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Welcome to the travel diary of a sailor & his wife! One chose his profession for the love of travel, while the other got to travel because of her profession. – Nemo & The Wife!.

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    Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary

    As we started exploring around Atlanta, we wanted to make sure that our 2 year old did not feel left out. So we decided that our outings should be child friendly, educational and fun for him. And so, we chose to include places that would give him the opportunity to see animals and maybe even feed them. That is how we came across this lovely wildlife sanctuary online.

    We love the place and found it to be perfect for a day among animals. Not only is the place well maintained, but it is much less crowded that the zoos that I have been to. We were greeted by a peacock right at the parking area! The entry is free for 2 year olds and so we just walked in with tickets for us, and a big cup full of chow for the farm animals. The food includes baby carrots and lettuce. The map that they give is very useful as it helped us to plan the order in which we wanted to visit the animals.

    I own the place 😁

    The deer enclosure is right at the entrance, and we couldn’t help but stop by to say hello. We then spent some time watching a very playful black bear trying to wrestle a wooden plank. As we moved to the vulture enclosure, our son spotted the food truck. So off we went for a snack. And, then the fun began. Mr.Gobbles, as I chose to call the proud turkey, was strutting around right near the food truck. I don’t think I have had the chance to get so close to a turkey before, and my son hadn’t seen one in flesh until that minute.

    The bunny enclosure was our next stop and it was never ending fun. The cute fluff balls were all more than willing to munch on the baby carrots that we offered. We were allowed to touch them and spent quite a bit of time playing with them. They do not allow lifting the bunnies, so it’s better to educate kids who can get over enthusiastic!

    A raccoon doing what it does best

    The next few enclosures were all wild animals. The raccoons were smart. We caught them reaching out of the wire mesh to pick up lettuce lying close by, wash time in the water and then eat them. I have never observed this before. So cool, don’t you think so?! We were especially impressed by the lynx. It was very active, and showed quite a bit of its predatory instincts. It was interesting to watch how it kept eyeing the younger kids near the cage, crouching to watch and the pouncing as if to catch. Interesting, but a bit scary too! The spider monkeys were a hoot. They were relaxing, with a you-are-so-boring look on their face, and then they suddenly chose to mock some of the passers by! There is always something interesting going on when animals are around!


    Next up – American Bison! Honestly, the chance to meet the bison is why I chose to visit this place. I have always been awed by these majestic creatures. I have been to Yellowstone, but I wasn’t lucky enough to meet them there. This seemed like my chance, and I wasn’t disappointed. They allow the bison to be fed! I couldn’t be happier! I returned to check on the bison a few times before leaving for the day. Also, there are plenty of peacocks roaming free around this area!

    I almost expected to hear Donkey from Shrek!

    And then, we finally came to the part where we were going to spend gush and shriek with happiness – the barn yard! We got to feed all of the friendly farm animals here. They have sheep, pot-bellied pigs, goats, cattle, a mini horse, a bull, a donkey and alpacas. I loved the donkey and the bull. We fed the animals till we finished all the feed we bought, and then we just started picking lettuce off the ground and feeding those too. Never-ending fun! We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, and I know that we will be back again to meet these adorable animals.


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    Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

    If you are a fan of train rides, then you will definitely enjoy your outing on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. This railway route is steeped in the history of the region. The railway line, which originally started in Marietta, reached Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas in 1886. It helped develop the smaller towns in the area into resort communities and saved an ailing mining industry.

    Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash

    Priced at around $52.99 per adult, the normal ride is a 4 hour trip along the Toccoa River. You can chose between cozy, covered airconditioned coaches or the open cars. We picked the covered coaches. But we got lucky as the open cars were practically unoccupied, so we got to spend some time there enjoying the breeze and the greenery. It does feel hot after a while though! There is a concession car where you can purchase soda, candy or pop corn while on board.

    V-shaped fish trap used by early Cherokee people to catch fish

    The ride starts at the historic train depot at the charming Blue Ridge downtown. The trip takes 1 hour to cover the 26 mile distance to the sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. The train chugs across lush forests on the Appalachian foothills, beautiful farmlands and charming towns. There is sufficient information provided by the onboard guide, making the journey an informative one.

    Copperhill/McCaysville is one town with two names because it is split by the GA/TN State Line.  That’s right!  You can really be in two states at the same time.  There is a Blue Line running across the town that shows the GA/TN border. All you need to do is put one foot on either side of the line and, voila! You are in two states at the same time! This is where we disembarked for lunch. There is a 2 hour layover to allow tourists to explore these towns, and enjoy a meal. They recommend visiting the Toccoa-Ocoee Street. We came across some nice restaurants, antique shops and art galleries.

    View of Toccoa River taken from the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

    The journey back to the depot at Blue Ridge is just as pleasant. The milder temperatures made it much more fun spending time in the open cars. I’m glad we decided to take the scenic railway and ride the route experienced by generations before us!

