What I Miss About Georgia

I moved away from Georgia three years ago to work on my master’s degree at the University of Alabama. Although Alabama is only one state away, there are days when it feels like it is a million miles away.  On those particular days, I am typically missing any one of the following things only Georgia can offer.

Photo Credit: @picturesbecrazy via Instagram

Photo Credit: @picturesbecrazy via Instagram

1. All things UGA football: Do I go to the school with the nation’s No. 1 football team?Yes. Are games in Bryant-Denny stadium fun? Absolutely. Does that make me miss Georgia football any less? No. There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, like UGA football. UGA has the best fans in the world, and I had to leave to realize it. I grew up a Dawg, and I have been sitting in the upper deck of Sanford Stadium since I could toddle up the steps. Each game is a labor of love—of yelling, fist clenching, sweating, cheering. As a Dawg, I have watched the most heartbreaking losses and the most exciting wins. It takes a village in the Bulldog Nation, and there is nothing like being in the stands cheering on the Dawgs.

2. Athens in the Fall: The sky is the bluest in Athens in October. Most days are cloudless, and the sky is so vibrantly and perfectly blue that it hurts your eyes.

ATL3. Atlanta skyline: The view of the skyline from I-20 East is the best view of Atlanta, and my heart beats a little faster each time it appears in the distance.

4. Flat fields filled with red clay: I grew up in South Georgia surrounded by the characteristic red Georgia clay. There is something about the deep burnt orange-red color stretching for miles in a freshly plowed field that is balm to the heart. It is also the world’s toughest substance to get out of the knees of a pair of blue jeans. Once you take a step into the clay, it consumes you. It works its way under your fingernails, colors your socks and the hem of your pants, and cakes the soles of your shoes.

5.  The backyard at my parents’ house in the summer: This is the one spot that I miss most of all. Although I grew up in town, my childhood home sits in front of a pond, and there are no neighbors behind the house. There are only woods filled with birds, frogs, bugs and the occasional deer. My mom is an avid gardener, but not the “here are a few really pretty potted plants” kind. She is the full greenhouse, hundreds of potted plants, Jurassic Park-era ferns, hanging baskets from every beam kind. Her yard looks like something out of Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens. Did I mention that she does it all by herself? The yard in the summer buzzes with bees in the flowers, crickets in the grass, and frogs in the pond. It always smells like freshly cut grass that she and my dad have just mowed. Even though the June temperature in South Georgia usually hovers around 90 degrees, the yard in the evening somehow always feels cool, and it is the perfect place to sit for a few minutes until the mosquitoes drive you inside.

My days of missing Georgia are coming to an end, and I will be moving back to Georgia in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, please stand outside under the blue sky and breathe in the cool autumn air for me!

Collins_Goss_HeadshotA Georgia native and UGA alumnae, Collins Goss is now working on her Masters in Fine Arts in Arts Administration emphasizing in communications at The University of Alabama. Collins will graduate in December and hopes to return to the Peach State.

Georgia Crafted

georgiacrafted2My name is Erin Zwigart, and my husband and I came up with the idea of Georgia Crafted one evening after our children had gone to bed.  As we were tossing around random business ideas for kicks, we decided that, more than anything, we would love to be able to find a way to showcase local Georgia artisans.  We love shopping local and supporting our local economy, and figured what better way to get Georgia handmade products into the hands of people than a Georgia Crafted Subscription Box.

Georgia Crafted is a monthly subscription box service, featuring 4-5 carefully curated products made by artisans from all over the State of Georgia.

georgiacraftedEach box will feature 4-5 assorted full-sized products that range from gourmet non-perishable food to bath/body products to music to stationery and more – and all handmade from the State of Georgia!  Subscribers will have the option to choose from a 1-month (Try us Out/Buy a Gift) option, a 3-month subscription, a 6-month subscription, or even sign up for a month-to-month subscription.

Georgia Crafted will enable people all over the country to discover what Georgia artisans are all about without ever having to leave their front door.  As we say, we bring “Local to Your Door”!

While each box will feature 4-5 full-sized products, we are really excited to be able to share each artisan’s story with our subscribers.  Hearing these business owner share their background story with us about how they came up with their product, or why they make their product, is not only fascinating, but incredibly inspiring.  Each story alone will make you want to run out and buy more products from these amazing people.

You can visit us online and sign-up for a subscription at:




Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Downtown Duluth. Photo by Oleg Koryagin. Submitted via Facebook.

Downtown Duluth. Photo by Oleg Koryagin. Submitted via Facebook.

Tybee Island marsh. Photo by @lgeror. Submitted via Instagram.

Tybee Island marsh. Photo by @lgeror. Submitted via Instagram.

Cooper Creek in north Georgia. Photo by Tom Stone. Submitted via Flickr.

Cooper Creek in north Georgia. Photo by Tom Stone. Submitted via Flickr.

The Wild Rumpus

Photo Credit: Elliott Anderson

Photo Credit: Elliott Anderson

Looking for an amazingly interactive Halloween activity in one of America’s most exciting college towns? In the style of Burning Man or the Oregon Country Fair, Athens, Ga., hosts its own explosion of creative energy: the Wild Rumpus Parade and Spectacle. On Oct. 26, 2013, thousands of creatively costumed revelers will march their way through downtown Athens. Last year saw nearly 3,000 people flood the streets of the Classic City, and 2013 aims to see even more. The parade is free for spectators and participants, so start planning your costume and head to Athens to enjoy the festivities!

