On Saturday, we took a drive up to the hills. A drive that was sorely needed by a one girl in particular.
The past few weeks have been so incredibly stressful for me, and they've really begun taking their toll on my mood and how I feel and how well I've been sleeping. I kept reminding myself this last week that, if I could just make it through five days of work, I could reward myself with some time spent under God's beautiful Autumn foliage. And let me tell you, that reward was my saving grace last week; it was an intense stretch of days, to put it mildly.
Fall is my most favorite season, and I wanted to be sure we could take a drive up to the mountains to see the amazing colors before the trees lost all their leaves. Another little tidbit about me is that I absolutely love the mountains, and I've missed them so much that it's left me feeling a bit disoriented and not at all grounded. Growing up, I never understood my mom's obsession and love for the ocean. During the eight years we lived on the Oregon Coast, I got so tired of driving to "see the ocean." My mom was forever wanting to "see the ocean." Well, now I understand. Having spent nine years in San Diego, I got really homesick for mountains. You know how when some people talk of where they'd build a dream home, and it's always on some amazing beach? Pshaw, the beach is for stinky fish and loud birds. Without hesitation, I'd build my dream home in the mountains. It took living in San Diego and then moving across the country for me to realize how much mountains and trees are a part of who I am. Take that away, and I don't feel like a whole me.
Our Saturday drive followed a meandering, unplanned loop north through Tennessee and North Carolina, before returning South through the Chattahoochee National Forest into Georgia. We stumbled onto a trail head near the southern tip of the Appalachian Trail. Having grown up in Oregon (ahem, we have our own famous Trail), I had no idea that we now live so close to the Appalachian Trail.
This shop and hostel at the trail head also had an amazing stone structure off to the right, with a breathtaking view of the valley.
You Know Who gave it a big thumbs up.
Being out there on that trail made me want to grab a hair tie and go for a run, boots and all. I really, really miss trail running.
Of course, we brought her with us :)
This is where we stopped in North Carolina for lunch. Bo was so excited that he was nearly jumping up and down as we pulled into the parking lot. I just thought it was only fair that we stop there since he'd been doing all the driving. I'm not so much a fan of bbq. That, and my indifference to peach pie are pretty much going to get me kicked out of the state of Georgia.
That porch, however, was pretty great for photos.
In case you were wondering, a salad at a bbq place pretty much just consists of lettuce, some tomatoes, and an enormous pile of meat. I'm wearing my fake excited face here :)
One of the two of us was really happy. Happy enough so that the other one of the two of us was happy in response.
I was so excited to try my first fried pie. Any restaurant here in Georgia that claims to be "Southern" or "Real BBQ" has fried pies on the menu. I greedily snatched one of these up and waited a whole 15 minutes before tearing into it in the car. Verdict? Yuck. The fried part tasted fried, and the filling was from a can. I miss my mom's amazing apple pies!
I love this photo. Props to Bo!