Hills and Dales Estate
May 17 2014, Day Cruise
It is unusual that our president and his beautiful wife miss a monthly event with the club. This past event however created a real conundrum for our fearless leader. A business event (can you spell P.A.RT.Y) in New Orleans, or a brief respite in LaGrange GA to visit Hills and Dales Estate. I can't be certain it was a difficult decision, after all he had led the group on our 2010 outing. Though then Air Conditioning woes at the estate meant a quick tour through a hot house, but they did see both house and gardens. And so, the two of them serruptitiously made their way to the big easy. Rumour has it there were show girls and other forms of liquid debauchery, though this is unconfirmed.
The weather was beautiful on the 17th though a bit cool early in the morning. Our small group met for a brief coffee just south of Atlanta and we were on our way. We arrived at a reasonable time to the estate and were greeted with a warm welcome. Being the same staff from our previous visit they recognized our Allante's and welcomed the club back to the estate. We were a much smaller group this time. Linda took the lead and in her usual preparedness had a plan for everything.
We started our tour with a brief movie that articulated the history of the estate in a small room just off the visitor center after which we all hopped on the tram that took us on a pleasant ride up to the estate and gardens. The tour of the home was astonishing and our guide was well verse in the history of both the family and the estate. There were of course "rules to be followed" while inside the house and they were no cellphones, no photographs and no touchy touchy anything. This excluded the beautiful mahogany banister which led our group up the beautiful stairwell to the second floor. Tripping and falling it seems would be a liability and thus the special consideration.
The house was gorgeous and on our particular tour there were a husband and wife "team" (thats' how that wedding stuff works, right?) who joined us on our guided tour. This particular couple had family history and the husband had actually been in the house as a child. On this visit in fact, they had brought with them a baby's crib circa it was a really old crib. It was said the crib had been used in the estate and was being gifted. Alas, no pictures as that was rule number 2.
The tour of the house finished shortly before 1:00pm and Linda had arranged a special lunch for the club at a local restaurant which just happened to be in a former church and no it wasn't Church's chicken! Problem was the restaurant, a Taste of Lemon was only open until 2:00pm. With only an hour to spare, we confirmed the group could return after lunch and then tour the gardens. We hopped into our Allante's and sped the few short blocks into town.
The concept was adorable and interesting with the restaurant being inside the sanctuary of an old church. Instead of pews and a pulpit podium, you have tables and chairs and awesome architectural features. The food was tasty with an old Southern flair and a small handful of meat and vegetable options. Not surprisingly the group shared a moment of silence as we quickly devoured our food. Stomachs full it was time to return to the estate to visit the Gardens and spend a wonderful afternoon in the shade of some beautiful trees and enjoying good use of our olfactory receptors.
Special thanks goes to Art and Brenda Sevelius for once again providing some very special photographic moments, albeit if you want to see the inside of the estate you'll have to make the visit. You can also explore more about the Estate at their website Visit Hills and Dales.
We have a great club and our participation is sometimes small and other times a bit larger. Thank you all for being members and we hope to see you soon on another of our wonderful trips sharing our Cadillacs, friendship and stories.
See you next time!
Paula and Russ Vopelak
Brenda and Art Sevelius