{take me home, country roads}

The Lord has continued to be gracious in bringing new opportunities to learn and grow over this year. My latest adventure? Driving to Georgia to meet my penpal and her family at her wedding! πŸ˜€

Originally, Mom and I were going to drive over there, but plans needed to change for a few things. Long story short, Matthew and I made the drive instead!

Before setting out, I took a look at the possible route scenarios and decided on the one that would take us south of Atlanta rather than through it, especially since I hadn’t yet driven in a state other than Alabama, and I’ve heard lots of stories about GA driving. :S

It told me it would take just over 4 hours to get there. Sounds good to me!

Meet Dale.

Dale was found the night before we left in a bag of misc. dollhouse furniture that Mama had purchased. When I saw him, I thought it might be fun to take a picture with Dale everywhere we stopped. :)

Up early to get everything together!

First things first. Getting the maps together and setting up the GPS!

Next, we went to Walmart to grab some snacks and lunch supplies, and then we topped off the air in the tires. Let’s do this thing!

I have no photos between this and actually attending the ceremony, because it took longer than the GPS said and there really wasn’t anywhere to stop to grab a good picture. We stopped at a gas station to change clothes once we made it to Perry, but we were in such a hurry to make it to the church on time that I didn’t take a picture. :(

Waiting on the ceremony to start

Dale on Main Street!

This was the beautiful church where they got married. It was so lovely!

Dale visits the church!

Dale arrives at the bride’s home!

These are all photos from the reception. I truly think this was the *most* beautiful and touching wedding I have ever been to! I am so thankful that I was able to attend! It was a wonderful blessing in so many ways.

This photo is of another one of my online friends, Julia!! :) We’ve written back and forth online for a while now, so it was *so* very exciting to find out that she would be one of McKenzie’s bridesmaids and that we would be able to meet in person!! :) We decided that we are definitely going to have to get together sometime so that we can just sit and chat. It was an absolute delight to meet her!

This next photo is of my penpal McKenzie, her new husband Daniel, and myself. It is still so surreal that I have finally met her in person!! We’ve been writing back and forth through the mail and online for years and years. She has been such a wonderful friend. I actually think of us more as long-distance sisters instead of just penpals! πŸ˜€ She has been right there for me during the good times and the more difficult ones. Our two families have been through several similar difficult situations around the same times, and the Lord has used her and her family to be a major encouragement to my family and I. I am so thankful that the Lord chose to bring her into my life those many years ago! It has been fun to essentially grow up together. We were mere babies when we started writing back and forth. πŸ˜‰ I am so very thankful that the Lord provided this opportunity to meet her and her sweet family!

After a while, it was time to leave. Matthew and I had to make the trek back to the Lambert Estate.

While driving down, I realized that we were in huge stretches with absolutely 0% cell coverage, with really nowhere to pull off and stop for help if we ran into trouble. A lot of it was just rolling cotton fields and forest land, which was incredibly beautiful, but I didn’t really want to go that way in the dark. :s After thinking about it during the ceremony and reception, I decided to go with the original Google maps suggested route, which went right through Atlanta.

So, we got back on the road and stopped at my beloved Pilot truck stop for a quick clothing change, gas tank refill and coffee stop.

Dale pumps gas!

After that, we got settled in, popped in a “The Afters” album and made our way up to Atlanta. I knew that once we were successfully back on I-20, I wouldn’t need the GPS anymore, and that I would know exactly which interstates to get on to get back home. With that in mind, I began to pray for peace and that the Lord would keep His hand on us as we made our way into and out of Atlanta. I’m very thankful for the GPS- it told me exactly which lane to get into to make the transfer out of the 6 possible lanes that were available. I can see that it would have gotten somewhat confusing for this backroads country driving gal without it. πŸ˜€

Once we made the transfer to I-20, I decided that the next stop would be at the state line, which is precisely what we did. I hopped out and was trying to grab a picture of Dale with this teeny tiny little Alabama sign, and the ranger on call walked over and told me about a much larger sign in front of the actual rest stop building. Hurray!

Dale in front of the “Sweet Home Alabama” sign!

Dale grabs an Alabama state map!

We had a very uneventful and pleasant journey back to our house from there. Traffic was flowing quite nicely and it was fun to pick out familiar landmarks in the dark!

Dale makes it home safe and sound!

We made it back home around 11:30 that night, and I was finally in bed by about 12:30 pm.

I didn’t actually get to sleep until around 2:30 though. I was too excited and wound up! πŸ˜€

I thoroughly enjoyed making the trip with Matthew. We had so much fun talking and laughing and just enjoying the day. I can’t wait for our next adventure! :)

God is so good. It is still surreal to think back and realize that we did make this trip, we did meet all of those wonderful people and we did make it back safe and sound after our marvelous adventure!!

2 thoughts on “{take me home, country roads}

  1. Wonderful post, Courtney dearest! It was so nice meeting you after all these years… you know, I still have that pretty necklace you sent me when I was your SSA pal and think of you whenever I look at it. :) We need to get together again, girlie! <3 Perhaps in January my brothers will go to Brickfair Alabama in Birmingham again! :)

  2. You were actually on the easy driving side of Atlanta. If you want a real adventure (probably not) you should try driving south on 400 to east 1-285 – especially spaghetti junction. I have to do it all the time and still fear for my life each and every time. Enjoy your blog and glad you made it safely home. I know your friend Julia. She makes the most beautiful jewelry and I have quite a bit of it in my jewelry box.


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