The following blog written earlier this year (and part two that will follow soon) was never published, as I have not made blogging a priority while setting up the many other aspects of my new business. I felt very strongly, however about sharing this story and never had the heart to delete it. I shall now share it the way it was originally written.
Last week I took a much needed trip down to Florida. I spent several days in one of my favorite places since childhood, Walt Disney World. After visiting every park and eating as much refined sugar as I could possibly consume, the time to head back up north arrived. Yet as eager as I was to make my trip go by quickly (it’s basically a day in a car when you factor in naps and meals), I decided to take a little detour.
And I’m incredibly happy that I did.
For a long time, Georgia has been one of my favorite states. I’ve often dreamed about moving to Atlanta, but several months ago I uncovered one of the nation’s hidden treasures: Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is an incredibly charming city where the historic buildings have been so well preserved that you feel as if you are momentarily stepping back into time. It is also considered by some as the most haunted city in America. The last time I was there, I took a ghost tour, which I highly recommend! This time around I didn’t know what to expect, aside from plenty of humidity and Spanish moss. I simply wanted to have a brief pause in my journey to walk around and breathe in the southern charm. Ok, fine and eat some pralines. Whatever.
As I came off the highway I headed towards Forsythe Park. I’ve been focusing so much on the business aspect of photography that I haven’t been making nearly enough time for…oh, I don’t know…actually taking pictures. Savannah seemed to be the perfect setting to expand my portfolio. Forsythe Park has a beautiful and very famous fountain, which I believe is photographed more than anything else in the city. To my surprise, the water in the fountain that day was green!!! Apparently St. Patrick’s Day is HUGE in Savannah, something I became aware of on my first visit when I saw the digital countdown outside of several local stores. I didn’t understand, though that they took it to THAT green extreme. I think even Ireland might have thought it was a bit much, but I digress.
(Wait. Side note: Did you know that people in Ireland pronounce Ireland as “Are-land”? No, I didn’t either. Ok, now we can move on. I just couldn’t let that go.)
Forsythe Park didn’t have too many visitors that sunny day, but what I did notice was the number of couples, both young and old, spending time holding hands and just enjoying nature together. It made me smile so much, as people in the South seem to take more time to stop and smell the roses than the rest of the country. I came across one of the park’s musicians and asked him if I could take his photograph. Hardly looking at me, he said, “yes, but only because you’re shooting on a Nikon.” This cracked me up! And incidentally, he has good taste. Sorry Canon people.
As delightful as the park was, I decided it was time to relocate to the River Walk. The problem was, there was no parking nearby. While driving a couple of miles away from where I wanted to be and frantically trying to find a spot, I ended up in front of Mellow Mushroom Pizza. It was the best mistake I’ve made in a long time. I only have found Mellow Mushroom in the South, so far but believe me, if they had one in Maryland I would be there every week. I took it as a sign from the carb gods that I should stop in, and so I did. After I swallowed my meal whole and downed enough sweet tea to make a diabetic slap me, I decided to walk to the river. The weather was pretty nice (I’m lying….it was way too hot), so I thought a stroll through the lovely shops would be a nice thing to do. I first found a little boutique that I absolutely fell in love with and will absolutely visit again!
I then found an Urban Outfitters, a clothing store I used to frequent when I lived in Miami. As I was walking up the staircase located inside the store, two things happened at the same time: I saw a gorgeous window letting in spectacular light and I spotted a girl who had an amazing look for the camera. I have had abysmal luck in approaching strangers recently, whether it’s to become clients or models, but I decided to go out on a limb before I could talk myself out of it. I asked the unsuspecting and innocent citizen if she had ever modeled before. Giggling, she said no. I asked if she’d like to, right now. By some miracle, she didn’t laugh in my face and agreed.
After leaving Urban Outfitters, I passed by the Paula Deen store. I’m not a gigantic fan, but my family is. I felt I owed it to them to at least step inside. And really, who doesn’t smile when they think of Paula?! Ok. The American Heart Association. You have a point. I hear and appreciate you.
I finally made it to the River Walk!
While strolling along the river, I stopped into a popular candy store to purchase some pralines for my family. And by “for my family” I do mean that I ate most of them. We all have our weaknesses. Stop judging me. I would insert a photograph of the pralines I purchased, but they don’t exist, anymore. Instead, here is a photograph of the pralines I had sent from Savannah as an apology to my family for eating the ones I originally bought for them. Ok, well…I ate those, too. But here is a photograph of pralines from the internet that I found. If you relax your mind enough and get to a very peaceful and centered place, you can imagine that these are the original or replacement pralines. Do that now.
Feeling like my trip to Savannah was complete, I turned away from the river and headed towards my car. I loved the city and all its charm so much, but knew it was time to get back on the road before it became too late in the day.
And that’s when I met Jacob…