From Eliot, Maine to Savannah, Georgia: August was the month for travel. 1,068 miles (1,718 km) approximately, wheels bumping on sticky tarmac and dirt back roads, air conditioning blasting, way too much Ricky Gervais listened to.
It was the month for friendship, too. My close friend of 13 years, Megan, came all the way from New Zealand for a little (actually, quite big) slice of the US of A. I like to think she wasn't disappointed. We stayed in five different households, five different families we connected and reconnected with. My heart is full.
I am sure Eliot, Maine will always have hold of my heart. Green Acre is there, I met Ben there, a good chunk of the Contes and Remignantis live there. Plus, it's just so stinkin' beautiful.
Ben, Noah and I went camping with the pups in Acadia National Park - that rocky coastline, oh! heart achingly beautiful. Ben & I taught a Junior Youth class at Green Acre. We ate an absurd amount of blueberries and saw lighthouses and played board games and ate ice cream.
Our few days back in NJ after Maine were all hustle and bustle - Harvard, New York City, Princeton, Jersey Shore, shopping....
First stop in NC was Blowing Rock, where my darling friend Glory lives. G & I served together in Ethiopia, after meeting at the Baha'i World Center in Israel. So we've had a pretty international and enduring friendship.
I have to say, Ashe and Watauga Counties have some of the best named towns - Boone, Blowing Rock, Seven Devils, Meat Camp, Beaverdam, Fig ... and they're all breathtakingly beautiful.
While in Blowing Rock we ate injera and shiro, went out to G's mom's house and swam in their lake, had saunas, ate fried okra, and I left with my own kombucha (thanks, Seth!).
On the way back up we went to Asheville and chilled with Craig, an old friend of Ben's, and his wife & daughter. I had lavender and honey hot chocolate, and we visited the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned house in the States, where Craig is a chef. This family own original Renoirs and Sargents, a library with over 10,000 books, 16th century tapestries, and a bowling alley - to name just a few notable parts. I was wearing jandals so yeah, just a little out of place.
Savannah was a haze of heat and history. The humidity rested heavily against your skin as soon as you stepped outdoors - sweat became a constant companion. The flora seemed to luxuriate in the heat, leaves hanging heavily with the brightest greens I've seen, flowers redolent with an old world scent watching with their bright eyes from the trees. Oh! the trees! Spanish Moss/Old Man's Beard hangs in thick tendrils, sometimes reaching low enough to tickle the ground.
We had shrimp and grits at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island, explored downtown Savannah, walked through Bonaventure Cemetery and visited Wormsloe Plantation.