small towns…

I’m not really sure why they say Atlanta has “small town, southern hospitality.”  After what we’ve witnessed this week…I think Atlanta lost that good ‘ol southern charm somewhere amongst the millions of people.  If you’ve never been to Atlanta, let me explain:  It’s like one of those clown cars…the ones that fit like twenty brightly clad people with arms and legs and frilly smocks sticking out every which way.  Somehow they all cram in there…but no one is very comfortable and we’re all trying to push our way out once the door opens.

I get it. It’s kinda hard to be hospitable when you’re fighting for every inch space…

You know you’ve stumbled upon a small town when gossip runs rampant between store owner and patron and restaurants open and close…whenever.  One evening they’re open until 7:00pm and the next closed at 5:00pm.  Like the Peace Tree in Moab.  After a very long day of hiking around 13 miles, Tim and I went to the Peace Tree to get wraps for the next day and a small smoothie to curb our hunger while we showered off all the red dirt trudging through Arches (more to come on that little adventure).

We step out of the heat into the building and are behind a group of about five people ordering various items from the menu.  Apparently, when a large order is placed, everyone at the Peace Tree makes part of the order instead of each person having a specific duty.  After Tim and I had to wait for about….five minutes, the previous groups’ items are completed and we are able to order.  The employee at the register tells Tim, “I’m just going to give you the smoothie for free since you had to wait so long (long?!?  It was less than the time we spend at a traffic light at home).  THEN when he was making said smoothie, he looks over at us with this sheepish, knowing half smile from behind the counter, grabs a large size smoothie cup and says, “Oops…I made too much.”

What would have happened in Atlanta?  We would have waited in line for five MORE minutes and then the person behind the counter would look at us like WE were the reason we had to wait and were somehow inconveniencing THEM by ordering.

On our way to Zion, we decided to go to Antelope Canyon.  Antelope Canyon is in Page, Arizona.  Until that day, we had no idea that Page, Arizona is a town with little options for food, has a road with seven churches in a row (yes, we counted), one high school and their pride and joy: a golf course with the greenest grass I have ever seen.  Because of that, we had to stop at a McDonalds (I say “had” because I refuse to eat their food.  The french fries never disintegrate…they’ll still be here long after we’re gone).  As Tim was eating and I was drinking coffee, we hear a rapid “swish, swish, swish” and then a scrape of a chair and then “swish, swish, swish.”  We turn to look and this little lady is vigorously sweeping every nook and cranny of that place.  When she made her way to where we were sitting, our feet were swept over with her broom and she looks up at us and says, “oopsy!” and continues down the corridor of tables and chairs.  Crumbs had no chance.

What about Atlanta?  I don’t think the floors are ever swept with any consistency, much less passionate gusto…

Thank you, Salt Lake, Moab, Page and Springdale.  We’ll miss you.  

We’ll really miss you.

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