Monday, May 26, 2014

The Best Goodbye

Well, we're back from Georgia. This was one of those long weekends that just flew by. Every moment was bittersweet; while we had a blast, we were all too aware that the entire purpose of our get-together was to say goodbye to Todd. He'll be serving in Kuwait for the next nine months.

He promises that after his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, this will be cake. But it's never easy to send a friend off to the unknown like that.

Our long goodbye began Friday when Rob, Todd, Cayla, Jeff, Oden, Matt and I arrived in the Georgia mountains. We immediately stocked up on the most important provisions...
The sad thing is that we had to make a second beer run Saturday night...It was like College 2.0 for the guys.
...explored the ginormous cabin...
Three words: Not enough bears.
A rousing game of ping-pong started the evening.
Oden and Cayla playing some air hockey.
The cabin boasted four huge bedrooms, a hot tub, a game room, and TV room...among other amenities.
...and enjoyed the view before having dinner and playing some Cards Against Humanity.

Gorgeousness as far as the eye can see.
The boys immediately got to work catching up and reliving old times.
CAH is always good for some gut-busting laughter.
Saturday started with a run. I convinced Matt, Todd, and Oden to go with me. Little did we know, our Florida legs were about to be humbled. I love hills, but the Blue Ridge mountains make Florida bridges look like anthills.
The boys ascending.
Me, descending.
 After we ran, we had a wonderful breakfast courtesy of Cayla. We ate on the balcony, enjoying our view.
The boys put on the Rocky theme and completed their run with a victorious pose.
Rob enjoying bacon, eggs, coffee, and mountain views.
After breakfast, Mark and Shane joined the party! They were just in time, because we had plans for Saturday. We hiked up to a waterfall...and, true to form, went off the trail and made our own path.
Beginning our hike.
The boys at the waterfall.

And we three ladies, rocking pink and yellow. We didn't even plan this!
Then, we went tubing down the Toccoa River. The water was freezing so we chose not to do whitewater rafting; instead, we linked up our tubes (and one kayak, and one paddleboard) and floating leisurely down the river.
Cayla and Jeff chose to kayak to avoid getting wet.
Foreground back: Mark, Shane, Rob, me, Todd, Oden, Jeff, and Cayla.
Super adorable.
We restocked our supplies for the evening, had a wonderful family-style dinner, and finished the night around the campfire.
All smiles at dinnertime.
Our gorgeous evening view.
Not pictured: how the boys put out the fire. Use the gross side of your imagination.
Sunday we got to sleep in. The day called for rain, but luckily it held off long enough for us to have our ziplining tour!
I'm such a creeper.
Oden, Rob, and Mark.
All nine of us in our gear.
My final zipline...1100 feet of awesomeness.
Todd, Shane, and me...all done!
The rain came down after we finished, so some of us (ahem...myself included) chose to nap a bit while the others played pool and ping pong in the game room. Then we watched Delivery Man, which was actually really sweet, and called it a night.

It was a really fantastic weekend, and I hope we gave Todd the farewell he deserved and some warm memories to take with him to Kuwait. 

I can't think of a better way to have spent Memorial Day weekend.

Have you ever ziplined?
How did you spend the long weekend?
What is your favorite mountain-related activity?



  1. What an awesome weekend! I wish I could have gone kayaking :) I love your matching outfits!

    1. Summer is a perfect time for it...Make it a mission to go kayaking before Fall!

  2. What an amazing weekend!!!! I love your pictures!!! I am sure your friend is super happy and will have plenty of memories to get him through!!! :)

  3. Wow! Now that is an awesome send off for your friend! Plus, those views??? Gorgeous setting and trip! Sounds like a wonderful weekend for everyone to remember fondly.

    1. I almost feel guilty because it was meant to make him happy, but obviously we all enjoyed it, too!

  4. What an awesome week. The views are incredible! And I love zip-lining. Did you get to flip around? I did it last year and the best part was definitely when we got to flip upside down.

    1. We didn't flip, but we did spin and go backwards at certain points!

  5. WOW what a perfect way to spend the long weekend and to send off your friend in style.

    Your group ziplining picture looks like it belongs on the cover of a ziplining magazine!

    1. I'm thinking we may submit it to our alma mater...they may publish it in their magazine for alumni!

  6. Very resourceful way to put out a camp fire.....the guys and nature are one, as in when nature calls don't let all that beer go to waste. Remember you can never buy beer you can only rent beer lol. You all would be great survivalist

  7. Can I be your friend? This sounds like the perfect weekend... and I want one of those rockers.

  8. Wow...that cabin was amazing...and the views spectaculor...I would not have wanted to come back to reality!!! What amazing friends you are all to ensure he had a proper send off. He'll be thinking and reliving this past weekend for months to come!!!!

    1. Coming home was super difficult, but I was missing Archie, so that made it easier! lol

  9. What a wonderful send off for your friend!

    Nope, never ziplined, and since I don't like heights I'm unlikely ever to.

    Had a great weekend with the kids which included checking out the trail system where I'm considering doing an ultra in October... love how I worked that.

    I love hiking in the mountains! Haven't done it nearly enough recently.

    1. Ooh, a trail ultra! That sounds awesome.

      Some of our group are scared of heights...they were very brave about the whole experience haha.

  10. Wow, what a send off! I am sure your friend felt extremely loved! I have never zip lined and don't really want to... I am sure it is fun but I am a scaredy cat!

    1. Ziplining is way less scary than...say...roller coasters. So if you like roller coasters, I think you'd do well on a zipline!

  11. Very cool weekend! I think I'd be too terrified to zip, but we'll leave it at that, lol. Super beautiful pics! Best wishes to your friend. :)

    1. It's funny that so many people are scared to zipline...Matt and I have done it so many times now that we almost find it boring! I think roller coasters are way scarier!