During my time in Atlanta, I have been blessed with some truly extraordinary friends. Not only do we love each other dearly and care about what goes on in our lives, but we also like each other. We spend lots of time together, just because we want to. One of my favorite examples of this was this past 4th of July. A big group of my small group members went camping in Cloudland Canyon for the holiday weekend. Despite having a very inauspicious beginning – one of the cars broke down in the middle of nowhere, and a few people had to go back and get those passengers, and then drive up to Chattanooga at the end of the weekend to get a rental car to get everyone home again – it was an amazing weekend. In fact, the car breaking down almost made it better – it was really awesome seeing how positive and upbeat everyone stayed…they just pulled together and did what needed to be done, and had a great time doing it! Plus it gave us a great story later on… 🙂
Aside from our little vehicular misadventure, we did plenty of other more traditional activities – went hiking, made bonfires, found a fun little playground to reconnect with our inner children, played card games, and found a lovely little waterfall to hang out around for a bit (Elizabeth and Caleb even went swimming in it! Crazy kids…). It was such a nice, relaxing weekend; I was so grateful to be able to spend it with people that I cared about so much.
(continue reading past the pictures below for the rest of the story)
As a bonus, we even got to stop by Berry on our way home! Caleb and several others in the group had always wanted to go to Berry but never had, and of course I will NEVER argue about a trip to Berry; since it only meant about an extra 30 minutes of drive time, we decided to make the detour and go visit the place where I have some of the best memories of my entire life.
I got to play tour guide for the people in my car – I was a very enthusiastic guide. I felt a little bad for the guys in the other car, who were missing all of the stories. Of course, my story-telling may have gotten a little too enthusiastic at times…perhaps I should have been feeling bad for the people in MY car, lol…
But anyway, we had enough time to visit all of my old haunts – my old dorms and the lovely mountain campus and the famous Frost chapel and the beautiful Old Mill and the original one-room schoolhouse that Martha Berry founded before Berry was even a glimmer in the future. We tried to go to the Martha Berry museum, since most of the people in the group had never been there before, but it was already closed :(. But it was still a wonderful visit. I always love going back to Berry, but going back with people who’ve never seen that part of my life before, but are eager to learn about it and hear my stories, just made the visit all the more sweeter. It really was one of the best weekends of my year. And to think I almost stayed home and missed it! Many thanks go out to my friend (and now roommate) Amy for convincing me to go!