You know those weekends that are so awesome they make you glad to just be alive? The weekends you wish would never end, but you know it’s even more sweet because it is going to end? Then, on Monday morning, you’re so loathe to return to your normal schedule that you actually groan when you claim your parking space at work.
This was one of those weekends.
One of my and my sister’s favorite authors, Janice Hardy, held her book launch party this weekend in Cumming, GA – which just so happens to be the same town where my sister’s best friend lives. That happy coincidence, combined with the fact that we love road trips, resulted in us taking the eight hour (one way, with stops) drive this weekend.
After we got off work on Friday, we drove to Warner Robbins (south of Atlanta) and crashed at our friend Paool’s house. We woke up early, ditched our diets for a fast-food breakfast (a sort-of road trip tradition for us), and drove the rest of the way to Cumming (north-ish of Atlanta) for the book signing/launch.
Janice was celebrating the release of her second book, Blue Fire. I had won an ARC on her blog, so I had already read it, but we got a signed hardcover to add to our collection. We also got a signed set for my friend Matt, who was kind enough to watch our dogs for the weekend.
Just a little plug for her books: if you like YA or MG fantasy (or if you just like a good story), you should definitely check out The Shifter and Blue Fire (and the third one when it comes out). Though they’re classified as MG, they definitely appeal to the YA audience. I can’t wait for the next one!
After chatting with Janice, her husband, and a few others for a couple of hours, we headed to K’s BFF’s house and played with her baby. Then, we did what BFFs who haven’t seen each other for a while are supposed to do: we left the daddy at home with the baby and went shopping!
[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignnone" width="224" caption="K prepared for winter with this ensemble"][/caption]
I found a hat that matched the shoes I was wearing. K doesn’t like it but I think she’s just jealous because I saw it first!
[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignnone" width="224" caption="My new hat that K is totally jealous of"][/caption]
Then, we watched Iron Man 2 (yay RDJ!) and drank wine.
On Sunday, we lounged around for a little while, then went to lunch before driving South.
People who have been reading my blog for a while know I’ve been looking for a place to set a book I have in mind. I wanted a historical-type place that tourists visit and a high school student could work at – with bonus points if it was rumored to be haunted. While chatting at the bookstore on Saturday, I had asked the locals if there was any such place in the vicinity and, after telling me about the Georgia Stonehenge (which you should go read about because it’s totally insane), they told me about Stone Mountain. After seeing a picture of a covered bridge on the website, I wanted to check it out.
At first, I thought it wasn’t going to work out because it was too small. Then I realized how big it was and thought it was too big. But after K, my friend Erin and I walked around for two hours I think it’s perfect!
[caption id="attachment_160" align="alignnone" width="224" caption="The top of Stone Mountain has pools that fill up with water. They were all dry when we were there, but there was plenty of evidence everywhere."][/caption]
If you’ve never been there, it’s gorgeous! In addition to the Stone Mountain itself (which you can go on top of and has a “Confederate Mount Rushmore” carved into it), it has the aforementioned covered bridge, lots of walking trails, a ‘plantation,’ an inn, a hotel, a golf course, a mill, a quarry, a campground, restaurants, a laser show and lots of festivals. While I didn't hear any rumors of hauntings, the place has a lot of history, which will work just as well.
I admit, I’m really going to enjoy the research for this book! K and I discussed trying to get our parents to do a family vacation here, because it was just SO beautiful! We rushed through as much as we could, but really wished we could stay longer. K says she wants to live there :-)
[caption id="attachment_161" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Atlanta in the distance, from the top of Stone Mountain"][/caption]
On the drive back, we stopped in Warner Robbins again to have dinner with Paool at a charming Japanese steakhouse. We got home around 2 am, but even the drive was fun because K and I alternated between listening to an audio book and discussing book ideas for me.
It was such an awesome weekend; I only wish it could have been longer!