The Swan House Visit

IMG_2233It’s been an adventurous two weeks! The husband was able to escape medicine for a mini-vacation. When we have time off, we tend to over-plan the things we hope to do. But we did get to the Swan House on a cold and windy day in Atlanta.

If your a history fan visiting the Atlanta area, the Atlanta History Center is a very good deal for the money. Our tickets included entrance to a history museum with golf, folk art, Civil War, and Olympic items, as well as, the Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, AND nine days to visit the Margaret Mitchell House in Downtown Atlanta.

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I really regret that we didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the museum or visit the Smith Family Farm. Even though my husband lived in Atlanta for a while, we had no idea there was so much to do at the history center. Due to traffic, we didn’t arrive at the history center until mid-afternoon, so it was kinda a rushed experience. Hopefully, some warm spring or summer day we can explore everything we missed.

IMG_2591As a YA Lit fan and continuous aspiring writer, I was personally interested in the Swan House’s Capitol/Hunger Games Tour. For those of you not familiar with The Hunger Games, it is a trilogy of books set in a bleak, oppressive future and follows the journey of a young girl as she is forced to fight and survive in an arena similar to a Survivor location. I like the series because I consider the main character to be a strong female role model. Love or hate it, I think you have to admit there’s not as many female action heroes as there should be. So, for me, supporting the series is a small feminist statement.

And, I do like Jennifer Lawrence as an actress. I was impressed by her acting skills in Winter’s Bone. As a self-professed, clumsy person, she’s a good example that when you fall, you should pick yourself right back up and laugh about it.

IMG_2232But, more about the Swan House itself. The mansion was built in 1928 by the Inman family. The Inmans were wealthy and prominent members of the Atlanta community, entertaining many guests. The home came to be known as the Swan House because many of the rooms used for entertaining contain a swan figure. When visiting the house, it’s a fun to play “spot the swan” in the room.

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Although the outside of the mansion is very grand and somewhat intimidating, the inside is very comfortable and friendly. It’s still very elegant and beautiful, but not extravagant when compared to the Biltmore Estate. I liken it to Martha Berry’s home in Rome, GA. Grand, but not tiring.

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The Capitol Tour is a guided look at stories, items, and photos from the filming of Catching Fire. If your a fan of history, The Hunger Games, and film-making in general then you’ll enjoy the tour. If you’re only there for The Hunger Games, it might be a bit of a disappointment. I imagined that there would be more photos and stories of the actors on the set. Maybe an interview with the person who picked the Swan House as a location and why. Something more on the level of what the Margaret Mitchell House offers to Gone With The Wind fans. There were interesting props and it was enjoyable Hunger Games fan info. But if you’re looking for a fan experience similar to visiting Forks, WA or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then best keep hoping they build a Hunger Games theme park.

IMG_2268Since the guide knew we were interested in the history of the house itself, she took extra time with us and seemed genuinely happy to do so, which was awesome and fun. I understand that it might be hard and tiring for people who love history to rattle on about a fictional world if they’re not also writers. It’s really a pity there doesn’t seem to be an extra special guided tour just for the Swan House’s history. From my understanding it’s mainly self-guided. I went for the outside beauty of the mansion and to learn about the filming, but I left wanting to know more about Emily Inman and her maid.

Again, maybe when they move the Atlanta Cyclorama to the history center, the family and I can make a return trip. I’d like to investigate the place further.

All and all, well worth the visit! And another item to cross off the 30 before 30 list.

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AFI’S 100 YEARS…100 MOVIES — 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

When I added AFI’S 100 Years, 100 Movies to my bucket list, I wasn’t aware that AFI, in fact, has several lists. So, I was divided between focusing on the original list or choosing the 10th anniversary edition. I even asked the husband for his opinion, but he told me just to pick one. Men, they make everything so simple. I wasn’t convinced. I have to overthink things for a while.

IMG_2147But then I saw this! AFI’S 100 Years, 100 Movies -10th Anniversary Edition at Barnes & Noble. It was like a sign, a gentle nod that I should pick the 10th Anniversary Edition…and have an excuse to go to Barnes & Noble more often (like I need one).

We ended up buying two movies from the list that night: #44 The Philadelphia Story and #88 Bringing Up Baby. Both Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant movies. I wasn’t familiar with either one. But I was assigned a report on Katharine Hepburn in 10th grade, having learned about her life, I have a great respect for her work. (As my husband will tell you, I also have a terribly wonderful memory. Things from 12+ years ago…)

Anyhow, I thought it might be nice to share the 100 Movie list with marks of the movies that I have and have not seen. This means see it! This means I’ve seen parts of it or I saw it when I was very young and don’t remember much, so I hope to re-watch it. And normal text means I haven’t seen it. So here goes:

# MOVIE YEAR
1 CITIZEN KANE 1941
2 THE GODFATHER 1972
3 CASABLANCA 1942
4 RAGING BULL 1980
5 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952
6 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
7 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
8 SCHINDLER’S LIST 1993
9 VERTIGO 1958
10 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
11 CITY LIGHTS 1931
12 THE SEARCHERS 1956
13 STAR WARS 1977
14 PSYCHO 1960
15 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
16 SUNSET BLVD. 1950
17 THE GRADUATE 1967
18 THE GENERAL 1927
19 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
20 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946
21 CHINATOWN 1974
22 SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959
23 THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940
24 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982
25 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
26 MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON 1939
27 HIGH NOON 1952
28 ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
29 DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944
30 APOCALYPSE NOW 1979
31 THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
32 THE GODFATHER PART II 1974
33 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST 1975
34 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937
35 ANNIE HALL 1977
36 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957
37 THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
38 THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
39 DR. STRANGELOVE 1964
40 THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965
41 KING KONG 1933
42 BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967
43 MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969
44 THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940
45 SHANE 1953
46 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934
47 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951
48 REAR WINDOW 1954
49 INTOLERANCE 1916
50 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 2001
51 WEST SIDE STORY 1961
52 TAXI DRIVER 1976
53 THE DEER HUNTER 1978
54 M*A*S*H 1970
55 NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959
56 JAWS 1975
57 ROCKY 1976
58 THE GOLD RUSH 1925
59 NASHVILLE 1975
60 DUCK SOUP 1933
61 SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS 1941
62 AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973
63 CABARET 1972
64 NETWORK 1976
65 THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951
66 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981
67 WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966
68 UNFORGIVEN 1992
69 TOOTSIE 1982
70 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971
71 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998
72 THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 1994
73 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969
74 THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991
75 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
76 FORREST GUMP 1994
77 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN 1976
78 MODERN TIMES 1936
79 THE WILD BUNCH 1969
80 THE APARTMENT 1960
81 SPARTACUS 1960
82 SUNRISE 1927
83 TITANIC 1997
84 EASY RIDER 1969
85 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 1935
86 PLATOON 1986
87 12 ANGRY MEN 1957
88 BRINGING UP BABY 1938
89 THE SIXTH SENSE 1999
90 SWING TIME 1936
91 SOPHIE’S CHOICE 1982
92 GOODFELLAS 1990
93 THE FRENCH CONNECTION 1971
94 PULP FICTION 1994
95 THE LAST PICTURE SHOW 1971
96 DO THE RIGHT THING 1989
97 BLADE RUNNER 1982
98 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942
99 TOY STORY 1995
100 BEN-HUR 1959

Did you get all that? Kudos, if that held your attention. More movies and more adventures to come!