I have not taken a vacation, a real vacation in more than a dozen years. I carry a pretty heavy schedule majority of the time due to working a full time job and photographing events and concerts thought out the year. But this year I decided I needed a break, a long two week break in the mountains of North Carolina. My best friend of almost fifty years lives in a little town called Concord. So on October 15 I boarded flight 818 and headed north.
It was a very short flight; less than an hour and a half and was uneventful. We landed on and I made my way across the tarmac to my waiting friend. I should mention that she too is a Debbie. When I got off the plane the temperature was cooler, but still warm, however I was in for a surprise.
On Tuesday we took off on a road trip up through the Pisgah National Forest and up through the mountains searching for some color and some waterfalls. The color was missing from this scenario as North Carolina had longer than normal summer temperatures which was keeping the leaves from changing. Not to mention two hurricane’s had passed through the area.
Our first stop was a little diner where I enjoyed a nice plate of NC style BBQ, one word; Yum! Our adventure continued as we drove through the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest and the weather took a turn and it started to rain. This did not stop our trekking the beaten path to find a waterfall; not only did I find one, but a covered bridge too! Giant score for me photographically speaking. The rain was coming down pretty steady but my excitement built as I heard the sound of rushing water and once we arrived the sound became deafening, but in such a wonderful restorative way.
This next week we stayed close to home and I was able to photograph some local birds and experience a change in temperature. Then on Saturday our other best friend flew in so we made another road trip into Charlotte to pick her up. Did I mention she too is a Debbie? (North Carolina will never be the same).
That weekend we invited a few friends who live in the area over for a gathering, it was great to see them and to meet their families. So much love in one place……incredible.
On Monday October 22 we three Debbie’s took off on a road trip once again. We drove up through the Blue Ridge Parkway and I was able to find more color, the temperature had dropped from the upper 70’s to the mid 30’s and settled around 45 degrees. For this Florida girl it was cold, but the crisp air, sharing time with my best friends and just enjoying the ride and the color seeping through the trees was something I can’t explain in words, only heart can. We drove up to about 5000 feet, found a lovely little restaunt to have lunch and then off to find Linville Falls. We didn’t hike to the top, but I was happy with what we found. Continuing our drive we found icicles popping out of the side of a mountain. So we pulled in to a parking area and I hiked back to the area where water was seeping out of the rocks. My lungs were screaming with the thinner and colder 37 degree air, but it was so beautiful.
I needed this time away, I needed to do some life reflection and to be with my girls who know me so well. I have not laughed or loved like this in a very long time. They are amazing; we are amazing to have had this friendship of 50 years that is so deep and unshakeable. The T-shirts Debbie brought us says it all the back has the three D’s and it says “True Friendship Grows Forever”.
I love these girls so much and I was sad to depart. I will be back…..again.