As if the beautiful vistas weren’t enough, Chattanooga holds all those delightful little wonders typically entwined with old Southern culture. Like your random tchotchke shop on the side of the road. The “quilts, fudge, moccasins” sign was all we needed to hit the brakes!
St. Louis had never really crossed my mind before I met Ben. I guess the Midwest in general just wasn’t on my radar because I had no family, no friends, no ties to the area. But as you can see from previous posts, it’s actually a pretty wonderful place if you have the right guide. We were only there for a weekend, but saw so much beauty and vitality – a truly burgeoning city. And of course, a visit to the 314 would not be complete without an up-close look at the infamous landmark arch.
In pictures it tends to just look like this big curve over the city. And while that is true, you don’t truly realize the magnificence of the structure until you’re standing right underneath it. The sheer enormity is overwhelming and though I didn’t manage to ride to the top (too long of a line for the time we had), I can easily imagine how incredible it must be.
When my family comes to visit me, they usually take me to places I would have never gone myself. One of these places is Helen, Georgia. In an effort to see some natural beauty, we set out on a short road trip and found ourselves meeting the Blue Ridge Mountains of North GA. Here, just a couple hours from Atlanta, is where you’ll find Anna Ruby Falls – a humble yet still gorgeous spot in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The actual trek to see the falls is really easy so it’s a bit more fitting for a leisurely afternoon stroll rather than a true forest hike.
Just as interesting as the waterfall were all the quirky country shops speckled throughout the town of Helen. The architecture of the main street is meant to be a re-creation of historical German alpine villages (I tried to take pictures but they all looked hella boring), but it ends up being sort of like a second-rate Epcot scene. While it feels a bit lame, there’s something that’s also weirdly charming about it all.
A Georgia road trip just isn’t complete without a stop for boiled peanuts and tchotchke-browsing. Although it seems like my family and I never actually manage to eat all the peanuts we buy for ourselves.
….Oh, also gem stones. Yes, I said GEM STONES. Are they real? Maybe. Are they pretty? Definitely. I didn’t purchase any because I have no earthly idea of what I would do with them. So I thought I should at least take some pretty pictures.
Amidst summer movie madness pushing films like Iron Man 3, Great Gatsby, and The Hangover 3 (none of which I’ve seen), a movie like MUD reminds me of why I love movies in the first place. It was a poignant cinematic composition that was equal parts romance, suspense, and humanity. I usually only expect one of the following to satisfy my movie-going experience: mesmerizing cinematography, universally relatable themes, or incredibly convincing performances. Luckily for me, Mud has all three of these intertwined in an unassuming tale of Southern heroes and their desperate aspiration for greatness (or perhaps just peace).
It’s extremely uncommon that my entire family and my boyfriend and I all enjoy the same movie, but this was one of those times. I feel like I have so much to say/feel about it that it’s difficult for me to even figure out a structure to this blog post. So for my own sanity, I’m gonna break it down to these three elements. [Potential spoiler alert.]