Sunday, September 23, 2012

Italy Revisited

A few days at home and the taste of Italy still lingering, we headed for the mountains.  Avoiding Atlanta traffic has always been our goal, so it was LaGrange GA, then North -- Carrollton, Bremen, Cedartown (where the Silver Comet bike trail runs), Rockmart… ROCKMART!! SILVER COMET!! FRANKIES!!!!
When Frankie Pence rented a defunct bike shop along the Silver Comet trail and moved into the apartment  upstairs, no one was quite sure a quality Italian restaurant catering to cyclists and the downtown lunch business of a very small town was a really good idea. These were folks who haven’t tasted Frankie’s  Lasagna or experienced the genuine warmth of her hospitality.

When we parked our own “Silver Comet” along the tiny park across from the restaurant, the bike racks out front were overflowing and a swarm of colorful cycling jerseys brightened the sidewalk.  Inside, Frankie was perched on a high stool chatting up a Harley riding couple. She points at Pat, still in the doorway taking in the walls full of event jerseys and pictures of customers.
“Alabama”, she says emphatically.  “And something else..”  Pat reminded her of the Professional mugs we once traded her for dinner and she was into total recall.
We shouldn’t feel special; she seems to remember EVERYONE and has a genuine, totally welcoming grace that extends to everyone that works here.
  IMG_6298We took the traditional Frankie-and–bikes-and-customers picture to go on the wall and sat down to eat.
Ah yes, the FOOD!  Big crisp salads with creamy garlic dressing, hot breadsticks, Lasagna with Italian sausage for Pat and the signature chicken, spinach Florentine lasagna for Al. (We didn’t have to worry about riding our bikes after this.)  We showed Frankie and Harley friends the Silver Comet and pulled out of the near deserted town square, our Italian cravings once again satisfied.

IMG_6304IMG_6301                                                                                                                                                                                                           The rest of the drive was on pleasant cruise control. We arrived at Smokemount Campground in GSMNP just at dusk. It was 59 degrees. We slipped into a site we hoped would provide full sun.  Predictions are for 34 degrees  tonight.  We have a full battery, a furnace that works and the test of the new propane fired generator was A-OK.  Life is Good.

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