Monday, July 15, 2013

Travel: Northern Georgia

you guys remember how independence day is my favorite holiday? after a very mellow celebration last year (which was also great), we kicked it up a notch this year and rented a fancy cabin in the woods in northern georgia. two other couples (my best friends and their significant figures) joined us, along with jasper (of course), and we had a terrific time even if the weather was plotting against us. as most of the eastern coast has been experiencing for the past four to five weeks, we had rain all day long most days. we didn't let that ruin our time (okay, the lake would have been more enjoyable sans rain), though! one day we headed to amicacola falls state park (one that i have been wanting to camp at for a long while now) to do some short few mile hiking up to the falls and back down. so great! waterfalls are so empowering, aren't they? the constant stream of water is most amazing, and the speed at which it rushes over the giant cliffs? oh my. while i happened to forget my nalgene bottle (which was a replacement for the other two nalgenes that we accidentally left in san diego in april) (hope someone found it and is using it!), the rest of the day was untarnished and pretty much perfect. we even ate at this sketchy bbq place where they have a "pig hill of fame" (the boys liked it) (okay, j. was a little creeped out)! we caught one of the only bursts of sunshine that afternoon when we got home. j. and a. went upstairs to nap, and k. immediately asked me what my beverage preference would be. white wine, jacuzzi, and damien rice playing? not to mention the delightful company and conversation, and later when the sky opened up, a dance to the most glorious of glories... i love this group of people. i love feeling uninhibited in their presence. i love that they know me through and through (and accept me, even my unshaved pits). i love that we can get away with playing twilight scene it (yes, that totally happened) on one night, and having serious discussions about life the next. everything was so perfect, until sunday. and that day redefined perfect. k. and i were stressing the night before about which hike to go on. we wanted it to be great, bountiful, and with impressive geological variations. resources appear to be low in this part of the state (great hikes, but where are they? c'mon, internet!), and miraculously the next morning we were still able to find our destination. we hiked part of the benton mackaye trail (which was lined with flecks of gold-toned stones - magical!) and part of the appalachian trail. little jasper bubs (who isn't so little anymore) led the way on his partially-robotic body, and seeing him enjoy the outdoors as much as his mama and papa made me unbelievably happy. the forest was green as ever, and it was slightly misty, then drizzly, the whole trail. everything seemed so lush and smelled so sweet that i kept forgetting we weren't in the pacific northwest. we crossed streams and skipped over rocks and dredged through mud, and finally we were back where we started. found a sweet spot next to the cold, fast river, and had ourselves a picnic lunch of [lukewarm] grilled hot dogs, pears, peaches, and grapes... we finished the early afternoon with a hike to a waterfall, that again, entranced us with its great power. that night the skies were finally clear -- the boys, happy about fireworks, a. happy about a fire, and me happy about a sunset. wonderful ending to an, as always, wonderful holiday.

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