Monday, January 18, 2010

it may be Florida but I'm far from home [trip part one]

I'm still working on the photos from my adventures to and in Ohio but I figured I should probably address them home and at least attempt a cohesive narrative. I'm linking the photos from Facebook, so they may not be the best quality.

My trip began December 13th at 4:30 in the morning, when we woke up to begin the drive up to Crestview. As we drove and the sun began to rise, we actually drove into fog. The fog did not lift and actually got thicker and thinner as we went, which was absolutely photogenic but made driving slightly less pleasurable for Doug.

I also discovered that Northern Florida has hills.

The next day, I launched right into adventure mode and went to Pensacola to see my best friend from preschool. Layla had us meet her at a pizza place in the morgue of the old Sacred Heart hospital.

Being the kind of brave explorers we are, we climbed the well-lit stairs but made Doug go first anywhere that was dark and remotely creepy.

Since she had our undivided attention for a few hours, we decided to explore St. Michael's cemetery (the first of many cemeteries on this trip.)

Coming from South Florida, I really was not used to hills and history dating back more than 100 years. Say what you will but the area where I live was swamp until the early to middle twentieth century, depending on which definition of 'home base' I'm going by.

Strange as it sounds, I loved photographing the history of Pensacola and Crestview but the highlight of my stay was the people.
Seeing Layla in the flesh after being internet-only for five years felt fabulous, although I was caught slightly off guard by how much more beautiful she's gotten as she's grown into herself. Nineteen years of friendship later and we still cannot help but giggle when we're together.
Doug's immediate family also count as a highlight, although I truthfully had no idea how much they meant to me when I first met them. I'm not going to lie, there aren't that many photos of anyone except Doug and Cassie. But I spent those days getting to know Ms. Sherry and Mr. Andy, since I knew right away that they're family. I didn't really see too much of Kaitlyn, but that's to be expected since she's sixteen and has a social life. But Cassie... I bonded right away with his baby sister, Cassie.

Cassie totally appreciates my dorkiness.
I also fell in love with Doug's puppies.

We stayed in Crestview for four days, which felt like so long when we were discussing the trip but flew by while I was actually there. As soon as I got used to waking up next to Doug's three furry children, it was time to wake up early to drive to Ohio to begin our actual vacation.

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