Mystery Trip

Mystery Trip

Over the years my parents have enjoyed group travel with a local company.  They’ve traveled to some amazing places!  Sometimes the company offers mystery trips.  Passengers sign up for these trips not knowing where they’re going or what they’ll be doing when they get there.  My intrepid parents have enjoyed a few of those trips!

A few weeks ago my husband and I asked Mama and Daddy if they’d like take a mystery trip with US!  They were quick to say YES!  I did the research and the planning, and we all headed out last weekend.  (I teased this up yesterday on my Springtime Adventure List!)

Where did we take them?!?

To Serenbe, a fascinating community just southwest of Atlanta.

And what did we do there?!?

We saw Serenbe Playhouse’s presentation of Shenandoah!  It’s a musical based on the movie Shenandoah that starred Jimmy Stewart.


The cast featured American Idol Taylor Hicks as Charlie Anderson/Papa and Broadway actress and country music singer Rachel Potter as Anne.  The entire cast was fantastic!  Some of my favorite characters were the oldest son, James (played by David Burns) and Gabriel (played by Caleb Baumann).

Shenandoah tells the story of a family that farms in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and who try their best to stay out of the Civil War.  Sadly, the war invades their farm, and the family faces immense hardship and tragedy.  I laughed out loud in parts and might’ve wept a little too.

In one powerful scene, the daughter collapses in the dirt and weeps for all that has happened.  Her Papa (Taylor Hicks) kneels beside her and wraps her in his arms and sings “Papa’s Gonna Make It Alright.”  Let me tell you, I was a hot mess!  My own Papa was sitting two seats over from me, and he loves me just like that!  I think we all got a tad weepy!  Whew!  Good stuff!

The show is performed outdoors on the edge of a beautiful field.


Photographer BreeAnne Clowdus captured the drama in these stunning photographs:

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I highly recommend you follow the Serenbe Playhouse, and I encourage you to see their shows.  Shenandoah has been extended through April 14.  Other shows this season are Hair, Ragtime, The True Story of Pocahontas, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and a holiday show to be announced soon.  You’ll find all the details HERE!

The show was the main feature of our mystery trip, but we enjoyed some good food too!  Of course we did!  We enjoyed a tasty southern lunch at The Swanson in Perry, Georgia.  I enjoyed a “veggie” plate of deviled eggs, rutabagas, collard greens, and the best fried okra I’ve ever had!  Yes, I went SUPER southern and enjoyed every bite of it!  The whole menu looked amazing, and the restaurant itself was charming.  Gene recommends the bread pudding for dessert!  (Or for breakfast the next morning!)



For our pre-show dinner we ate at The Hill, a restaurant in Serenbe.  Wow!  I chose Truffle Ravioli:  “Ricotta, mushroom, and truffle inside the ravioli, topped with a truffle butter sauce as well as sauteed mushrooms, charred broccoli, and shaved cured egg yolk.”  It was amazing!  Each of the four of us chose a different entree, and we all loved our dinners!  OH!  I almost forgot!  They served the best sticky toffee pudding I’ve had outside the United Kingdom!  I was a happy, happy girl!  (We scarfed the sticky toffee pudding without even pausing to take a picture!)



What a great trip!  We made some special memories and enjoyed our time together!  I’m thankful!

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4 thoughts on “Mystery Trip

  1. What great memories you made for your parents and yourself! The setting of the ‘playhouse’ is perfect for this musical. Papas try hard to make everything alright for their babies. I would have been in tears with that number, too. I had such a sweet daddy.

    The food looks delicious. The sticky toffee pudding and the bread pudding are right up my alley. When I was a little girl, we belonged to a country club where we would sometimes have Sunday dinner. My favorite thing was the bread pudding. Would suffer through ham or prime rib just to get to the bread pudding.

    Thank you for sharing your memory-making weekend with us.

    1. SUCH memories, Leslie! Yes! A cool thing about this theater group is that all their productions are outside but in different locations around their community! Titanic was performed on a small lake last year, and their Legend of Sleepy Hollow is performed in a forest! You actually walk from scene to scene through the forest! At night!

      I’m so glad you suffered through such dinners to get to the bread pudding! LOL! That’s funny, but I totally understand!

  2. So happy to see this post! And what timing…I’m traveling from Colorado to Atlanta next month for a wedding, and it will be my first time to ATL. I’m putting together a list of sites to see…thinking I should make some time for Serenbe!

    1. Hooray for visiting Atlanta!!! I hope you DO get to wander out to Serenbe. I think you’ll find it soothing. Eat at The Hill, or grab a snack at the Blue Eyed Daisy bakery, or stroll through the General Store…or all three! The Serenbe Playhouse will be doing Ragtime: The Musical during May. I know you’ll have a great time!

      Thanks for stopping by Out and Back and for chatting with me!

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