Wild Rumpus encourages creativity and group spirit. Attendees can walk the parade alone, in pairs or small groups. Or, even better, you can form your own themed brigade with friends or join an existing brigade. Examples of past brigades include Leather and Lace, Dead and Famous, Zombies, Belly-dancers and Disney characters. Basically, if you can theme it, you can form it! Floats, banners, performances and music are all welcome. Those wanting to walk in the parade MUST be dressed in costume, so don’t forget to dress up in your Halloween best.

rumpusThis year’s 5th anniversary of the Wild Rumpus brings with it many exciting new features. A new outdoor stage at the end of the parade route will host live, local music. There also will be many daytime activities aimed at including the younger crowd into the festivities. Kids can look forward to a “Monster Mash” party complete with musical acts, puppeteers, crafts stations, a haunted house and all sorts of Wild Things.

Top off the evening with a concert at the world-famous 40 Watt Club. The after-party extravaganza, for those 18+, will feature local bands Ghost Owl, Space Trucks, and Wild Rumpus master of ceremonies Timi Conley with Kite to the Moon. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the party starts at 9 p.m.

The 5th incarnation of the Wild Rumpus Parade is sure to be unlike any other. With many new activities for children, this year’s event aims to get the entire family involved. Whether you want to dress up on your own, in a brigade, or just come down and watch, the Wild Rumpus is really a special treat for all of Athens.

Ready to join in? Head to www.wildrumpus.org to review the participation guidelines and to register if you plan to enter a float or vehicle. Then, meet at the corner of Clayton St. and Pulaski St. in downtown Athens Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. The parade will begin at 7:30.

The Wild Rumpus isn’t the only fun event going on in Athens this Halloween. For a complete list of events, travel information and everything else Athens-related, check out VisitAthensGa.com.

Halloween in Georgia

Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Enjoy haunted houses, pumpkin carvings, hayrides, mazes and costume parties this October as we gear up for the witching hour!

9/13/13 – 11/30/13: Buford Corn Maze in Buford

9/19/13 – 10/27/13: Rock City’s Enchanted MAiZE in Flintstone

9/26/13 – 11/2/13: Haunted Montrose in Montrose

9/28/13 – 10/26/13: Blowing Screams Farm in Flintstone

9/28/13 – 11/16/13: Fall Family Fun Days in The Rock

10/1/13 – 10/31/13: Lawrenceville Ghost Tours in Lawrenceville

10/1/13 – 10/31/13: October Fest in Bainbridge

10/1/13 – 10/31/13: Scarecrow Bash & Monster Mash in Hartwell

10/4/13 – 10/31/13: Fear the Woods in Stockbridge

10/5/13 – 10/26/13: Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze in Tifton

10/5/13 – 10/26/13: Haunted History Tours at Dawg-Eared Books in McDonough

10/5/13 – 10/12/13: St. Marys Railroad: The Great Pumpkin Express in St. Marys

10/5/13 – 11/3/13: Yogi Bear’s Pumpkin Event 2013 in Bremen

10/8/13: Lantern Tour of the Old City Cemetery in Sandersville

10/11/13 – 10/26/13: Ringgold Haunted Depot in Ringgold

10/12/13 – 10/31/13: Hay Days in St. Marys

10/12/13: Build A Scarecrow in St. Marys

10/12/13 – 11/23/13: TroupCorn Maze & Halloween Fun in Dublin

10/14/13: 2013-14 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers: “Birth of the Living Dead” in Oakwood

10/15/13: Scarecrow Stroll in St. Marys

10/18/13 – 11/2/13: E.L. Cravin’s Haunted Funeral Parlor in Blackshear

10/18/13: St. Marys Haunted History Tour in St. Marys

10/18/13 – 10/19/13: Halloween Hike in Savannah

10/18/13 – 10/20/13: Count Dracula in Statesboro

10/18/13 – 10/19/13: Polter-heist Murder Mystery Comedy in Dublin

10/19/13 – 10/27/13: Boo at the Zoo in Atlanta

10/19/13: Jack O’Lantern Carve-Off in LaGrange

10/21/13 – 10/31/13: Haunted Trolley Tour in Milledgeville

10/24/13 – 10/27/13: Capturing the Spirit of Oakland in Atlanta

10/24/13: Halloween Blast in Fitzgerald

10/24/13 – 10/25/13: Ghost Tours by Lantern Light in Statesboro

10/25/13 – 10/26/13: Spooky Mill in Johns Creek

10/25/13: Bremen Downtown Trick or Treat 2013 in Bremen

10/25/13: Trick-or-Treat on the McDonough Square in McDonough

10/25/13 – 10/26/13: Haints & Saints Historic Cemetery Tour in Jefferson

10/26/13 – 10/27/13: Spirits of McDonough City Cemetery Tour in McDonough

10/26/13: Moonlight Madness at General Coffee in Nicholls

10/26/13: Halloween Hay Day in Clayton

10/26/13: Trick or Treat Alley in Trenton

10/26/13: Undead Dash in Hampton

10/26/13: Scare on the Square in Statesboro

10/26/13: Halloween Storytime in Augusta

10/26/13: Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade and Spectacle in Athens

10/26/13: Kingsland Depot Moonlight Tour in Kingsland

10/27/13: Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos in Atlanta

10/29/13: Scare in the Boro in Statesboro

10/29/13: Rocky Horror Picture Show Live in Statesboro

10/31/13: Hometown Harvest in Douglas

10/31/13: Downtown Trick or Treat in Greensboro

10/31/13: Great Pumpkin Caper Buchanan 2013 in Buchanan

10/31/13: Munchkin Masquerade in Newnan

10/31/13: KidsFest in Woodstock

10/31/13: Trick or Treat at Mill Creek in Statesboro

10/31/13: Halloween on the River in Savannah

10/31/13: Pioneer Ford Trunk or Treat 2013 in Bremen

10/31/13: Halloween on Head Avenue 2013 in Tallapoosa

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