Although this journey was recorded on my friend Renee’s Blog already, I thought I would finally add my version of the journey to the web.  Many of you know from my "Meatloaf Mania" post that I admire, revere, and embarrassingly enough want to be best friends with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  However, I was contently keeping my hero worship locked in a tiny little box that no one knew about, until Renee called me up proposing a trip to see Ree at her book signing in D.C.  I had recently quit my corporate job and decided it was a perfect opportunity to enjoy my freedom and take some pictures along the way. My part of the journey started with a short day trip to our families cabin, with my parents.  My Grandfather built this cabin over several summers with the help of his three daughters.  Ever since it has been a retreat and place of solace for my family.

Sweet Lucy is a mountain woman, she loves being outdoors.  She looks positively beautiful in her element, I love this picture of her.

One of these pictures is in “Some Characters to know...” but my mother wasn't too happy about the picture I chose :ahem:, so the above photos are part of the series, which I think is very cute since it tells the story a little bit better.

The next morning after going to the cabin, I picked up Renee bright and early and we started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was pretty early, we don’t do gorgeous early, but we were up and going and that was the important part.

She’s sassy, that’s why we get along oh-so-well.

Renee use to be a dancer, and from time to time she still does stances with her feet...she just didn't know I was paying attention.  I think it's beautiful.

Hello, Vacation.

There was lots of this.  Luckily Renee didn't get annoyed with me pulling off about every 5 seconds.

Did I mention that we were on top of the world?  I may have forgotten, but yes...there was nothing but us and sky.

I love this picture.  There's something about the emptiness in it that I just love.  To me it's something that's just about to start, somethings changing, and it's just you and whatever you're about to jump into.

I took about a million photos of this tree.  It was just magical.

After an 8 hour journey (Google said it would only take 5 but they weren’t counting all the stops for glorious pictures.  They really need a photo option when you do directions…or at least a scenic option) we arrived at Border’s in D.C.  We were hot, we were smelly, we were not pretty.  So faster than you could say superman, we used Chipotle’s bathroom (thank you Chipotle) and came out looking more beautiful than ever.  However, we did make two rookie mistakes.  Number one being that although we got there 2 hours prior to the reading, we were way back in line….waaaay back.  Number two mistake was that since we were in the back of the line, we panicked and didn’t eat anything.  BIG MISTAKE, my friend.

But luckily we didn't have to wait too long before she came up and gave us a little intro.  Everyone was so excited, and I have to hand it to all the pregnant ladies in the crowd.  They were champs, they didn't even break a sweat standing in line, unlike me who was whining and being a big baby.

After a couple hours in line, we finally made it to our destination.

She was super nice, and I’m sure already tired by the time we made it to her, but you couldn’t tell.  Both Renee and I had a little shyness going on, and tried to be sociable, even though we were about to faint from hunger and it suddenly came off as creepy that I had driven all the way from TN to see this woman.  And to be honest, that was not the best part of the trip for me.  The best part was the girl talk with Renee, companionship, being out in the wilds of VA, and just having time to take some photographs without any kind of pressure.  It was a much needed trip and a great start to my life as a photographer.