I thought I'd begin to post some of my journal pages as I find some that might be of interest. This page is from the first day of our vacation to North Carolina, November 7, 2009. I'll post more from this trip over the next couple of weeks. The photos included are from this same vacation. All embedded links will take you to videos from the trip. Enjoy!
November 7, 2009, Saturday
It has been a really long day. I cannot believe I am here after such a long amount of time. I was so nervous about leaving home and spending so much time in the car. All-in-all the day went smoothly. We encountered no problems while driving, no one got sick, and we made really good time.
I suppose I should put down the particulars, such as the times and places we’ve visited. But I wanted to start by sharing a thought I had on the way up. Driving all the way from Central Florida directly through the middle of the state of Georgia, and then into western North Carolina is quite a change in seasons. When we left the house, the land was struggling to let go of summer. The month of October running into November was unseasonably warm. One could still traipse about outdoors in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.
As we moved into Georgia, it began to get cooler and the landscape changed. Left behind were the sweeping branches of live oaks and the stateliness of slash pines to be replaced by endless miles of cotton fields, the cotton ripe for harvest. We passed pecan groves, the trees holding high their graceful limbs, and pink roadside flowers standing some 4-foot high. The land was mostly flat, open farmland until we reached about Macon, Georgia.
At Macon, the trees changed again, to maples and sweet gum, also new varieties of oaks and pine. At first, the color change was gradual, a little here and there. But by the time we reached Atlanta, fall was in full flame. Oh, the marvelous colors we saw! And the landscape became hilly and then more and more mountainous.
As we left Atlanta behind and arrived more towards our destination, the leaves began to fall. Here at the cabin, they lie mostly on the ground, a subtle reminder of things past. I can in my head just see those trees, as we saw them two years ago, all marvelously bright full of glorious autumn color, but with no one here to appreciate them. That’s kind of sad, really.
The change in the land from our starting point to our destination is so very great. Yet, it came about gradually as the miles flew past us. In these thoughts, America strikes me as such a diverse place. Were I to keep driving, I can imagine how it would change again and again. You’d not notice the changes so much as you moved along, but could see them if you compared them later.
As to the details, we left this morning just before 6:00 AM. Officially, I got up at 5:00, but the truth is I was awake fitfully from about 3:30. I just could not seem to shut my head off properly and I felt as if I was vibrating. That was mostly me being nervous and anxious about the drive.
After leaving Ginger, the dog, with Robert and Faye, we drove off into the early morning twilight. I cannot remember the exact time the sun rose, but I remember watching it rise in the rear view mirror as we drove along the Florida Turnpike and thinking it was so pretty. I’d have taken a picture except for the fact my camera was in the back.
We stopped at a small convenience store somewhere in lower Georgia to fuel the car and buy a snack. We settled for candy bars, Funyons, and pork rinds. (That would begin my fascination this week with pork rinds.) Those were by far the tastiest! They were so spicy and crunchy. We waited for lunch until about 12:45, after we had passed through Atlanta. Passing through downtown Atlanta was swift, but nerve wracking. It makes me realize just how little I am underneath those towering buildings. I much prefer my small Florida town any day. I did make a short video with the Flip. Round about Marietta, Georgia, we did the Chick-Fil-A drive through and had a very good chicken sandwich.
We stopped at Ingles in Blue Ridge at about 2:00 PM to buy something for supper and then arrived at the cabin around 3:00. The cabin was full of lady bugs…thousands of them, mostly dead, in the carpet and on the chairs. We have seen that here before, but it is always so bizarre. I was grateful we did not find rats like we did one other year. That was so disturbing.
Supper was pizza, and not a very good one. Then we had to call twice to Dish Network about fixing the TV signals. All we could seem to get in was a channel with a picture of an astronaut getting dressed. That was so boring! But there was a funny moment when Jay began to do a voice over bit like he was announcing the action and we all had a good laugh.
That brings me to now when I am sitting upstairs on the bed feeling very, very tired. I wish in my head for my own bed, despite my happiness at being on vacation. I would transport myself back there to sleep I think if I could wake up here instead.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
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