Well, if you’re a tourist and want to stand out like one, you would pronounce it like it’s spelled; “Seh-noy-uuh”. But, Senoia is way too cool to bother with the “a”, so, give it a miss when you stroll the streets of this hip town and chat with the locals.
Senoia, Georgia, a town of about 2,500 people, is located about 30 minutes by car from our home at Sun City Peachtree, in Griffin. We decided to make it the celebration destination for our 20th wedding anniversary; 26 years in all. Why? To steal the saying on the old neon sign out front of Austin Motel, in Austin, Texas, Senoia is “So close yet so far out”.
Senoia in some ways is an illusion. It reminds me of that commercial, “Is it live or is it Memorex?” Take Woodbury Town Hall, for example. It looks real, doesn’t it?
Nope; no town hall here. Woodbury doesn’t exist; at least in Senoia. Go behind the town hall and all you see is a chain link fence.
Same goes for the travel agency next door and the bookstore across the street. I was this close to walking up to the door of the bookstore to see what the new bookstore in town had to offer, but, I changed my mind, not wanting to add to my growing list of yet-to-be-read books. Good thing, because I wouldn’t have gotten very far; the door was locked. I’m sure the locals would have had a good chuckle, though, if I had tried the door and couldn’t get it open…
So, what’s up with this odd little town where the town hall isn’t named after Senoia and Woodbury Town Hall doesn’t really exist, anyway? And, what’s up with that darn travel agency and bookstore that isn’t open during regular business hours?
Well, like I said, Senoia is an illusion, in some ways. Blame it on Raleigh Studios Atlanta, a film studio instrumental in redeveloping Senoia into what it is a today; a hip little town with a great vibe. Some of the old historic buildings on Main Street were redeveloped by the studios for filming purposes and other new ones were built to look old for the same purpose. And, others, as I mentioned, aren’t buildings at all; just facades used in filming “The Walking Dead”; a drama/ horror/ thriller cable TV series.
My favorite movie filmed in Senoia was “Driving Miss Daisy”. Scenes from this Academy award winning movie (best picture and best actress), starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, were filmed on Johnson Road.
Some of the other 17 movies filmed in Senoia were “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Consenting Adults”, “The War”, “Gordy”, and, most recently, “Lawless”.
As for other TV series filmed in Senoia, “I’ll Fly Away” was filmed from 1991-1993 and “Drop Dead Diva” began filming in 2009.
The Veranda Bed & Breakfast Inn, our home away from home for the night was also the filming location for the movie, “Broken Bridges”, starring Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, and Toby Keith.
Dating back to 1906, this Greek Revival Mansion was originally the Holberg Hotel. The 8,000 square foot Inn with nine guest bedrooms still has its original features: Georgia heart pine floors, ornate tin ceilings, elegant light fixtures and chandeliers, and eleven fireplaces.
We booked our stay in “Leah Jackson Room 1”, located on the main floor: http://verandabandbinn.com/rooms.html . It was roomy but cozy and comfortable; furnished with antiques of the period.
The best part about The Veranda Bed & Breakfast Inn, though, was getting to know Laura, the owner; a warm and welcoming lady with the perfect personality to run a bed and breakfast. I got that impression from her husband, Rick, as well, although he kept quite busy during our stay, so we didn’t have the opportunity to chat with him like we did Laura. But, Rick is the cook and baker at the B&B, and was responsible for the delicious chocolate chip cookies served hot out of the oven, as well as the wonderful (and huge!) breakfast we enjoyed the following morning.
One of the reasons we chose to spend our anniversary in Senoia was because of the rave reviews I read about The Veranda on Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g35254-d75430-r138578489-Veranda_Bed_Breakfast_Inn-Senoia_Georgia.html . I will be adding my own two cents after I post this, giving it a perfect rating to add to 21 excellent and 4 very good ratings it has already received.
To add icing to the anniversary cake of our enjoyable stay, Laura even asked Bruce if she could sell his art glass in her gallery! And, he was invited to exhibit and sell his pieces at an upcoming Senoia show, as well as be a featured artist in her gallery, in the future. Check out Bruce’s work here: www.CookedGlass.Fototime.com . This is what is keeping us busy during most weekends until Christmas!
So, our anniversary has come and gone, and our hope is to spend many more happy ones together! Perhaps we’ll return to The Veranda, again, next year, and make it a tradition. But, if we do, I’ll make sure to have Laura brief me first on any “new shops” that have popped up in town…
Looks like LOTS OF FUN !!
Of course, the first REAL picture would be of chocolate !!
Al Whitley, MBA, AIA Principal
virtual design & construction institute / cadteacher / WHITLEYGroup 3904 Groton Street Suite 200 San Diego CA 92110
http://www.vdci.com (v) 619-758-9888 http://www.cadteacher.com (f) 619-758-1888 http://www.whitleygroup.com
San Diego’s Unique Autodesk Authorized Training Center
But, of course! Where there is chocolate, there is… ME. Thankfully, “Oh! Chocolate” wasn’t an illusion; it was the real deal!
What a find! Happy Anniversary, Elaine and Bruce! Looks like a great place to celebrate–so much history and lots of fun things going on in that town. Glad you had fun.
Thanks, Laura! It was definitely your kind of place!