While planning a trip to Columbus, Georgia, to attend the graduation ceremony of our grandson from basic training at Fort Benning, we decided to incorporate a long planned visit to Plains. We had read Jimmy Carter’s book, An Hour Before Daylight, found it so descriptive of life there that we wanted to see it for ourselves.
Americus, Georgia, near Plains, appeared to be a convenient place to stay, with the added advantage of being within a short distance of another historic site, Andersonville and the Prisoner of War Museum, another long planned visit.
So, where to stay in Americus?
A search on the internet turned up the usual motels. But then we had an idea. We had never stayed at a Bed and Breakfast. Certainly in a town whose roots were deep in the antebellum South there must be some place, some house, that would give us a sense of time and place. And we found it. The minute we saw the photograph of Americus Garden Inn, a large Romantic Victorian house with Italianate embellishments we knew that was where we wanted to stay. We booked three nights during the first weekend in December—Saturday through Monday.
On Saturday afternoon we visited Andersonville and on Sunday we attended the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, listened to Jimmy Carter teach a Sunday school class, stayed for the church service and had our picture taken with the Carters. We toured the Carter farm in the afternoon. Added attractions were the Rural Telephone Museum at Leslie and the Global Village at Habitat for Humanity in Americus.
What made this mini vacation so excellent was the fact that we had chosen the Americus Garden Inn as our operational base. Innkeepers Susan and Kim Egelseer are very caring hosts. We were thoroughly briefed on local restaurants, places we wanted to visit, shown the best routes to get where we wanted to go, served three wonderful gourmet breakfasts—no two alike—had elegant accommodations and were made to feel comfortably at home in the cozy Veranda Suite.
In retrospect our stay was too short to take advantage of all the amenities offered such as the Inn’s extensive VHS tape collection, or simply spending a quiet afternoon reading in the living room and listening to the baby grand piano that plays a concert all by itself. A walking tour of nearby historic homes, had the weather been more suitable, could have added to our pleasure, and spending a tranquil evening on the veranda overlooking Rees Park under a southern moon would have been unforgettable. If there is a more congenial B&B it’s probably on another planet.