My alarm went off at 5 am. I happily sprang out of bed, showered quickly, and then helped Josh pack our bags and cameras into the car. By 6:15am we were waiting in the parking lot of the Southampton Tim Hortans with coffee and breakfast bagels in hand.
My family, late as usual, showed up at 6:45 with two big bags of garbage still on the roof of the van. "It's been a long morning," said my dad, rolling his eyes. I could tell he wasn't really mad. His eyes were laughing.
The garbage was thrown out, walkie talkies were exchanged, more Timmies food was bought, and we were off.
The sunrise was beautiful that morning. I haven't seen it for a long time. We drove along the Lake Huron coastline until we reached the Port Huron border. My family's van went through smoothly, Josh and I weren't so lucky. We got questioned by some girl who had it in for us.
"Where do you live?"
"Ahhhhlleennfuurd? I've never heard of it. Where is it?"
"Right by Sauble Beach, or Owen Sound."
"Never heard of those either."
"…it's on Lake Huron, kinda."
"I guess I'll take your word. Why are you leaving Canada?"
"To go to Georgia with our family."
"We rent a cabin there."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because it's nice…"
"Where's your family?"
"They already went through."
"Why aren't you in their car?"
"There's not enough room in it."
"How many people are in their car?"
"In a car?! Isn't that too many people for a car."
"SORRY WOMAN, IT'S A VAN!!!!"
And it went on and on. Finally she let us through, although I had my doubts.
We drove all day, stopping in Lexington for Golden Corral. If you've never heard of that restaurant, go there. It's a huge buffet for really cheap… it's been a running joke in my family for years for reasons that I won't get into. ;)
That evening we stopped at a hotel in Franklin, Tennessee. Right outside of Nashville, where we caught up on some much needed sleep.
We had an impromptu photo shoot in the hotel's parking lot. The sun had just risen and the lighting was beautiful. We also had to take the classic photo of my mom posing in front of flowers. We do it every trip.
We drove into Nashville and stopped at the Grand Ole Opry. What a cool place, and it's amazing to know that all of my favourite country singers have been right there.
Next we checked out the Opry Hotel, then headed downtown Nashville for some exploring.
After four more hours of driving we made it to Blue Ridge, Georgia! The cabin we rent is so beautiful. After unpacking, Leah made Pad Thai, and then we all relaxed and renewed our energy after the long trip.
Morning started with a trip to Fall Branch Falls, a pretty waterfall near our cabin that runs down the mountain. That afternoon was spent fishing on the bank of the Toccoa River. It was so peaceful, sitting on a pillow listening to the rushing water. I could have sat there all day but the bugs got too bad, so we left.
After checking out Lake Blue Ridge and picking up more groceries at the local food store, we went home to enjoy a night of hottubing, s'mores by the campfire, and watching Deadliest Catch. My new favourite show.
We drove about an hour through the mountains until we reached a trail head that lead to a suspension bridge. The bridge overlooks a wild part of the Toccoa river. While my family and I explored, Josh fished, hoping to catch some trout for our picnic lunch.
In the afternoon Josh and I went for a hike around our cabin. We ended up going the wrong way and had to back track vertically for so long. I was wearing shorts and rubber boots. It was painful and my muscles have never burned so badly. Great workout though!
We wanted to celebrate easter as a family that night, so everyone dressed up and my mom made a feast of mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salad, etc. It was delicious, especially after a long day of being outside.
Josh had to leave early in the morning for Use of Force training for his job. I was sad to see him go. It was the first time since being married where I wouldn't see him for days.
I spent the day reading and tanning. That night we had a final bonfire and Leah serenaded us with her music. The stars were shining brilliantly and the moon cast a glow over the mountains around us. It was truly beautiful, and a perfect way to spend the last night in Georgia together.
We were on the road before sunrise making the 15 hour drive home.
It was an amazing trip. My energy is restored and I'm ready for wedding and portrait season to begin again. I have an engagement shoot tomorrow night with a couple who is getting married next month. I can't wait to start regularly blogging again! Keep checking back for new photo shoots.
Lastly, I'll leave you with a short video of our vacation. I used my old camera, so it's a little shaky and random. At the end is a clip of one of Leah's new songs she's been working on.
Hope everyone had a great week!
Hope everyone had a great week!