Tag Archives: photography

Around the South in 14 Days: Summer Road Trip 2015 in Photos

This post is long over due. But better late than never.

On the morning of July 3, my boyfriend and I departed for a journey of epic proportions through the South Eastern United States. We endured humidity, heat, and endless hours in the car, but what we gained made every drop of sweat, every backache, and every sunburn worth it. Five thousand three hundred and seventy-three miles later, I have a new appreciation for the stunning beauty, diversity, and complexity of my country, and more importantly, I have a deeper love for and trust in the man with whom I share my life.

Here are some photos from our trip, along with a map of our route. I hope they inspire you to take an adventure, whether it’s to the other side of town, or to the other side of your own country.

Day 1: From Tucson to Houston (A 16 hour trip, all in one day. Texas is HUGE!)

Entering NM in Tree Pose

Day 2: Houston (No photos of Houston, sorry.)

Day 3: Houston to Memphis

Arkansas/Mermaid 1

Our breathtaking AirBnB in the heart of Memphis:

Memphis AirBnB

Day 4: Memphis (spent mostly at the Memphis Zoo, which is fantastic!)

At the Zoo

Meerkats!

MeerkatP1070120

Our Memphis Favorites:

Otherlands Coffee Bar (try the toasted muffins!), The Memphis Zoo (make sure to catch the bear feeding), the march of the Peabody Ducks (get there early!), and Memphis Pizza Café

Day 5: Memphis to Asheville

Crow Pose

Day 6: Asheville

P1070141 P1070154P1070165

Our Asheville Favorites:

Mount Pisgah Campground (make sure to go on a hike!), and the Folk Art Center 

Day 7: Asheville to Savannah

Savannah in Savannah

Our Savannah Favorites:

Foxy Loxy Café (go for the Horchatta Latté), Fire Street Food (try the Savannah Roll), and Forsyth Park (bring bug spray)

Day 8: Savannah to Sarasota

Day 9: Holmes Beach (the location of my family reunion. That stunning woman at my side is my momma.)

Mom and MeGulfSunset

Day 10: Sarasota to Baton Rouge

P1070243

Day 11: New Orleans

P1070250 P1070251

Our New Orleans Favorites:

Café du Monde (bring cash!), the Audbon Aquarium of the Americas, and Mr. B’s Bistro (save room for dessert— the bread pudding is divine!)

Day 12: Baton Rouge to Houston

P1070263

Day 13: Houston (Again, no photos. But certainly some precious memories.)

Day 14: Houston to Tucson

P1070273

We arrived home exhausted with sore butts and sleepy eyes. We were happy to have left home, and even happier to return. As I’ve learned time and time again, it is often in my journeys far from home that I come to appreciate all that I have right here in my own community. This trip, like all adventures, reinforced my gratitude for where I’m at, who I’m with, and who I am, right here, right now.

Next stop, Portland, Oregon! We just made plans to visit PDX in October. I’ve always wanted to see this city, and luckily, I’ll have an excellent tour guide. Stay tuned!

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The Sun Project: Epilogue

As I handed over my completed Sun Project to my professor on November 1, I felt a confused combination of pride, sadness and relief. After eight weeks of observing the sunrise and sunset, I was, on the one hand, extremely grateful for the experience. On the other hand, I was totally over it. Waking up early on days when all I wanted to do was sleep in had grown annoying, and the later-rising and earlier-setting sun had begun to interrupt other activities. On the day of my last observation, melodramatic me was celebrating— “Yes! I’ve finally got my life back!”

the last sunset!

“Yes! I’ve finally got my life back!”

And yet, I felt a certain regret as I realized that this would probably be the last time a professor asked me to perch myself in front of the horizon and become deeply aware of the sun, the Earth, and the natural cycle of day and night. The next time I would do so would have to be of my own volition. Luckily, my professor had given me eight weeks of intensive practice and study so that next time I found myself before the sunrise or sunset, I would know what to do—that is, marvel at the majesty of nature, the beauty of the sun-painted sky, and the miracle of life, all while appreciating the science behind it. If there is one thing I learned from this project, it is that nature and science are not opposed. The natural world is one of scientific processes, patterns, and (im)perfections. Science is the quest to understand this natural clockwork, to discover the magician’s secrets. Both are beautiful.

