Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

What I Did On My Spring Vacation

The PopCulteer
March 25, 2022

Your PopCulteer is back after almost two weeks. If all went well, you might not have even noticed I was gone. On March 9, I composed every post you read between then and two days ago. I also scheduled The AIR in advance, and hopefully those of you who enjoy your daily fix of PopCult didn’t feel deprived.

The reason for this was that, even though we hadn’t planned to leave until Saturday, the 12th, I had an article to finish for Non Sport Update, as well as packing and trip planning to handle. The original plan would have seen us spend Saturday night in Caryville, Tennessee, while Sunday would have involved driving from there to The Alabama Dish Outlet, and then on to Peachtree City, Georgia.

As you may remember, nature gifted us with eight or ten inches of snow Saturday morning, so our plans took a major hit. That Saturday I dug out the car as Mel hastily re-arranged our hotel reservations.

Sunday came and we went. I drove the first leg because Mel does not like driving in snow. By the time we go to Caryville, to a very nice Hampton Inn with cool stuff in and around it (the owner is an antique auctioneer), we were prepared for the rest of our trip. We were going to visit Senoia, where they film The Walking Dead, for a few days, then we checked into the hotel for ToyLanta.

Between Senoia and the Marietta/Atlanta Hilton, we managed to crowbar in a side-trip to Alabama, so we didn’t actually miss out on anything we’d planned, even though we lost a day of our trip.

While in the area of Senoia, we saw many cool sights, some of which will be redacted when I post them here, and others, like “Barbie Beach” we didn’t even know about until we drove by.

Next week I will be posting many photo essays from the trip. Expect at least one each day, ranging from cool things we saw on the trip to our last look at the wall of “Alexandria” from TWD to the aforementioned Barbie Beach and Alabama Dish Outlet, and winding up with lots of images and maybe even some video from ToyLanta. We even found a Buc-Eee’s, the mecca of sophisticated peeing and pooping in the South, along the way.

We did not take photos at Buc-Eee’s.

Today I’m just posting teasers for you. I had hoped to post photos of my ToyLanta toy haul here today, but it’ll have to wait because I haven’t had time to unpack yet. We returned home exhausted and overwhelmed by our first extended road trip in well over two years. We were a little out of practice.

As for how we handled this trip during a pandemic…we kept our masks on, avoided crowds as much as possible, took COVID tests with us just in case, and skipped the hugs and handshakes that we used to partake in.

And we still won’t feel completely out of the woods until we’ve been back a week without getting sick. With me being immuno-suppressed, we did what we had to do.

The trip was a blast–fun, exhilierating, relaxing and surprising. I picked up tons of toys. Mel got some retired FiestaWare. We both took time to chill out. We still aren’t dining in restaurants, but we managed to subsist on drive-thru, take-out and delivery.

But enough about us. Here’s some photos to give you an idea what you can expect next week…

The view from our hotel in Caryville, TN. We’ll be going back in the future.

Back in Senoia for the first time in three years. Hello, watertower!

Since last we were here, The Walking Dead Museum moved upstairs, while the store moved downstairs. It’s complicated. I’ll tell you about it next week.

They had lots of new props on display, though.

So…they were filming the series finale of The Walking Dead while we were down there, and we don’t want to spoil what they did to the windmill. The wall and windmill will be dismantled in June.

The side of a Mexican restaurant in Senoia. Sometimes you just post a photo to pop an art teacher friend.

This place will get their own photo essay next week.

This place will also get their own photo essay.

This is the new location of ToyLanta. I dont think I’m overstating things when I say that this is one fancy-assed hotel! Hopefully they take care of the elevator situation by next year.

Okay,  you get one sneak peek at ToyLanta. This was taken while they were still setting stuff up, and represents maybe five percent of the dealer space–which may be a high estimate.

The sunset as viewed from the back deck of the hotel. You can expect more photos, some video and probably a painting or three of this.

Capping off an extremely fun trip, we finally found the freaking SpongeBob PopSicle for Mel. She says they’re very tasty.

I did come back from the trip out of practice for writing. I wound up taking two full weeks off from blogging for the first time since 2007, and getting back into the swing of things is going more slowly than I’d imagined.

Personally, I’m placing some of the blame with Doordle.

By next week, I’ll be back into the swing of things, and photos (and maybe video) will flow forth every day. We also plan to have a bunch of new episodes of our music programs on The AIR.

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Wheeler

    Well, goodness, where to begin with just what you HAVE shown! The vehicles in that photo at the top (especially the Batmobile), that incredible-looking hotel (wow!), that amazing sunset photo. Yes, I will be paying close attention to PopCult this upcoming week! Heck, I’m not traveling, I might as well enjoy someone else’s vacation. 🙂

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