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    Georgia’s Golf Cart Capital

    Photo by Dean on Unsplash

    Peachtree City – this place in the US state of Georgia is known as its Golf Cart Capital. We did not know this until we visited the place for something exciting, which I will write about in another blog! This is going to be a short writeup because I do not know much about the place except that it’s so beautifully planned and so inviting.

    We visited Peachtree city last year to see if we could watch an event. We had not purchased tickets and were not sure if we would be able to afford them. So we just decided to go visit a park in the area. I do not lie when I say that we were stumped by what we say. There were golf carts everywhere. The golf carts had their own cute paths. And what surprised us was that these paths actually ran along the road for miles. In fact there were golf carts parked at almost every shop we visited. We were really and truly confused, and also amused. It’s such a sweet way to travel! The park that we visited was nice and so were the communities that we drove through. It is such a charming place!

    So then, once we got back home, I decided to read up on the place that we just visited. That is how I came to know about it being called the Golf Cart Capital of Georgia. Apparently the golf cart friendly paths run for almost 100 miles. More than 10,000 households in this city of 35,000 residents own golf carts. I read that kids take the golf carts to school. There seem to be separate golf cart parkings in many of the complexes too. Interesting, isn’t it?! We will definitely be visiting again to experience more of this beautifully planned place in Georgia.

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    Visit Antelope Canyon

    I did the Grand Canyon trip with my friends in March of 2016. I have some very fond memories of the trip. The Grand Canyon is spell binding, and I’m extremely grateful that I did get a chance to visit this otherworldly beauty!

    The morning of the March 13th was pleasant, and our first visit of the day was to the famous Antelope Canyon. We had spent the night at a motel in Page, Arizona, which was a stone’s throw from the Antelope Canyon.

    Enroute to Antelope Canyon

    We had booked ourselves a tour with the Navajo Antelope Canyon Tours for 11 a.m. True to our nature, we were punctual and reached the tour counter well ahead of the 10 a.m. check-in time. After strolling around for a while, we finally got to start our tour. Our tour guide was friendly and the tour group was a fun-loving lot, who kept the tour lively with their comments and antics.

    An attempt to capture the heart shape formed by Sun rays playing on the canyons walls

    The Antelope Canyon was quite different from what I had imagined it would look like. Unlike the pictures on the internet, the canyon was the color and texture (as should be!) of sandstone. We had plenty of fun exploring the canyon, listening to interesting facts shared by the guide, and clicking away pictures from vantage points that the guide was kind enough to point out. The climate was hot and humid. The ride into the canyon on our open jeeps had been thrilling, and quite dusty as the guides seemed to love racing each other across the dust plains! The ride out was slightly less noisy, but no less dusty. It was a great experience on the whole.

    A branch washed into the canyon by a flash flood

    Useful tips:
    1. Use chrome mode on the iPhone for good pictures.
    2. Carry water on the hike.
    3 Listen to the guide, or you may miss out on instructions on how to angle the camera, and where to stand to get the right shots.
    4. Do not move anything. They leave untouched even branches washed in by flash floods to preserve the natural environment.
    5. Summer affords the most spectacular photos, as that is when the light penetrates the canyons at the right angles to make it vibrant.

  • Exploring our neighborhood

    At a local cafe

    When I say I love to travel, I do not mean traveling to faraway places and checking items off the bucket list. What I actually love is exploring places near us, and occasionally taking to the road or flying to other places that we can afford visiting. One of our favorite pastimes used to be long walks along different neighborhood roads that we hadn’t yet explored. Walking down a road is never the same as driving along the same road. When we drive, we do not get to take in the beautiful houses or even to say hi to the friendly residents. There is something personal and warm about being able to explore the neighborhood and understanding the locality that we live in.

    Poplar Creek Trail

    We have discovered some yummy food in small shops near our house, which we would most likely have overlooked if we hadn’t been exploring on foot. We also walked to a wonderful cafe that had some great coffee and snacks, and most importantly tons of space both inside and outside. It was heaven after a long walk on a sultry evening!

    Interesting tombstones at the cemetery

    My most favorite discoveries have been a lovely hiking trail not very far from home. It is a very small trail, and it gets kind of slushy during the rains. But it is beautiful how it starts from a fairly busy road, and suddenly takes you through beautiful woods where the vehicle sounds get replaced by the chirps of birds or the gentle breeze! Another favorite discovery was an old cemetery right at the entrance of a road leading to a dead-end. If there is one thing that I love doing, and is frowned upon by others, then it is my love for cemeteries. This one isn’t large like the ones that I usually enjoy visiting, but it is just as charming. I wish it was better cared for though. We did spend a few minutes examining the tombstones and trying to track down the history. Evening well spent alright!

About Us

Welcome to the travel diary of a sailor & his wife! One chose his profession for the love of travel, while the other got to travel because of her profession.

– Nemo & The Wife!.

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