Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: Woodbury

Our TWD Summer Road Trip – 2017 Edition


Just as we did in July of 2014, my Son and I ventured to Georgia for another TWD Summer Road Trip. I would have liked to do this later in June, as to give us some time to regroup after a grueling Junior Year and 2 weeks filled with a ton of extra stuff, but that would have meant 2 of us in my department at work out at the same time, and that’s just not cool when there’s only 4 of us.

So, Thursday, June 15th, the day after my Son’s last final exam, we hit the road. Needless to say, we got a late start, but we were not doing any site seeing on the exodus South, so I was not concerned.

The total drive time was approximately 12 hours, with our goal to do 8 hours Thursday and the rest of the way on Friday.

Day One we went from PA, through MD, WV, VA and spent the night in Gastonia, NC. I knew some of the roads in VA could be challenging because of the truckers and the hills, but this time things were exasperated by downpours that slowed traffic down to 25 mph.

In addition, there were the crazy drivers who think a speed limit of 70 gives them the right to do 90. Throw in construction in the heaviest traffic and you’ve got a less than appealing road trip, AND, one that took longer then the estimated 8 hours.

At least my Son was very entertained by some new “colorful” expressions that came out of my mouth.

It was a good thing we stopped for a late lunch, because till we got to the hotel around 10 PM, we had no desire to cross a highway just to get dinner. We settled for popcorn and for me an adult beverage.

The next morning, we were refreshed and ready to go. We headed out for the rest of the journey to Georgia, which we extended an hour to get us to Macon, where the Allman Brothers’ Museum, the Big House, is located.

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As an Allman Brothers fan, especially Greg, I couldn’t be that close without checking it out. Halfway there though, I came close to bagging it and heading to Fayetteville where we were staying for the duration of our visit.

Why you ask?

The traffic on I75 made all the craziness we saw on the first leg of our sojourn seem relaxing.

I am convinced having a speed limit of 70 gives insane drivers what they perceive as permission to drive even faster and without any care for anyone else on the road. Or, maybe it’s just our society, the “me first” mentality is everywhere, and it’s getting worse, but that’s a subject for another post.

We persevered and did make it to the Big House, which I am grateful for. The place was amazing. It is the very house Duane, Greg and Berry Oakley lived during the early years of the band. Everything was impeccably preserved and laid out in a chronological, laying out every detail of the bands journey.

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You could feel the energy as we walked through the front doors. I got chills standing in Duane’s room and the kitchen where “Ramblin Man” was written.

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This visit was definitely for me. My Son thought the place was cool, but didn’t get the significance when it comes to the history of music. Hopefully when he gets older it will sink in.

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From the Big House we trekked to our Airbnb rental in Fayetteville. The moment we stepped through the door of this basement apartment it felt like we were home, which we greatly appreciated after our trying two-day exodus.

The apartment was stunning and beautifully decorated. We also had access to the pool and lake; unfortunately we were on the go so much our pool time was limited.

I was beyond happy that I decided to go this route. Julia and her family were amazing hosts and we look forward to hopefully returning one day. If anyone decides to head to the Atlanta area, I highly recommend looking Julia up.

Saturday, June 17th, we headed into Senoia for Dad’s Zombie Road Trip with Will Riggs, Chandler Riggs’ (AKA Carl) real Dad. He does a walking and a driving tour.

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We opted for the walking tour because the areas he drives to are ones we had seen on our 2014 trip. The walking tour is 1 1/2 hours centered around Senoia, which was Woodbury in TWD, and the Alexandria Safe Zone, which is a housing development right next to downtown Senoia.

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On our previous trip in 2014, we had explored Senoia a little bit, but not with the behind the scene stories Will dished out at every stop. Read the rest of this entry »

Our TWD Summer Road Trip


For all who didn’t read yesterday’s post, “The Optimist Realist Wingman,” please note, this post is strictly a run down of all the places my son and I saw during our TWD adventure. For my personal insight into the amazing bonding experience we had, please check out “The Optimist Realist Wingman.” This trip has certainly made an impact on both us.

20140710_092908Now for the nitty gritty of our escapades. We started out for GA on Thursday, July 10, 2014 with a pit stop in New Market, VA to tour the New Market Battlefield Military Museum. This museum was well worth the stop. It is actually the personal collection of John M. Bracken. Extremely impressive. After our tour, we proceeded to our overnight stop in Lake Norman, NC. (Can anyone guess why I picked this spot?) Lake Norman is the largest manmade freshwater lake created by Duke Energy as part of the Cowans Ford Dam between 1959 – 1964. From what we could see, the lake was beautiful. Unfortunately we got in late and didn’t have any time to explore. Hopefully one day we can return. This stop was strictly to rest and refuel.

The next day we completed our journey, landing at the Wyndham Peachtree Convention Center in Peachtree City. 100_3397This would be our base camp while touring the TWD sites and what lovely base camp it was. The pool area was a virtual oasis. While driving through Atlanta en route to our hotel, we couldn’t resist playing the TWD theme song as the view of the Atlanta skyline was visible on the horizon. Link to YouTube is listed at end of post. We also got a real taste of Atlanta traffic, hitting it around 3 o’clock on a Friday. I have no idea how people drive in that every day. God bless them. Once at the hotel it was time to get a little R & R. Mommy got an adult beverage while her son took a dip in the pool.

Saturday, we headed back into Atlanta for Atlanta Movie Tours – Big Zombie Tour, Part 1. This is a three hour tour, that covers the locations from TWD’s first Season. We 100_3119started at the building that was used as the department store where Merle is left on the roof. This building just happened to be by the bridge Rick crosses on horseback when heading into Atlanta and the railroad tracks and overpass where Glenn, Rick and Daryl park the truck when they return for Merle. In a distance you could see the high rise where Rick sees the reflection of the helicopter. Next we traveled to the street where Rick pulls the box car to the loading dock to get the group trapped in the department store. And, next to that is the store front where the walkers crashed through the doors. From here, we drove through the area where Rick’s horse went down and the tank was parked. We also saw the narrow alleyway where Glenn helps Rick escape the horde100_3155 of walkers. Next up was the goat farm where the Vatos exchanged Glenn for guns. After the goat farm was the building that was used for the outside of the police station and the alley along side of the building where Rick, Morgan and Duane park and head in for weapons and hot showers. This is also where Rick has to dispose of his fellow officer turned walker. The building used as the hospital followed and this was truly the highlight of the tour. Flashing back to Rick stumbling out the back door in just a hospital gown, seeing all the covered bodies lined up in the parking lot, then walking up the hill and seeing all the abandoned and destroyed military vehicles. You really felt like you were reliving the scene. 100_3157From here we went to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center that doubled as the CDC in the show. The structure is stunning and very impressive. Believe it or not, the window they all jumped out of was actually removed just for that scene. The final stop on the tour is the bridge with the Atlanta skyline as a backdrop. This is the view used when Rick rides into Atlanta on his horse. The part with Rick was filmed via green screen and digitally joined with the 100_3158abandoned highway and skyline. As I found out when driving through Atlanta on 85, the skyline used for the shot is not the actual skyline on 85. 85 runs North to South and the skyline runs East to West, so, in order to get the dramatic shot they wanted, they needed to use a little Hollywood magic. If you watch our video driving into the city you can see the difference. Finally, capping off the tour, our guides, Patrick and Kathryn, have both been walkers on the show, so in between location hopping, we heard great behind the scenes stories about their time on set. Read the rest of this entry »

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