A Birthday Celebration - June 17, 2018

A Fairytale Celebration

Since my birthday and Father鈥檚 Day were on the same weekend, my husband and I took a road trip to Helen, Ga. The city is about an hour and a half from where we live and a pleasant drive through the lovely countryside and small mountain towns.聽

I was excited about this trip because we haven鈥檛 been to Helen in a couple of years and we have such fond memories of our previous trips to this charming little city. Memories returned of when I was a child and so full of anticipation about taking a trip. I was filled with those same antsy feelings about the weather, what we were going to do, and what to pack. Silly me since this was just a short weekend trip.

The hotel I chose was one where we had stayed before. It is located directly on the Chattahoochee River. 70% of the rooms face the river and have terraces and/or balconies offering a lovely view. When I made the reservations, there was no availability of rooms with a river view, which I was disappointed. However, when we arrived at the hotel, I was able to upgrade the room to one with a river view. We were thrilled!

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Our hotel, The Helendorff Inn, is absolutely charming and within walking distance to downtown Helen.聽 The hotel was built in 1973 with add-ons in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. The property is constantly being improved making the hotel a popular spot to stay.聽

The Helendorff Inn - American owned and Army family operation for over 41 years

The city of Helen is a replica of a Bavarian Alpine town located in the southern Appalachians. The architecture of every building is classic south-German style. This design was adopted and mandated in 1969. Even national franchisees must adapt to the style.聽

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The main industry went from a declining logging town to tourism, which the聽city's peak time is in the fall when the leaves change to their brilliant autumn colors. The city becomes a wonderland displaying twinkling lights and filled with the traditions that go with the fall season. The city hosts Octoberfest from September through November which Helen becomes very crowded, to say the least. This is Helens largest celebration with music, dancing (waltzes and polkas), good food and drinks

Population 510 as of the 2010 census 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Sister City - Fussen, Bavaria

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On the day of my birthday, we found a great German restaurant and bar in an alleyway. Helen has several alleyways located off the main drag, which are lined with quaint little shops, restaurants, and bars.

We sat at the bar because we find bartenders to be most informative and entertaining. We were spot on with our decision because our bartender's personality and service were beyond our expectations.聽 He nudged me into ordering a hot pretzel with beer cheese dip. So, my idea of eating a light salad wasn't going to happen and the pretzel was huge but delicious. Then he surprised me with a complimentary apple strudel, which was also delicious. This German restaurant was not only welcoming but very charming with live German music, German decor and the wait staff wore traditional German clothing.

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Old Bavaria Inn, 8619 N Main St, Helen, Ga

After my fun birthday lunch, we walked back to the hotel for a break. We relaxed on the balcony and watched the tubers float down the river. This is entertainment at its best because there are some people that should not even think about river-tubing. Some of the tubers float down the river with cell phones, cameras, and even their pets, never dreaming they will fall out of their tube. Even though the water is shallow, it is not easy for some to get back on their tube. It's great fun to watch.

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After our break, we decided to take in some live music at a restaurant and bar across the street from the hotel. There we found some of the same regulars and staff that we met 2 years ago. And even the same bartender that told us she shot her ex-husband in the derriere with a shotgun! Yep, never a dull moment in Helen, Ga.

Paul's Steakhouse and Seafood, since 1965

While we were at Paul's Steakhouse, we noticed a lot of activity in their parking lot, which we found was due to a double rainbow. Many people were taking pictures and I took a few myself because I have never seen a double rainbow. According to the AccuWeather site, double rainbows are not uncommon and usually ahead or behind a rainstorm. Also, I learned there are triple and quadruple rainbows, however, they are a rare occurrence.

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After a full day and a full night of adventure and fun, we were pretty tired and decided to call it a day. Our cozy room was very welcoming and calling our names - it's time to rest. After all, this was only day one and we had two more days to go.