Thankfully, I didn’t grow too tired of observing the sun, because not long after the end of the Sun Project, I was at it again. Last weekend, my sister came to visit me in Tucson, so she, my roommate and I decided to take some hot chocolate up to Windy Point and watch the sunset. Driving up Mt. Lemmon, I had been worried that the cloud cover would be too thick to see a good one, but once we got out of the car and started heading toward the mountainside, my worries were gone. The clouds would be what made this particular sunset so breathtaking.

before the sunset

Clamoring up the jagged boulders to our chosen observation spot, I felt a familiar contentment washing over my body and mind. It was the same wave of calm that had come over me during the Sun Project as I watched the sun dip below the mountain tops week after week—the silence of the closing day, the stillness of the resting world, the gradual deceleration of life’s momentum.

As the sun sunk lower, the sky transformed into a glowing swirl of gold, pink and orange. The ever-changing canvas was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and would never see again. Like every individual, every breath, every embrace, no sunset is the same. Its existence is finite and ephemeral, offering itself to the world for only minutes before subsiding, forever, into darkness. That is perhaps what makes a sunset so precious—it cannot be repeated or copied, traced in a stencil or captured, precisely how it was, in a photograph. Its life is fleeting, yet its light, so extraordinary in all its luster, makes life on this world that much richer.

Sunset

Not unlike your own.

Namaste,

Savannah

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From My Balcony: de Février à Juin

Throughout my entire year in Paris, my most frequented sanctuary was the endless, ever-changing view from my balcony. I watched the seasons come and go, month by month, from this lookout of mine, which often felt as if it was floating in the clouds. Gazing out across the horizon, which was smeared with clouds and glowing with fading sunlight, I felt relief, release, reprieve. It never got old.

I shared the first six months of photos from my sanctuary amongst the clouds in this post. Here is the other half:

FebruaryMarchaprilMayJune

July got lost somewhere in the bustle of life. I don’t judge this to be a bad thing, but rather a result of a summer enjoyed to the fullest. Thankfully, life often moves too fast for photos, Facebook albums and blog posts. And knowing that it will, I try to live with my spirit as my only camera and my memory as my only archive.

Smiles and all the best,

Savannah

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One day in April…

Stroll with me through the Luxembourg Gardens, on a Sunday afternoon, in April.

The trees are blooming,

the bees are buzzing from blossom to blossom to leaf.

blossoms Jardin du Lux bee

Bracelets tied on branches to remind the careful eye of summer

waited the winter out and now they bounce in the breeze.

bracelet 2

Boats bobble in the pond,

sailing to the shores of children’s springtime dreams.

Les Bateauxbateaux 2

Le Printemps, est-ce qu’il arrive? 

***

I snapped these photos on Sunday. The sun was shining and the people of Paris had come out of their winter hiding places to soak up the warmth. There was a hesitation in the air, as if we all wanted to tear off our coats and brush our bare toes against the grass, but no one dared because we were afraid to declare it Spring too hastily.

We may have kept our coats on this time. But they’ll be off soon.

Smiles and all the best,

Savannah

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From My Balcony: d’Août à Janvier

I am fairly certain the only reason I pay as much as I do in rent is because I have a balcony. From my personal terrace I can see all the way to Sacré-Cœur, and at night I can watch the lights dance on the facade of the Tour de Montparnasse. In the summer and fall, I spent most of my at-home time sitting outside. Breakfast, dinner, guitar-playing, reading, spying on my neighbors, all took place on my balcony.

One would think this would get boring. The city doesn’t rearrange itself and the view doesn’t change. Yet from my little terrace, I watched the world transform, summer to autumn to winter.

Here are the past six months, from my balcony:

Août Sept OctobreNovDec Jan

I can’t wait to see what the next six months will bring…

“Show me a day when the world wasn’t new.” 

—Sister Barbara Harce

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