Three years ago yesterday, I did one of the scariest things I could imagine. Three years ago today, I embarked on one of the best experiences of my life. I left on Jan. 7, 2015 to go and live in London, England, for four months. Getting on the plane and flying solo for the first time, let alone overseas, was the most terrifying thing I had done. I hugged my parents goodbye at security, and then didn’t look back, because I knew if I did, I would probably burst into tears and have to be sedated. And we’d already paid for me to go, so there wasn’t really another option.

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7 Lies About Paris

As you may or may not know, when I did my study abroad to London a couple of years ago, Mom and Aunt S. came and visited me over spring break, and we went to Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Prague. Paris was probably my favorite, and here are a few things that you often hear about Paris that I didn’t find to be true.

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How to Survive a Long Flight- Learning From My Mistakes

So let me start by saying, I am in no way an expert. There are plenty of people that travel far more than me who know about this. However, I’ve made my share of mistakes, and tried to learn from them, so I figure why not share the wisdom I’ve garnered from my errors? Thankfully, the longest flight I’ve been on up to this point is nine hours, because I get a little stir crazy trapped for long periods of time. Continue reading


Hello all!

Whew. It has been a whirlwind month. One month ago today, I graduated. I didn’t really have a chance to enjoy it, because we packed me up and moved me out of my room that same day, and then four days later, I was on a plane, heading for India. Yes, India. It wasn’t somewhere I was ever really planning on going, but the opportunity came up, and I jumped on it. I was there with some people from school for nine days, and what a time it was. Continue reading

Cataloochee, North Carolina


Sunday was M’s birthday and he wanted to celebrate by enjoying the beautiful fall scenery.  We drove over to Cataloochee, North Carolina and it was a wonderful day!

The leaves are pretty much at peak color for us the third week of October.  We are still having warm weather, shorts and tee shirts, but the mornings are really cool-mid 40’s.

I don’t normally get pictures of the four of us (someone has to take the picture), but a very nice lady volunteered to take this for us.  My hair was not that big, the wind was helping me to fluff up.  As you can see, Emily has her trusty Canon around her neck.  She lovingly calls it “The Precious“.  Have you seen Lord of the Rings?

Elk are being introduced to the park (GSMNP) and people love to come watch them.  Traffic was literally bumper to bumper in the area where the elk were visible.  Some people had set up lawn chairs and coolers to watch, most were just lining the side of the road.

More lovely elk.  We had a long discussion in the car about how many animal names are both singular and plural.

This is a beautiful old church.  It is hard to remember that whole communities existed in what is now the national park.

My pictures do not do justice to the absolute beauty and peacefulness of this place.  Even with hundreds of people around the church still had a reverence and quiet about it.

View from the entrance to the church.  No padded pews here.

This is the view from the pulpit.

Yet another elk, notice just a few of the cars in the background.


Someone’s barn from once upon a time.

I am not sure what the ramp was used for, but I liked this shot.

I was hoping to get a few shots to add to our Christmas cards.  I will have to check with the powers-that-be to see if this one makes the cut.

This area is so pretty, and again my pictures do not do it justice.


This is an open house, park museum of sorts.  We were all surprised at the size of the rooms and the number of people who would have lived in this house.  M actually knows some of the descendents, who were also there, and they gave us some great stories about their family.

One of the downstairs fireplaces. We looked at the newspaper ads on the walls, as the paper was used for insulation.  It makes me think and makes me thankful for the way we are able to live today.

I think that this must have been the well house, but maybe not.

Another out building on the property.  This could have been a smokehouse or served several other purposes.

Another shot of the creek, I wish I knew the name so I could share it with you.