Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jen's Lake House Trip Including Visits to Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee

Sunnyvale, CA - The end of October is quickly approaching and I'm just now starting to post pictures from last summer.  Not good.  Maybe I need to take less photos, or maybe do less stuff.  But to be honest, with the baby coming in about 6 weeks, there will no shortage of photos to work on.  My goal however, is to get somewhat caught up before the little nugget show up.  We'll see how that works out.

In any case, lets get going on this post.  For this set of photos, we go back to Memorial Day Weekend and the kick off of our summer.  The story that goes along with the photos, however, goes way back to the late 90's I think.  Sometime around there I was invited on a trip to Pismo Beach, CA for some beach camping and  a little 4x4 fun in the sand dunes.  It was there that my friend Natalie introduced me to her friend from grad school, Jennifer.  I think Natalie's idea was to get two like souls in the same place at the same time and see if any sparks were made.  I'm not sure about the sparks, but after that weekend it was fairly clear to me that if our paths continued to cross, Jen would certainly become a friend for life.

10 years and many a crossed path later, I now consider Jen one of my closest friends.  However, Jen is not the only grad school friend Natalie has introduced me to.  Add to that list Michael (which of course includes Christy) & Stacy, all of whom I also consider essential pieces of my inner sanctum.  And lets not forget Moffat (who unfortunately we only see once every other blue moon) and Sandra (who we just met this year, but will certainly see more of). 

Anyway, to get to the point... Ever since this group of grad school friends went their separate ways, they have been at least attempting to meet up once a year.  The venue has traditionally been Jen's family lake house in Alabama.  Suwei and I have been invited to attend for a number of years, and although we kept hearing great things about the trip, we never seemed to make it out for the party.  That is.. until this year!

Jen's Lake House Trip

Maybe it was due to all the running around we did in the spring or maybe it's the pregnancy that had mellowed us, but a nice relaxing weekend on the lake sounded absolutely perfect this year. Then again it might have been that a good deal of our friends were going to be out there and we hadn't yet booked up our Memorial Day Weekend. In any case the trip seem to be just what the doctor ordered.  So, we booked two tickets to Atlanta.

We still consider Alabama a good distance away.  So, in order to maximize our trip and see as much as possible, we decided to stay for a week.  So, besides visiting the gang at the lake house (which by the way was super perfect.. good friends, great food, beautiful house, incredibly inviting lake.  What more could you ask for?) we were also able to visit Peace Corps friends Deb, Rand and their son Ben in Atlanta, where we learned about geocaching, hiked up Stone Mountain, and celebrated National Doughnut Day.  .  We also visited Jen's home up in Southern Tennessee where we rafted the Ocoee River (same trip I did with the Swedes in '09) and tried to learn to roll a kayak (definitely not as easy as Jen makes it look.)  Add to that a day trip out to Tallulah Gorge State Park and you have a fairly fun filled week.

Playing with Jen and Brian in Southern Tennessee

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia

Hanging out in Atlanta with Deb, Rand and Ben

Celebrating National Doughnut Day

Hiking with Ben on Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Laser Light Extravaganza

Thank you Jen for the invite I'm sure we'll make it out there again real soon. And thank you to Deb, Rand and Ben for hosting us in Atlanta. Wish we got to see you folks more often.

Here is link to the slide show with lots more photos:

Lake House Trip Including Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee

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