As I mentioned before, Mom and I took a little jaunt out to Madison, Georgia a few days back. I'd honestly never heard of the place before a friend recommended it the other day -- Mom wanted to see some antebellum houses and Madison came up. It's notable for a couple things -- Sherman didn't burn it in his march to the sea, and it was voted "Best Small Town in America" or something like that a few years back, so there you go.
It certainly was peaceful and idyllic -- the skies were clear, the temperatures moderate, birds were singing, children laughing. I expected Jimmy Stewart to stroll down the street, arm-in-arm with a fresh-faced lass. For someone who spends much of his time in bars, it was a bit of culture shock.
We wandered the streets for a couple hours, marveling at the homes (one note -- even though Sherman spared the city, the grandest buildings were all post-Civil War. The pre-Civil War houses were far less remarkable). It was pretty pleasant. I'd like to think it will spur me on to take more trips within Georgia -- in seven+ years here, I've been outside metro Atlanta only a handful of times -- but since I've been planning a day-trip to Rome, less than two hours away, for over a year now ... I wouldn't hold your breath.
Madison comes highly recommended, if for some reason you find yourself down here. They even had a cool funky little left-leaning bookstore, with a sign noting it was up for sale. I let myself get swept away by the thought momentarily -- move out to rural Georgia, marry some nice girl, run a bookstore, write, drink lemonade on the verandah -- before dismissing it. I like the urban life a bit too much. And besides, I didn't see any bars out there.