As we head into the final weekend of our children’s Spring Break, I wanted to share a few photos from this past week. Though our original plans included passports and a trip to an exotic locale, we had to change our itinerary and opt for a staycation this time. Perhaps, I should revise the term to statecation, because we did manage to venture at least a few hours from home.
Neither my husband nor myself were born in Alabama. I think I’ve said before that prior to moving here that I had no idea this state even had a coastline, or any kind of elevated terrain. In my propagandized mind, Alabama was a big, flat dusty state, home to salt-of-the-earth farmers and a few portly ag festival beauty queens. Sorry, it’s not my fault. That's just how it’s been depicted by the media. We decided to head out and get acquainted with a little more than the beautiful Alabama coastline we now call home.
We started our journey with a campus tour. With one of our children about to be launched into the overwhelming world of college selection, we visited the campus of Auburn University. Excuse me, but what happened to the deprivation and cramped quarters of my college years? It was more like a resort. Dining options, apartment style living on campus, a rec center with everything from a poolside climbing wall to zumba to personal trainers. Sign me up. This was our fist official college tour, and I asked someone else who had visited a few other campuses if this was the norm. Apparently, it is. More amenities equals more students. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching. Please God of Scholarships, grant us some funds.
We then travelled to the northeast corner of the state to Dismals Canyon, an official National Natural Landmark that is still privately owned and home to the unique biological phenomena of dismalites, or “glowworms”. (Orfelia fultonite for you science-loving Latin lovers). It's worth a Google. Though the park had not yet officially opened for the season, we were still able to rent a little cabin. Translation: we had the entire park to ourselves for two days.
We hiked, picnicked, relaxed, and marveled at the incredible boulders, caves, and crevices in this little-known place. We even got a private night tour to see the little glow creatures in their star-like glory as they glowed on the canyon wall. We aren’t special, and we didn’t pull any strings. We just lucked out with the timing, and got to be treated as if we were something special.
So, maybe it wasn’t Costa Rica. But we did experience something we hadn’t seen before, and we never would’ve guessed these monolithic rocks were only a few hours away. What was important, is the fact that we had some precious and soon-to-be-rare family time.
I'm sharing these photos because I would imagine that every state has a few secret places just waiting to be discovered. Do a little research and you may find that you can have a Fabulous Friday, right in your backyard. I hope you do.
Thanks for stopping by,
This morning, mid-April in the Deep South, Spring has gone missing. It's a chilly day, but the red clover is in full swing.
Technology is a double-edge sword for me. It can frustrate me to no end when things won't work correctly, or when I just can't figure things out. But occasionally, I make friends with it. (Like when insomnia is my enemy and I am using my thumb at 4:00 a.m. to type a blog post on my phone while lying in bed.)
I am so blessed to live where I do and for the past few weeks I have been enjoying the prolific springtime red clover blooming along the roadsides. There is one place that I drive past on a regular basis that is spectacular with the tiny crimson blooms this year. Of course, I'm always in too much of a hurry to actually stop the car and take a proper photo (albeit even if it is with the only camera I have right now- my phone).
So, I settled for a drive-by crapshoot. You know, window rolled down, one hand on the wheel, the other precariously holding the phone cockeyed out the window trying to feel around for the shutter, praying you don't drop your phone, and hoping you'll get at least some semblance of the great shot you know is there, before you drive on past.
Never happens. Cue the technology, please. That's when I'm thankful for photo apps like Snapseed. Right here from my bed, I was able to take a rather "eh" shot and make it into an "oh" shot. ("Ooooh!" is still waiting on the camera upgrade.) I was able to crop, straighten, and enhance the photo not into something unreal, but into something that was more true to the beauty I see in that pecan grove every day.
Too bad there isn't a life app that can help us tweak our days in that way. Stressful or not, disappointing or not, "good" day or not, there is always beauty to be noticed and appreciated. I just need to slow down, filter out the "bad", and look for it.
Thanks for stopping by,
We eat by candlelight almost every night. No lie. We never installed a wired fixture over our table. Having a great evening enjoying our neighbor's azaleas, anticipating a little creative mo' time later, and waiting for the wine to arrive.
Hope you made the most out of your Friday.
Thanks for stopping by,