Sunday, August 2, 2009

Georgia On My Mind

Well, I'm officially not destined to be a southern belle (humidity isn't for me), but I am destined to make repeat trips to Georgia for the rest of my life to visit my dad's sister and the rest of the Blades family. Jewels, Mae, and I had a fantastic time experiencing the wonder that is northern Georgia. We spent time getting in touch with our country selves - shooting guns, riding four wheelers, and hanging out in towns where there were more churches than people. Then we checked out the college scene of UGA where both our cousins go. The huge brick buildings that make up that campus are incredible. No wonder Brian sounds like he's doing an infomercial for them all the time-- it is a very cool school. Our final stop was West Point where we stayed at the Blades' house and got to see Dr. Blades in action. Can't wait to go back--

Highlights of the trip (in no particular order)--
*Mae walking all over (so much personality in those little steps)
*Carl dancing voluntarily to "Mamma Mia" (his home theater in the cabin is sweet)
*Hearing Gayla tell her and Carl's story (they celebrate their 30th anniversary in December) on our way to Babyland General to see where Cabbage Patch Dolls are "born"
*Riding four-wheelers with Carl (I can't believe I haven't done it was even fun to fall off just because it added to the adventure)
*Seeing Mormon missionaries three days in a row (two Elders in Blue Ridge, a senior couple at Babyland General with their family, and two sets of Elders with booth in an "interesting" flea market)
*Eating ranger cookies and cinnamon rolls (Gayla and Carl's respective specialties)
*Mae loving and mercilessly following the West Point kitties
*Hearing my twenty-two-year-old cousin say "Mama" with his southern touch to get Gayla's attention
*Crossing the Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama state lines so Jewels and I could add to our state count (thanks Carl and Gayla for the extra driving!)
*Admiring Gayla's book collection and Carl's carpentry
*Sitting in Eric's apartment with Brian, Whitney, and Jewels realizing that we were all grown up
*Watching endless episodes of "The Office"
*Being in a car where three of the four people were left-handed
*Finding out more similarities to Gayla, Jewels, and myself (are we sure that we're not her daughters?!)
*Seeing Jewels handle a shotgun
*Being in the complete quiet of the Georgian mountains (not to mention the beauty of wide open fields with the greenest trees you've ever seen)
*Driving with all the Blades (not only do they drive manual cars, but they are the most mellow drivers- I have a new driving role model)
*Experiencing the infamous "Waffle House"
*Playing "Settlers of Catan" with Brian and Eric
*Watching the glee on Brian and Carl's face at the death count in the unrated version of "Taken" (not to mention their laughter when I tore from the room during one particularly gruesome scene)
*Seeing homeless people with a Novogradac (my dad's company) bag (so random btw)
*Having my teeth cleaned at Dr. Blades office (there really should be more left-handed dentists in the world with their fabulous wives as their office managers)
*Watching Mae's reaction to GUC (great uncle Carl - Gayla is gag (love it!))
*Meeting Gayla's tennis friends (it was like seeing the ya-ya sisterhood)
*Laughing and catching up with family

The only negative aspects of the trip were how sore and bruised I was from flying off the four-wheeler and how itchy I was after being eaten alive by chiggers (thank goodness for calamine lotion). Otherwise--such a great trip. It's definitely one of the highlights of 2009.

ps. Sorry for the chaotic layout-- Picasa wasn't functioning, and I only had so much patience to play with the layout. I have to keep my "four letter joys" to a minimum. Love you!


Lauren said...

I could write a novel of a comment on how much I adore this post. First of all, all the left-handed talk made me giddy. Second, the four letter joy comment cracked me up as well. Third, I think seeing the image of Juliann holding a gun will live in my heart and soul forever. Fourth, you both really DO look like Aunt Gayla. Fifth (yeah, I wasn't joking when I said I loved it), the Mae pictures are to die for. The Cabbage Patch Doll one is classic. As well as her look of bewilderment at the sight of her mom on an atv. I could go on and on, but will end with this... ranger cookies came from them? I didn't know that. I thought it was your mom. God bless the inventor of the ranger cookie, it is the best cookie that there ever has been. I was not lying, this is truly a record long comment.

Juliann said...

Umm....let me just say that you did a wonderful job posting. I am only going to post and link yours because I could not even come close to doing justice to all the wonderful things you mentioned. Love ya

Richard and Carlie said...

How fun! You guys were close to our neck of the woods! I think your next trip should be to Kentucky!

collette crew said...

I've looked at this fun post a couple of times, but just now commenting! I have always wanted to go to georgia- looks like you loved it! so random about the nov. bag?! weird. can't believe mae is walking! I saw cute pics on jewels blog... too fun! we are days a way from being back together- and I am so excited. loving you!