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ATM painted on the side of a building

The next two days were almost a repeat of the first day, except we found new places to shop, eat and drink. We met so many nice people, which makes any trip worthwhile, in my opinion. We left for home on Monday morning and topped off our trip with a fabulous brunch at a local restaurant called The Broken Egg. This was a perfect ending to my birthday and the Father's Day celebration.

If we decide to make the trip to Helen, Ga next year, I wouldn't change a thing, except getting a year older.

Cheers! 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 聽

-Franci Eugenia Hoffman

To be a beBee bee is to be

Franci enjoyed a dedicated career in the insurance industry for over 20 years being rewarded both professionally and personally. Now it鈥檚 time for Franci to follow her dreams by doing things she enjoys鈥pending time with family, learning, sharing, traveling, and writing poetry. Franci鈥檚 writing and creative endeavors can be found at her blogs, Eugi鈥檚 Causerie and Eugi鈥檚 Potpourri. Franci has authored eBooks Fanciful Delights and Mama, me and Mother Nature, and also has writings at Spillwords, PoetrySoup, and beBee.com.

Credits

http://www.helendorf.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen,_Georgia#Demographics

http://www.helenga.org/restaurant/old-bavaria-inn-restaurant

http://www.paulssteakhouse.com/menu/menu.html

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/what-is-a-double-rainbow-1/33889

photos-personal property
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Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador
Neil Smith

Neil Smith

3 months ago #20

Happy belated birthday. It is remarkable how exotic something as mundane as a short getaway has become in these covid days. Lots of us, I'm sure are looking forward to being tourists again one day. take care.

Javier 馃悵 CR

Javier 馃悵 CR

3 months ago #19

馃槏馃ぉ

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador
Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador
John Rylance

John Rylance

4 months ago #16

How life has changed since 2018, living very much on memories like these. 

How much more have we become risk adverse, saying to ourselves can I risk repeating this as you intended when you wrote this.

The burning question if you did would  the places still be in business?

Even optimists are finding it hard to be positive about the here and now let alone the future. 

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

4 months ago #15

Assuming that the anniversary of your birth is on the same day it was three years ago, Franci, Happy Birthday! 馃馃巶馃嵕馃

I鈥檓 glad you had a nice weekend away, back then. I鈥檇 hate to think you鈥檇 been to Hell-an back for nothing. 馃槀馃ぃ馃槀

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#15
You would enjoy both of these cities. They are both quaint little mountain towns in North Georgia. Helen is touristy and a party town where Blue Ridge is more laid back. There's always a lot to do in both towns such as festivals, art shows, concerts, car shows, etc. We are seriously thinking about moving to Blue Ridge. You should definitely add them to your list.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #13

#13
Franci, I meant to add that I never heard of Helen Ga before... nor have I heard of Blue Ridge. Seeing pics and hearing about the area gives me someplace to add to my travel list!!

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#12
Thank you! The double rainbow was amazing and yes, a wonderful gift for my birthday.

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#11
Thank you, Lisa. It was a fun time. We will go back in the fall, either to Helen or Blue Ridge. Both cities are beautiful when the leaves change.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #10

Thanks for tagging me Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador. How exciting you trip sounded! I love the town makes every Restaurant adapt to a Bavarian Alpine replica. I find it so much fun to explore shops and restaurants that are unique. I bet the fall IS a great time to visit. I'm glad you got your river view room, what a beautiful sight! What a great birthday trip and happy belated birthday to you. Enjoyed your photos!!

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Donna-Luisa Eversley

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#6
Thank you, Gert, and thank you for sharing.

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#7
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Pascal.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #6

I loved reading this post about getting away a mix between everyday life and fairy tale :-)

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #5

Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador The descriptions and photographs of Georgia are amazing. Thanks for sharing your birthday trip with us Franci.

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#4
Thank you, Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich. It was a fun b'day.

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador
Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#1
We had a great time there. The only drawback was the heat. It got pretty hot for that area.

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Sounds like it was a fabulous getaway.

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