Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life Lately: A Weekend in the Mountains

When the rest of the world starts to turn gold, we stay firmly rooted in the warmth of something-like-summer. We cross our fingers and hold our breath for the days that fall somewhere under 80 degrees, slowly and one at a time, until we can feel the stifling of southern heat begin to give way. Everything stays green. I love summer (and the south) as much as the next person, but there is something to be said for pulling a long sweater over your wrists, wrapping your fingers around a warm mug of tea, and burying your face in a scarf. Something to be said for not having bare legs carry you all the way through October. And mornings have only ever been worth it for me when you can feel the cocoon of sheets curled around you trapping in heat, the softest barrier between your skin and everything outside.
fall foliage and a view of the Shenandoah Valley
This post is less about food and more about life, and the way travel has always pulled at me. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but interstate sunsets have always looked more beautiful and something about an airplane window makes my heart feel at peace (even amid motion I love the road stretched out in front of a dashboard with nowhere to be.

Blame it on growing up driving I-10 every holiday or reading too many books set in far-off places, but this desire to travel has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. I don't quite understand people who don't have it. In fact, travel was one of the very first things I worried about upon diagnosis. ("But I'm studying abroad! And I want to see so many things! How am I supposed to eat?!?" etc., etc.) And while I definitely don't have traveling down quite yet, and it takes quite a bit more research (I can't tell you how many times I've been to Chipotle's website to find the nearest location), there's also something rather nice about eating blackberries sprinkled with sugar on a drive in the morning or slices of ham halfway up a mountain. It's something real.
(side note: I've been eating so many blackberries lately--definitely my snack of choice.)
 So we went to the mountains and experienced all things fall. We got away from the flatness of our land. I wrapped myself up in sweaters and scarves, several deep breaths of cool air, and let myself run away until I got tired.
my first pumpkin patch experience

I've always known travel would let me see new things, but it's always nice to see the same things in a fresh light. Like the way people interact, or a place you call home. Even just to feel a different wind in your hair.
...and got lost in a corn maze
We got to imagine different futures and have adventures we never planned. New trees, new faces, new cold-bitten cheeks. Not all of them were pretty, but they were all wholly unique. Something that we'll never experience exactly again.

 I don't know if you're itching quite the way I am, but I hope that you go. Happy travels.
(p.s. I made a playlist for our drive into the mountains, if you'd like to hear what I've been listening to lately.)

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