I couldn’t decide what to put as the title for this post. I went back and forth between the one you see above and the following one:
“No down time and no internal creativity make Garrison something something.” If anybody caught the reference in this one, you’ll get a blog-o-riffic high five from yours truly. Okay, commencing the actual blog post in 3…. 2…. 1…..
Since your two world wanderers were in Philadelphia, they’ve been busy seeing the rest of the sights along the East Coast, as well as exploring the more landlocked areas in the Piedmont. “The what?”, you say? Well, as any cartographile or etymologist could tell you, the Piedmont is simply the geographic area of foothills between the Atlantic and the Appalachian range. Read on to keep up with the places Anna and Garrison have been, the people they’ve seen, and hopefully an occasional thing that might happen to pique your interest.
1. Ocean City, Maryland
Garrison had been here once before, during an oft-cited family camping adventure to Assateague Island during his formative days of the summer of ’91. While his previous experience here had been dominated by time spent bodysurfing on huge ocean waves at least four times his height and driven by a huge hurricane-like storm far offshore (as well as sitting inside the mesh tent thing the Dyers had put up to serve as a refuge from the relentless mosquitoes), this time around was an altogether different experience. Garrison and Anna stayed with Rachel, another of Garrison’s friends from his college semester in New Zealand, and her family! That’s right, her husband and two boys. My, how times have changed! But only in some ways — Garrison and Anna were seen to be frolicking in and bodysurfing on the waves of the surprisingly warm Atlantic. Might there be a future GoPro video from this experience? Yes, yes there might.
2. Charlottesville, Virginia
Our two protagonists were fortunate enough to be able to spend a substantial amount of time with Garrison’s brother, Eric, and his wife, Ali, who helped them explore some of the more interesting, scenic, and tasty places to go in and around C-ville. Memorable moments included a hike to the top of Humpback Rock followed by “Steal The Glass” night at the Blue Mountain Brewery, where two fun things occurred. Anna and Garrison’s college friends Steph and Hawk met up with them for a round of spirited talk and drinks, and everybody got to take home the mugs in which the beverages were served. Needless to say, Eric and Ali’s cupboards are nowhere near bear at the time of this post’s publishing. 🙂
Fiber Fest was attended! Hawk’s homemade pizzas were top notch! Garrison went for a run! (more on Garrison’s current level of physical fitness to come in another post…) Good food was eaten for every meal! Hugs, then on to…
3. Savannah, Georgia
The evening spent in Savannah was unique in that A & G stayed with a complete stranger in her apartment. With her cute, pudgy dogs. In their own room, thankfully. For an affordable price. Thanks, airbnb.com! The morning after was spent in a coffeehouse investigating all the ins and outs of getting into and out of a few very large Asian countries which shall remained unnamed. One of our dynamic duo left the planning session feeling very distressed by this process, despite having eaten a delicious croissant sandwich.
4. Winter Haven, Florida (& the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando!!!)
As you all surely remember, Anna and Garrison have been busily reading the Harry Potter books at breakneck pace during their driving time. This has been in preparation for a highly-anticipated event on the road trip portion of the Year of Fun — going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. In short, the two of them drank butterbeer and pumpkin juice at the Three Broomsticks, rode Hippogryphs, dragons, and broomsticks all around Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, and generally were up to no good. Their litany of misdeeds will be further expounded upon in another forthcoming blog post, but it suffices for now to say that both Anna and Garrison left at the days’ end feeling as though they were glad they hadn’t yet finished their Harry Potter reading marathon, because they really didn’t want to leave!
Within a short drive from Orlando is Winter Haven, where Anna’s cousin Kim and her family reside, and A & G were thankful to have another friendly place to stay on their travels. Highlights from this stop included, but are not limited to, swimming in the pool, trying out stand-up paddle boarding on the lake for Garrison’s first time ever, finding out later that alligators inhabit said lake, then going on a late night gator-searching party on the pontoon boat with lots of friends and a guitar. Alas, no gators were sighted, but good times abounded!
5. Atlanta/Snellville, Georgia
Back in Georgia, our adventurers had the pleasure of staying with Garrison’s Uncle Larry and Aunt Lucia and getting to see his cousins Alleen, Wendy and her husband Larry, as well as good friends from their Seattle days, Christina and Rachel. In addition to hiking to the top of Stone Mountain, the time spent with family and friends were the highlights from Atlanta. Garrison did manage to go for another run here, continuing his ongoing battle against his Adventure Belly.
If you can manage it after slogging through this gigantic blog post, take a minute to check out a few pictures of the fun described above!