Georgia on my mind (and North Carolina too!)

Feb 10, 2015

All this gorgeous weather lately has me itchin' to get outdoors.
Potential vacations this spring and summer seem to be consuming my every thought.
Mountains. Camping. Road trips.
Our college days were filled to the brim with road trips.
We felt like we had unlimited time to drive wherever, whenever, and for however long we felt like.
(Even after totaling our car by hitting an elk on day 1 of a 21 day trip)
Now that adulthood has officially consumed us, vacations are determined by PTO, weekends, national holidays, and sick days.
(On that note, is there anything better than a holiday falling on a Friday or a Monday? Three days weekend! Christmas and New Year's 2015 y'all.)
Back to my point:
The high speed pace of work life makes us often feel forced to fly to our destination arriving and leaving as fast as possible; as opposed to being able to relax and enjoy the unpredictability of a road trip.
Over the last few months Josh and I have made many Friday afternoon flights.
Having to leave work mid-day and rush to the airport only to barely arrive on time, gives me stress like no other.
It makes Josh angry, and angry Josh on a plane kind of reminds me of Samuel L. Jackson.
 Road trip Josh (Mr. go with the flow, no stress, no itinerary necessary) is probably the happiest version of Josh I know.
Last summer we had the chance to make a road trip to visit Josh's family in Georgia.
While there we made time to do some whitewater kayaking at one of our favorite places of all time, the Nantahala River.
The short trek north from Georgia to North Carolina through the Smoky Mountains is one of the most gorgeous drives.
We fell in love with the area a few years back after driving home from an Avett Brothers concert in Asheville, and we love getting chances to return.
Each year we get our rentals through the Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Before they drop you off at the entry point of the river, you get to watch a informative little safety video.
We are convinced that the goal of the video is to convince you that you will probably die a bloody, gruesome death on the river, particularly at the last set of rapids.
The staff even kindly provides a walk-around path for people who would prefer not to attempt the rapids and therefore not die a gruesome death.
This year we had our GoPro with us, and we were hoping to catch some bodily harm on video, but it conveniently died literally seconds before the last major rapid.
Darn it.
. . . but you better believe we conquered those rapids!

If you were to ask me to name some of the happiest moments of my life, I would say (in no particular order):
-seeing Bon Iver live
-marriage, duh
-passing my final PA school exam
-every moment of The Gorge 2013
and thennnnn last but not least white-water kayaking followed by eating North Carolina BBQ and drinking a Sweetwater beer on the bank of the Nantahala River with this gorgeous view.
My happy place.
Well, one of the plenty.

Josh and Drew's kayaks are somwhere under the depths . . . 
That my friends, is the swagger of a happy boy.

Some other highlights of our road trip to Georgia:
Getting to meet sweet Lucy Anna
(and watching her wrastle with the other Kerrigan pups)
Enjoying lots of quality family time
Visiting the Sweetwater Brewery again
Indoor rock climbing
Wondering around downtown Woodstock
(and considering buying a house there for five whole minutes)
Four humans + two pups + twelve hours in a car = another excellent road trip
Making memories > making money
Make time to make it work.

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