Day 24, 25, & 26 ~ In which #KiwiChickInUSA geeks out over The Walking Dead…
If you’ve not heard of the AMC show ‘The Walking Dead’ or if zombies and awesomeness aren’t your thing, you may want to skip this blog post…
I’ve been a huge TWD (gonna shorten it like this from now on because I’m lazy and still excited by OMG-I’m-actually-here!) fan since Season 1 of the series, so it was a HUGE buzz for me to geek out in Georgia. First stop of the morning was Grantville, Georgia, a sleepy little Southern town about an hour away from Atlanta (I think). From memory, only one episode was shot here, called “Clear.” When we arrived there was hardly anyone on the main street, except for a couple of police cars parked outside the diner. There actually weren’t that many other businesses open, even though it was just before lunchtime on Saturday. That didn’t deter us (though the stinking hot sun & humidity nearly did – just kidding, I leaped from the car camera-ready. We took some photos of the apartment where Morgan holed up (though we couldn’t go inside unfortunately) and then wandered along the road to where the infamous brick wall was where Morgan went to burn bodies.
Next stop was another small town called Haralson, where the feed mill where the Governor and Rick have their show down. Because the area is private property we weren’t allowed on it, so we had to be satisfied with some photos. Good choice by the show’s location scouts as it was a decidedly creepy place even in broad daylight.
Then onto the main event (at least for this part of Georgia), the adorable town of Senoia (aka Woodbury, and unbeknownst to us, Alexandria). Senoia is exactly how I’d imagined a small Georgian town to be: beautiful old houses, perfectly looked after and clean main street, lovely little stores and friendly locals. We managed to find a park right on ‘Woodbury’s’ main street – which in the series manages to look almost flat, but it isn’t.
The town was packed with
walkers tourists and it was really, REALLY hot. We headed straight to the ‘Woodbury Shoppe’ (TWD store!) which I goggled eyed four different directions at once while DH clutched his wallet. We gave up trying to browse for long as the shop was again, packed with walkers shoppers.
So, downstairs to TWD museum. THIS was fun! Autographs on written on the wall by the actors, an actual jail cell from the show, a zombie head in a case, the actual and famous ‘Dead inside, don’t open’ doors, and *swoon* a life-size cut out of Darryl and HIS BIKE. Here is where I got into rule breaking territory…while the security guard wasn’t looking, I touched the bike’s seat (and you know, that’s almost as good as touching Darryl’s butt, heh heh). Once I’d finished
drooling looking, we started chatting to a nice lady who turned out to be the assistant manager of the store and who was thrilled to find out we were New Zealanders. She wanted to take a photo of us for the store’s Snapchat following, and we asked if we could pose with the massive security guard, Spence, who as it turns out is having his 15 minutes of fame as an extra on the new Season 7 trailer. Spence was a good guy and interested also in us being from NZ, mentioning that he’d heard of The All Blacks from a talk show he’d watched recently. Small world.
By this time we were starving, and decided to eat at Nic & Norman’s (a restaurant owned by Norman Reedus & series producer, Greg Nicotero) where stars are often spotted, only there was a wait to get a table…a FOUR HOUR wait.
So, we decided to eat the nearby Senoia Coffee & Cafe. While DH was using the restrooms, I sat scanning the menu, drinking my Zombie Dark coffee, until the door opened and this guy walked in….
My heart started pounding so hard it nearly knocked me off the chair. Fumbling with my phone, I desperately tried to find DH’s number to tell him to hurry the heck up before Andrew Lincoln left with his order. DH finally emerged and he too did a double-take after my frantic and unsubtle flailing in the man’s direction. Bolstering up our courage, we scurried over to say ‘Hi’, but he was already talking to a wide-eyed couple in front of us. We managed to blurt out that we were from NZ and so happy to meet him–actually, I babbled like an idiot and really have NO idea what I said–but then he replied and I twigged. He had a lovely Southern accent and if you’d heard Andrew Lincoln speak, there’s no mistaking his posh London accent. Actually, I was kinda glad at that stage that it wasn’t Andy, because the second thought spinning through my head after I recognized him was, “Miss 15 will never, ever speak to me again if I’ve managed to score meeting Rick Grimes!” But even after taking a photo with him, DH and I *still* weren’t convinced he wasn’t the real deal as the resemblance was uncanny. It took asking a server after we left to find out he’s a nice guy (which we knew) called Alan. And Alan is evidently a tour guide with this company http://www.georgiamercantile.com/ and it has been mentioned on Tripadvisor how much he looks like Lincoln. To illustrate we weren’t the only ones fooled…while we walked past Alan and his tour group, a car pulled up with two women in it. They rolled down the window and were fan-girling big time and snapping photos…not sure when the penny dropped that a huge actor like Andrew Lincoln wouldn’t be moonlighting as a tour guide on a hot Saturday afternoon…
On our self-guided tour around Senoia, we discovered the railway line that Michonne and Carl walked along.
We saw the tops of buildings poking out of Alexandria. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any closer and the whole thing was fenced off and blocked by security guards.
Back to TWD store we spent a small fortune on stuff, some for me, some for Miss 15 who is a hardcore Daryl fan. I can’t tell you what I got her sorry, she’s probably reading this and rubbing her hands in glee. Or warming them up to throttle her mum for sending her photos of her favorite show’s locations.
Last stop before we left town was a drive-by past the house where Carl sat on the roof and ate a giant can of chocolate pudding.
Day 25 ~ Atlanta
We wanted to visit two spots in Atlanta that weren’t included on the Walking Dead tour we’re doing tomorrow morning. First stop is Rick Grime’s house that he returns to in Season 1, Episode 1 where he’s sitting on the steps in his hospital gown having a really, bad, day. The house is actually for sale, so it wasn’t super weird to just pull out and snap a few photos.
Second stop was close to Turners Field (there was a game finishing so traffic was pretty crazy) the derelict and spooky railway yard used in ‘Terminus’ (Seasons 4 & 5). *Note* We found out later that you DO get to visit it on the Walking Dead tour. It was hard to get decent shots of the place as it was completely fenced off with ‘No Trespassing’ signs everywhere. With the overgrown weeds, the vandalism and general neglect, it gave off some really creepy vibes.
Day 26 ~ Atlanta Movie Tours
Today we did the Big Zombie Tour 1 with the Atlanta movie Tours. Our tour guide was a funny dude called Charlie whose claim to fame is being a regular walker (zombie) on The Walking Dead. His most notable zombie role? He played the walker suspected of chowing down on Sofia in Season 2 when she wandered into the woods – Daryl shot and gutted him to check he hadn’t. Charlie had some amazing and downright hilarious behind-the-scene stories to tell us from his time on-set. Well worth doing this tour, I recommend it if you’re visiting Atlanta.
On the three hour tour we went to a number of locations from the show. We saw:
The bridge/arch where Rick firsts enters Atlanta.
The street where Rick and Glen covered themselves in walker guts and stole a truck.
The doorway where Daryl and Rick went into rescue kidnapped Glen from the Vatos gang (but it turns out they’re protecting the old people in a resthome, awwww).
Rick’s police station where he, Morgan and Dwayne visit in Season 1, Episode 1.
The hospital where Rick wakes up in Season 1, Episode 1.