Laurie and Chad, these two are some incredible human beings. I have come to know them over the past few months leading to their wedding a couple weeks ago. What first intrigued me about them as people was the beginning of their love story and also that Laurie is a Harry Potter super fan like myself. Go ahead judge us, haha.
I have to give a little back story about Chad and why I feel like he and Laurie fit so well. Chad was involved in a bad motorcycle accident in 2010 when three deer stepped out in front of him while going 60mph. Losing control, he went down into a ditch and hit a tree. With months in the hospital and in a wheelchair for over a year with ripped nerves from his arm and spine. Chad wasn't suppose to walk again, his whole left side is paralyzed. Mind you, Chad and Laurie met in 2012 while out with friends. When I was in my consultation with them, after Laurie informed me that they weren't super romantic people, I couldn't help but notice how much they adored each other. I didn't notice at all that Chad didn't have use of his left arm, not that it is something that defines him, but a key point in the love that Laurie has for him. They are both hilarious people and are always a little sweet sarcastic with each other, I'll never forget Laurie saying " Who else is going to cut his steak for him and tie his shoes?" My heart melted and we all laughed.
The mountains were calling.. and we answered.
The sun was nowhere to be seen for another 6 hours as we piled our suitcases into the jeep and headed out from Detroit, Mi. Our destination, one of my most favorite cities, Asheville, North Carolina. Kelci + Craig and I were ready for an adventure. Minus The Bear was captivating our ears as we cruised Interstate 94, thanks to Craig for taking the first shift in our 10 hour drive to the mountains. Kelci and I nodded out for a bit but woke to the sun as it started to peek it's golden warmth to us as we hit Kentucky. We grabbed coffee at the nearest stop, there was no going back to sleep.. we were excited.
With a few hours left and the famous split appeared.. two great cities, East was Asheville, and West was Nashville but we chose left, the right choice. Greenery was starting to become more and more alive as we drove. It had been a very long and brown winter in Michigan, so to see the blossoms were what we needed. Mountains started to show their beautiful selves, you would have thought it was 4th of July with all of our oooh's and ahhhhh's as we just stared. Finally, into the Carolina's we were in contact with some dear friends who reside in Nashville, they were awaiting our arrival with Corona's in hand and huge hugs. What a way to be greeted after our long haul. We arrived in Asheville with hours still in our day, the girls split and went to the famous Biltmore Estate as the guys met more friends at a brewery. Biltmore Estate is a large (10.86 square miles) private estate and tourist attraction near Asheville, North Carolina. Biltmore House, the main residence, is a Châteauesque-style mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and is the largest privately owned house in the United States. We were intrigued. After our 2 hour tour and a quick bite to eat, we headed out to meet the rest of the group at Twin Leaf Brewery. There are around 40 breweries in Asheville, all within walking distance (We hit about 9 of them in two days!) so we hopped around a lot, but first we were in search of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Time Ale at Catawba. Our long day ended with good company and some good beer.
Morning came fast, as it always does and we were ready to explore some majestic mountain views. Our little AirBNB carriage house was adorable and just a couple miles from down town. First, breakfast was needed with the ladies of the group at Tupelo Honey while the guys headed to Sierra Nevada for a brewery tour. Tons of laughs and reminiscing over coffee was perfect fuel for the day. Mid afternoon arrived and we were adding the last touches to our soon to be hike. What we were in for, was highly anticipated and did not disappoint. Kelci + Craig and I hopped into the Jeep and carved up the Blue Ridge Parkway. With the elevation climbing, ears popping and stomaches dropping.. our excitement grew.
The drive to our destination on the parkway was fascinating, though we drove most of the way up we still had a bit of a hike to reach the Craggy Garden Pinnacle Trail. With a 360 mountain view..I would try to describe it but you'll see soon enough. We carefully climbed all over and just couldn't get enough. Those two though.. I can't even. I am so in love with love.. and to share adventures with incredible people is something that is hard to describe. The smiles and sun on our faces along with the wind wildly blowing through our hair made our hearts race. I had asked Kelci (before Craig proposed) if they'd want to go shoot in the mountains with me. That was an obvious yes. A few months prior to the actual trip, Craig asked Kelci to marry him one morning, in total surprise! So now! This trip HAD to happen.. and for a real engagement session/adventure! The biggest and most anticipated part of our trip was captured and we were in the clouds. We couldn't stop talking about the view and how perfect of a day it was. It was like someone had hit a refresh button and we were just full of life.
As we got back into the Jeep, hunger hit us like a ton of bricks. In communication with the rest of the group, we headed to Burial Beer Co. Which we would again visit on Sunday, and you'll see.. one of the most epic murals of all time from one of my ABSOLUTE favorite movies was painted on the side of the building. We grabbed dinner and headed to One World Brewery to play darts and dance the rest of the night away.
Sunday morning was here, which was also Easter. We headed to Biscuit Head for brunch with the crew and said our goodbye's for the weekend. Kelci + Craig and I headed out to explore down town Asheville some more. We ended up visiting the breweries more than once haha.. it was just too easy to hop from one place to another! After a bit, I put the camera down and just lived in the moment with my two friends. I was officially a professional 3rd wheel and it was the best. Oh Asheville, you've got a piece of my heart and so many great memories reside in you now.. until next time !!!
"I think some souls have a way of connecting without our knowledge. That's why you can meet someone for the first time, but inside you just know. You know it is not the first time you've felt them. " -JmStorm
"You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." Amy Carmichael