest. The deputy zapped the guy and waited for him to drop to the ground.

      But the To-Be-Arrested Man didn't go down. Instead, he ripped one of the taser probes from his chest and went after the deputy. Again, the deputy fired his taser gun. And again, nothing happened. The tasers didn't phase the "You're Not Going to Arrest Me" man.

      The skirmish continued. Soon other deputies rushed to the aid of the Deputy One. After kicking one deputy and pushing another against the wall (all while handcuffed), the really angry "Tasers Don't Work on Me" man was finally subdued and was arrested.

      Lesson learned here - You can't always count on your taser gun to take down the bad guys.

      Thursday, September 15, 2011

      Looking for something to do Saturday?

      Come to Dahlonega if you're looking for something to do Saturday, Sept. 17. The weather is going to be fabulously fall-like and there's plenty of activities for you, such as:
      • Shop at the Farmers & Artists Market, Hancock Park, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Homemade jams, jellies, pickles and more are available as well as handmade jewelry, pottery, and other handicraft.
      • Listen to Appalachian music on the Square, 2 to 5 p.m. - You'll hear acoustic bluegrass and old time string music at Saturday's 2011 Dahlonega Appalachian Jam. Bring a chair so you can sit on the Gold Museum's lawn or even an instrument and play along with the music makers.
      • Want more music? - If you are on the square, stop by Shenanigan's Pub and listen to the sounds of Stoned Sandwich. (And be sure to order one of Shenanigan's famous pub burgers.) You can also hear Tom Talton, who toured with Gregg Allman,  at the Crimson Moon; and the Remember When Band at the Sidewinder Grill at Hwy. 19/129.
      • Walk the Scarecrow Trail at the North Georgia Zoo - Of course, take a tour of the zoo too.
      • Stay for the Rita Graham Jazz and Blues Concert at the Holly Theater, 8 p.m. - Tickets are $20 - You'll love this refurbished theater, its old time concession stand, and, of course, the great jazz and blues.
      • Feast on fall food featured at the Yahoola Creek Grill. Choose between chicken and dumplings, roasted vegetable lasagna, and my favorite, barbecue brie ribeye (oh yum.)

      If this isn't enough for ya'll, go wine tasting, rent a kayak, hike up to a water fall or stop at Connie's Sandwich Shop for a double dip ice cream cone. Now I don't want to hear anyone say that coming to Dahlonega is BORING.

      Saturday, September 10, 2011

      Dahlonega to Observe 9/11 Anniversary

      On Sunday, September 11, 2011, the people of Dahlonega will remember and honor the thousands of men and women who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Flags at half mast, a 21 gun salute, speeches, prayers and a candlelight ceremony are part of the ways we are remembering.

      Announced 9/11 events in Dahlonega include:
      2 p.m. -  Memorial Ceremony in front of the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Hosted by the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office, Lumpkin County Emergency Services, and the 5th Ranger Training Battalion of Camp Frank D. Merrill. Remarks by Lt. Col. Robert O'Brien, Ranger Battalion Commander.

      2:30 p.m. - Remembrance of what took place at Ground Zero, 2001. A gathering of Lumpkin County Veterans Advisory Committee, veterans, police, firefighters and family. Bobber's Fish House Restaurant.

      7:30 p.m. - Candlelight Ceremony sponsored by North Georgia College and State University at the school's drill field. Col. Michael Pyott, a professor of military science and university graduate, is the featured speaker.  Sergio Colon, brigade commander for the university's Corps of Cadets, will also speak. The service also includes a 21-gun salute, the playing of Taps, and the lighting of candles to honor the victims of 9/11 and the military who have died in the War Against Terrorism.

      D&B will be at the candlelight service, praying for those we lost and praying that our nation is spared  more terrorist attacks.

      Friday, September 9, 2011

      Where Were You When?

      During our lives, we experience key moments that will be forever linked in our memory bank. These are times when we  say, "We were....when..." With the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 approaching, our memories of that horrific day come front and center. It is only natural to recall where we were when we first heard the news about the World Trade Center attack.

      That said, I've been thinking about where I was on that as well as other key dates in history... dates and places that will never be forgotten.

      First plane hits World Trade Center - Sitting in my office, working at my computer, when a co-worker comes in announcing that a plane hit the World Trade Center. My immediate thoughts were terrorism and fear. The fear really hit when my son called minutes later to tell me that his high rise office building in Atlanta was being evacuated and we couldn't locate my sister-in-law who worked for Merrill-Lynch in their World Trade Center location. 

      JFK's Assassination - My family had stopped at a gas station on our way to Lexington for Thanksgiving. My eight year-old brother came running out of the store announcing, "Kennedy was shot." Instead of driving on to Kentucky, our family stopped at a nearby motel and spent the rest of the day and night watching news reports.

      Russia/Cuba Showdown - Living in Louisiana, outside of Barksdale Air Force Base, the fear of an attack from a Cuban missile was very real. Our school principal played the radio broadcast over the school intercom, so as we sat at our desks, we heard a blow-by-blow account of the Russian ship turning around and ending the Russia/USA stalemate.

      Elvis Presley's Death - Lamar and I were shopping in our favorite store - Kmart - when someone in the store shouted, "Elvis is dead." Like so many other patrons in the store, we rushed to the television department to watch the news broadcasts.

      Lamar's Proposal - Third date with Lamar, he announces, "You're going to marry me." My response - "You've got to be kidding." Who was I to know that he was a fortune teller?

      Tuesday, September 6, 2011

      Hurricane Lee Damage in Pickens County

      Today, while traveling along Hwy. 53 just outside of Tate, Ga., D&B came upon evidence that Hurricane Lee done some damage in Pickens, our neighboring county. As we drove by, we saw crews removing large trees from the highway, repairing down power lines and making repairs to the roof of the Georgia Marble Company.

      Tree branches and debris covered about a half mile area along Hwy. 53. Obviously heavy winds hit this area or perhaps a tip of the tornado that hit Cherokee dipped down in Pickens too.

      The plant wasn't the only structured that was damaged. What was left of a roof on the house next to the plant was covered with a blue tarp and debris filled the yard.

      Fortunately the storms of Hurricane Lee spared the Dahlonega and Dawsonville. However, we did receive much needed rain (D&B measured almost 2" at our home)....and the temperatures dropped 30 degrees!