inked by Holly
Since the girls were all going on their various trips, Steve and I decided to head south to visit friends!
We hit the road Wednesday afternoon and by dinner time, we were in Maryville, TN to have dinner with our dear friends the Crafts. Although his name is also Steve, we’ve only known him as “Preach” for the past 12 years as he was our pastor for almost 10 of those years. Preach and Brenda are just the kind of friends who are easy and are like balm for our souls. You know the kind I mean? We’ve been through a lot together and just being together through difficult seasons was all we needed to keep moving forward.
We shared a meal at Sullivan’s, which is in an old JC Penney building. Oh, and do they have a great burger! Afterwards, we went to church with Preach & Bren. It was really fun to sit in on their small groups and see just how wonderful their church people are! Although we miss them here, we know they are right where they are supposed to be. And they get to live in the beautiful Smoky Mountains!
We said our goodbyes and got back on the road toward Atlanta to visit our friends, Tam & Kurt. I don’t even want to count how long Tam and I have been friends! When they moved to Atlanta 15 years ago, we thought life as we knew it had ended. In a way it did, but we discovered that there are also benefits from long distance friendships. When we finally do get to spend time face to face, it’s like a giant slumber party and we hug and laugh until we cry and just enjoy being together. Before the move, an acquaintance warned us to prepare ourselves, that we’d keep in touch at first but then we would slowly lose touch. Thankfully, Tam and I proved her wrong and we regularly talk, email, text and photo stream. Sidenote: we even played matchmaker with my baby brother and Tam’s baby sister. They just celebrated their 11th anniversary, and Tam and I like to think we’re now related by marriage!
Tam and Kurt have had an exciting new addition to their family a few weeks ago–they are now GRANDPARENTS! Baby Noah will be moving back home to the Bahamas in a few weeks. and this was our chance to snuggle their precious little Grand Guy. And snuggle we did. Isn’t he the cutest thing?
Tam and I can veg with the best of them (and clearly, so can our husbands),so we don’t plan too much when we get together. But on this trip, we had a few projects to accomplish. Tam and Kurt’s daughter Kati is furnishing her cute new home. I brought a few pieces of thrifted furniture and shared the joy of chalk painting with Kati, and let me tell you, that girl was a painting beast! She painted 4 chairs, 2 end tables, a table base and a bathroom vanity in 2 days.
Danielle, Tam’s daughter-in-law, has always enjoyed handmade cards, so I brought supplies to have our own little card class. (photo ) Tam and Danielle are still going strong– they sent me more pics last night of all their creations.
We did manage to get out a little, too. While in Atlanta, you just have to have a burger from Flip, a restaurant owned by Richard Blais from Top Chef. I had the southwestern burger, and it was amazing! And of course, we had to end the meal with a Nutella shake. They’re also known for their Krispie Kreme shake, which made me really miss my donut-and-milkshake-loving Chris Beals.
We also fell in love with Woodstock Market. It’s a home furnishings consignment store and we loved perusing the aisles looking for treasures. Lunch in the market cafe was fabulous– I recommend the homemade pimento cheese sandwich.
While we loved the time with friends, Steve and I hit a few proverbial bumps along the way. We heard a strange noise in our SUV just about an hour before arriving in Atlanta– the power steering pump went out, forcing us to take the car to the shop. Even thought Kurt loaned us a car while ours was being repaired, the repairs delayed our trip home.
When we eventually got on the road, we hit major traffic on the highway. We felt adventurous so we mapped out a detour, which happened to be through the Boone National Forest. It was a beautiful two lane road with scenic hills and the occasional home. We eventually came across a downed tree blocking the road. (photo of tree down) Steve got out to look and another couple of people arrived on the other side of the tree. One of them had a truck and a chain so eventually the road was cleared and we were back in business. As soon we were back in the car, we burst out laughing. I do love traveling with that man! Never a boring moment.