One of the things that has always been on my bucket list (yeah, I have one. It’s filled with things like owning farm animals and riding hot air balloons. Get on my level) is to photograph 15 National Parks. Now, initially I had hoped this would give me the excuse to someday take a road trip out west and hit up a bunch of National Parks- which is something I would still love to do. But I unintentionally (or at least unexpectedly) had the chance to visit multiple National parks while I was living in Israel last summer (it totally counts!), and was able to check off the first 8/15 parks! So you can understand why I was excited for the opportunity to write off my first American park with some really beautiful scenes from Great Smoky Mountain National Park:
We wanted to take the long way home on our last day heading back to Nashville. I wanted to see the mountains, and Lara wanted to see Gatlinburg, so we decided to take the Great Smoky Mountains expressway. It winds its way around the park near Asheville, and has tons of overlooks and extended shoulders for wide-eyed drivers like myself who can’t help but annoy the heck out of all unwilling passengers and see no issue in stopping to document any and all scenic views. Deal widdit, sista!
I was really excited about this last leg of our journey. After our lifetime of summers spent traveling the long hours back and forth to our southwest family, it seems most fitting for Lara and I to close out our trip with extended hours in the car- me jammin’ out to U2 classics, and Lara asleep in the seat next to me. The same positions we’ve always been in, but at a graduated post: the front seat. I love my sweet sister so so very much; and even though we live our lives in different zip codes these days, there’s not a doubt in my mind that she will always be the one to get it. To immediately make eye contact when that song comes on that reminds us of elementary school, or call when she needs advice about a jacket, to pick out and offer me all of the white gummy bears (they’re the best), to know that she’s my pal and we’re bound to friendship for life. I’m thankful for this trip, and for all the trips we’ve had and will have, but mostly I’m thankful for my sis.
xo, Anna Michelle