Back in February Dan’s* busy season at work was about to end, and we were coming up with fun things to do when it wrapped. Dan’s idea… camping. For those of you who have only known me in my adult life, I know you are thinking this is a stretch. I’m pretty sure Dan (and his family) thought this as well. Then I reminded him that I had actually gifted him a tent for Christmas three years prior with the intent that we use it. I also shared with him that in high school I went on a ten day backpacking trip in Colorado. (Insert Dan’s confused face here.)
Me at the First Waterfall
We coordinated our Outlook calendars and narrowed down the first weekend in April for the camping adventure. After polling friends we selected Cloudland Canyon State Park
. It is near the northwest corner of the Georgia border, and just beautiful. The park is incredibly well maintained with a variety of camp site options and hiking trails.
Tent Sweet Tent
We were clearly rookie campers based on our campground neighbors who pretty much had Tom Haverford’s set-up and enough cooking oil to burn the whole place down, but we had a blast. We rate Cloudland Canyon an A+!
Dan on the Hike
Further proof of my camping skeptics…
State parks rely on donations to maintain and improve the parks we love and enjoy. Donate to Georgia State Parks here
*Dan is the better half and my favorite travel buddy.
One reason I love my friend Susie, she convinces me to do wild stuff and then I woefully underprepare for it. Case in point, our trip to Phoenix / Scottsdale (Trip #2) this past January to run the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.
We signed up in early fall, I had plenty of time to train and then came up with several excuses to not actually train. It was too cold to run outside, it was too dark to run outside alone, and I don’t like running on treadmills. You get the picture. Come race day I had run a whopping five miles… once.
Why did this not matter… we were staying at THE BILTMORE which made this a vacation. (See definition below of the difference between vacation and travel.) As an architect, I instantly geeked out over the Frank Lloyd Wright creation. The customer service was an absolute A+.
Lobby of the Biltmore
Back to the main point of the trip… the dreaded half marathon. Susie and I enthusiastically endorse the Rock n’ Roll series for anyone who is looking to run a race. They host races across the country, are extremely well-organized, and have great swag. The race course in Phoenix gave you a chance to see the unique landscape of Phoenix / Scottsdale. It is just beautiful.
And the winners are... not us, but we finished!
And yes, we actually finished the race and in plenty of time to return our little slice of heaven at the Biltmore and watch the Golden Globes.
Poolside at the Biltmore
(* Vacation – Leaving home with the purpose of relaxation. Travel – Leaving home with the purpose of experiencing a new culture.)
I’ve been talking about it for months and today I am FINALLY making it official. Mark June 20th as the day the ‘Thirty4Thirty’ blog goes viral. For those who I haven’t told… I have set the goal of taking thirty trips in the 2011 calendar year to celebrate my 30th birthday.
Clare + I on Trip #12
The blog will feature the trips to get to 30, some trips in my past that are too much a part of me not to include, and any travel related tale that I think should be told.
Check back tomorrow for the FIRST spotlight on one of the thirty trips.