The trip to America every year is, of course, MAINLY to see my kids! We go in October because that's when the fair is, which g'son Nicholas still wants to visit with us. "It's a tradition, G'ma!"
After our visit with Bob and Peggy, it was time to go to the North Georgia Mountains, where each year, now, since 2009, we've started a new tradition of renting a cabin...neutral territory in a space that fills us up to over-flowing.
It's a view to die for no matter what time of the day or night it is.
And we never tire of it!
Interestingly, I have very few pics to show for how much we relaxed there.
Amy wondered why I didn't take that many pics this year?
And I decided it's because it's the one place I truly relax...and forget about the camera.
If you're a photographer, you know exactly what I mean.
Thankfully, Amy took her own iPhone pic of us eating s'mores one night on the covered porch.
We also ate good food (which Amy cooked and I cleaned up), played pool and ping-pong,
worked on a jigzaw puzzle, watched football and a couple movies, etc., etc.
And for the first time ever, we drove into Blue Ridge, down the mountain....
...not just to grocery shop but to actually see the touristy town.
It's a town of ca. 1300 people in an area that used to be "controlled" by the Cherokee.
You could say it's a place that depends on the tourists....
...which explains all the art and doo-dads to buy and/or explore.
But the real photo-ops were elsewhere for Astrid and me...not in the stores.
I bet it's easy to pick out the pics I gravitate to, right, for photo manipulation?
How about $6,000 for a 1959 Rambler that "runs sweet?"
Or something a bit older and..."sweeter?"
(You know about rust and photographers, right?)
Yup. This is what we do.
Speaking of traditions, we always stop at Waffle House the morning we leave the cabin.
That's Nicholas, Amy and Dennis (top-left).
I always get the hashbrowns, smothered and scattered "all the way."
Imagine my surprise this time to find sausage gravy added...new since the previous year.
I could have done without that part...but still, it was good enough to forget to take a pic!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Since Mark wasn't at the cabin with us this year,
he invited Astrid and me for potato-sausage soup...a long-time family tradition.
Astrid LOVES taking pics of Mark's cat, Piper.
What a poser...and what a delightful friend for Mark, day after day.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The rest of the time we just hung around at Amy's house.
Nicholas LOVES his pink socks in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.
His other g'ma (also named Virginia!) has had both breast and colon cancer, still alive.
Nicholas says she's his "best friend." This is important to him!
You know I could eat him up, of course.
He's 14 now, a freshman in high school...and growing UP.
He and Astrid have become big-time buddies, a delight for me to watch.
This year SHE got her new iPad (like I did last year).
In a matter of hours and days, she knew more than I did after a year.
But at least I learned a new game ("2048") to which I am totally addicted.
I kid you not. I still play it every day, trying to best my highest score.
Until next year! The cabin is already reserved and we're counting the months.
It really is what going home is all about for me. This is my family...
and I feel very lucky to have a home away from home.