Moving to a new place where you know nobody or much of anything about it feels a bit like a treasure hunt. You’re grasping for whatever looks graspable and every little thing is a clue that will hopefully lead you to your next open door. Some clues are big and obvious—like meeting the only person who responded to your facebook post about needing a roommate (she’s awesome thankfully!)
Some are smaller clues. My new roommate gave me a coupon for a free Kavu watch band from the local outfitters. I don’t have a Kavu watch face but I should probably go retrieve my band. Does the retail employee at the outfitters hold my next clue? Will someone ask about my cool new watch band sans watch and they’ll become my friend and we’ll get best friend bracelets eventually?
This treasure hunt in northern Georgia happens to be deliciously littered with countless wineries (well, I counted, I’ve found at least 27 within 30 miles!) While at my first one, I looked through the “Mountain Traveler” magazine that sat next to the fluffy rosemary bread. I wrote down everything that stood out—waterfalls, the one coffee shop, restaurants that look tasty, job possibilities, and every single winery.
Later that night at the dumpy hotel with dirty carpet that I didn’t even want to walk on with bare feet, I decided I needed to get out. I couldn’t have almonds for dinner one more time, especially because that’s what I had for lunch. I looked at my notes and saw that “Mully’s Nacoochie Grill—elevated Southern dining” was not far.
Intriguing. I put my slippers on to walk to the mirror; I looked like I had gone on a hike and then fallen asleep for a couple hours. I threw on my yellow hat and hit the road for a fancy biscuit.
Mully’s was adorable. It was like walking into your grandma’s house, with a wrap-around porch and roaring fireplace. I sat in the bar next to some drapes that rested against my back. I ordered a small salad since I didn’t have any money coming in and the dumpy hotel was still $88.
The $30 ribeyes and filets made me consider Mully’s as a job possibility because 20% of $30 is $6 which could buy me a biscuit (with chicken!) A four top…$120, $24 tip, SIX BISCUITS WITH CHICKEN!
Georgian Beth might weigh 250 lbs.
I continued to read my book so I could feel like I was eating with Anthony Doerr and not by myself as I picked through the salad for all the bacon pieces.
“Thanks for coming in, young lady,” a man in a Georgia Bulldog sweater with a popped collar said in a very southern twang.
“My pleasure. I’m glad I came.”
He continued on through the restaurant to thank other young ladies for coming in, I predicted.
I was close enough to the fire to feel the warmth. The employees were laughing and seemed to be having fun. The live music was hitting the spot with James Taylor and the Beatles covers. I liked this place.
When I was halfway though my salad, the man walked back by and asked, “How’s your salad tasting?”
“I love it. This bacon vinaigrette is amazing…”
“It’s all made here. I’m glad you like it. Where are you from?”
I put down my fork and said, “Well I’m from Florida, I’m moving here from Ketchum, ID and everything I own is in the back of my truck and I’m hoping to unload it soon.”
He sat down. “What! Where are you staying tonight? What do you do for work? I’m Mully, by the way.”
I told him I was staying in a hotel because I didn’t want to camp because of all the rain…I waited tables for four years and I’d love to do the same again. We chatted for a few minutes and he said he could absolutely find something for me.
“You walked in the door at the right time, young lady! Come see me tomorrow and we’ll get you set up,” he said.
I went in the next day and was on the schedule the day after that. I found a little bit of treasure! Treasure that I’ll have to work for, but treasure nonetheless.