On our long drive to southwest Florida after our strange COVID Christmas, we stopped for the night in Albany, Georgia. We had searched for a Hilton Garden Inn because there is usually a bar and restaurant in-house open til 10 p.m.

It was pitch dark at 8:30 when we pulled in and Google maps wound us around side streets until we found ourselves not off the highway but in downtown Albany, still lit up from Christmas. We parked right in front, checked in and headed for wine, beer and food, in that order. The masked lady barkeep was chatting with one other couple and we glanced at the only two barstools at the empty bar. COVID regulations differ in every state and apparently this was Georgia’s.

Yvonne Ransel lives in Bristol and occasionally writes essays for The Elkhart Truth.

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