Earlier this month my daughter and I went on a summer vacation. That might not sound like a big deal to most people, but because of the business my husband and I own, the summer months are busy and we can’t get away. But I’ve upped by fitness routine over the last year and wanted to go hiking. We love the mountains of north Georgia and typically go there in the autumn, but once I mentioned the idea to my daughter, she was all in. So we booked a cabin and off we went.
We weren’t entirely sure what to expect from the weather, but boy were we pleasantly surprised. The first morning we got there, I went out to the deck to drink my coffee. It was so chilly, I had to drape a blanket over my knees. Trust me, coming from Florida where it’s been in the 90’s, this was a treat. Thankfully the weather held out at cool mornings and low 80’s during the day.
Since our objective was hiking, I planned trips to areas we’ve never been before. On our first day, we did a six mile hike. I’m not an expert, so I would say the trail was moderate. We were thrilled that we walked the trail without giving up. It took forever. (Not really, it just felt like forever, especially when we’d pass people on the way out and they’d say, not much longer, and it was longer!) But eventually we made it to the waterfall at the end of the trail. The scenery, the quietness of the forest, and following a fast moving stream, made it all worthwhile. We even learned to navigate around and over the never ending tree roots and large rocks without any injuries.
That was our longest adventure; the remaining trails we tackled were one to two miles or so. A breeze after our first day. My favorite was viewing Duke Creek Falls for the first time. The trail wasn’t difficult and another lovely trip, but to see the waterfall at the end was a sight I’ll never forget. I now have two favorite places in the entire world, Duke Creek Falls and Ann Ruby Falls.
We spent four of our five days on a few other trails that were challenging. The views were spectacular. As always, the scenes put me in awe of God’s majesty.
As I was preparing to write this blog, I knew I would share about my trip, but one question kept going through my mind. My daughter and I had joked about moving, but would the place where we love to vacation lose its magic if we lived there? Is it better to imagine how lovely it would be to live in a house on the side of a mountain versus visiting at different times of the year and loving every visit? Would we miss the hunt of finding new trails to hike or hidden waterfalls to discover if we lived there all the time and had weekends to explore the places we can’t get to when we vacation and have limited time?
I don’t have the answers to those questions. Once we got home, we immediately jumped back into our regular routines and jobs, but as I looked over the photos I’d taken, I still can’t help but wonder, what if?
What about you? Would you want to live in your favorite vacation destination or keep it strictly to enjoy on family trips?
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Family values, a bit of mystery and of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her Harlequin Heartwarming romance, STEALING HER BEST FRIEND’S HEART, available now. For more information about her books, visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.