Woke up around 8:00 in the morning. Had our showers and our complementary continental breakfast of Cheerios, sweetrolls and coffee. Checked out of the motel at 9:30 am ... not too bad.
Meridian, Mississippi is only about 10 miles from the state line so we were in Alabama in no time.
After about 30 miles into Alabama we saw an exit for Eutaw ... an odd spelling for Utah ... we were curious and decided to ride through town.
There wasn't much in Eutaw, Alabama except for this beautiful old southern mansion ... had to take a picture.
Back on I-20 east we are heading into Birmingham, Alabama at around noon.
Our stomachs were telling us "It's lunch time!" about the time we saw a sign that said "Irondale Cafe - Home of the original Fried Green Tomatoes - Exit 134" ... so we got off at exit 134 on the east side of Birmingham, Alabama.
We followed the signs to an area called "Whistle Stop" right beside the railroad tracks. We had to wait for a passing train before we could cross the tracks into Whistle Stop.
And there it was the Irondale Cafe.
Fried green tomatoes seems to be their specialty.
We went inside and ordered up some fried chicken strips, fried okra, blackeyed peas and of course fried green tomatoes as well as sweet iced tea.
Well shut my mouth ... Real food! You know everything tastes better when it's fried. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm Gooood!
I love fried green tomatoes. Being from the south, South Carolina that is, my Mama used to fry these regular in the summer time when you had more tomatoes than you knew what to do with. Mama's batter recipe was different, she used course corn meal and lots of black pepper. These were good ... but not as good as Mama's.
After we ate, we had to wait for another train ... a long train ... before we could leave. Turns out that Fannie Flagg, the author of the book "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" grew up a few blocks from here. Whistle Stop and the Irondale Cafe was the setting for her book. The movie was filmed in a small town in Georgia called Juliette. I'll check the atlas and see if it's on our way.
Back on the road we crossed into Georgia and the Eastern Time Zone at 3:00 pm ... had to set our watches ahead an hour to 4:00 pm ... shucks lost an hour.
About 10 miles into Georgia we exited I-20 onto Hwy-27 south to bypass Atlanta. The traffic in and around Atlanta is so conjested that you can count on a 2 to 3 hour stop-and-go trip through it.
Our detour around Atlanta took us throuth Newnan, Georgia. This is the Coweta County courthouse in the heart of Newnan. I just love these old southern towns. Alan Jackson, the country singer, is from Newnan, Georgia.
We drove down Greenville street in Newnan where century old antebellum and victorian homes line both sides of the street. This is the Parrott-Camp-Soucy house was built in 1890 ... Awesome!
After checking the atlas we decide to take another little detour south on Hwy-23 at Jackson, Georgia.
We drove about 10 miles down Hwy-23 and then there it was ... Juliette, Georgia. This is where the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" was filmed and just so happens to be Jenny and my most favorite movie of all times (Forest Gump runs a close second).
Juliette was a thriving town in the 1880s, shipping cotton and mill products via the railroad. Then in the 1957 the mill closed, business dried up and Juliette became a ghost town, overgrown with kudzu vines. In 1990 (the town had a population of 4) producers decided that Juliette was the perfect backdrop for the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" based on Fannie Flagg's book "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe". They renovated the town, made the movie and now it's a great tourist destination.
Juliette train depot built in 1882.
Here it is, the Whistle Stop Cafe. The cafe is open every day from 8:00am to 5:00pm and serves barbeque, fried chicked, various sandwiches, peach and pecan cobblers as well as, you guessed it, Fried Green Tomatoes.
The Whistle Stop Cafe was closed for the day (it closes at 5:00pm) so I took this picture through the window on the door. Except for the painted gords, it looks just like it did in the movie.
The front window on the Whistle Stop Cafe. In the movie there was a bullet hole in the glass which has since been replaced ... Ahhh!
The reflection in the glass is the abandoned gristmill across the tracks from the cafe. The mill never appeared in the movie but the dam and spillway on the river beside it did.
The hickory pit behind the Whistle Stop Cafe with a marker on the ground that reads: Here lies Frank Bennet of Valdosta "The secret was in the sauce" and here!
The smokehouse where Smokey Lonesome spent the night.
Ruth's and Igie's house.
All the buildings are original on McCrackin Street, the main drag in Juliette, Georgia.
Another shot of McCrackin Street.
And still another.
Here's the wreaker that pulled Frank Bennet's car out of the river.
Just as were leaving Juliette a train passed in front of the Whistle Stop Cafe and sounded its whistle ... Cool!
We arrived in Covington, Georgia at 7:30 in the evening and found our way to our son Chris and his wife Andrea's new house. Chris, who teaches and coaches football at Newton High School, had just come home from work. Andrea was still at work. We ordered a stack of Dominos pizzas cause everyone was tired and didn't feel like cooking or going out.
Gonna drink a few beers, eat pizza, visit with our son and daughter-in-law and relax.
Tomorrow we will head home to Lexington, North Carolina, the final leg of our journey.
Till then ... Good Night!