Namibia vacation

April 2023 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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April may very well have been the greatest month ever (more on why below). The month kicked off with a solid week of being on the road, but of course I made it back in time for Easter with the kids. There’s pretty much no occasion I’ll pick traveling over being with my niece and nephew on holidays or banner events.

Charlotte Rose at 5
Charlotte Rose at 5
Charlotte Rose at 5

My April highlights were many as I spent 18 nights away from home in hotels and vacation rentals. May is shaking up to be not quite as crazy but started similarly chaotic with a pair of new mural installs and trips to East Tennessee and New Orleans on the horizon, but as I write this recap finally, I’m back home for a solid month of catching up and hanging out with my people.

Mac at 3
Mac at 3
Mac at 3

I’ve also got some pretty research-intense writing assignments due this month for Washington Post, Tennessee Vacation Guide, Southern Living, Garden & Gun and others, so I’ll be locked away in my office for a lot of the time, too.

The Highs

AFRICA. What started as a friend’s 40th birthday trip morphed into the trip of a lifetime with my husband, mother, cousin and three lifelong best friends. You’ll likely be spammed with posts on South Africa and Namibia in the coming months when if I ever get caught up, but let’s just say this epic trip is not one I’ll be able to top anytime soon, if ever.

South Africa road trip

We returned to Tupelo! Have I talked enough about how I love this Mississippi hometown of Elvis? No? Then let me reiterate: If you’re traveling to Memphis, this needs to be an add-on destination for a couple days. It’s such a vibrant small city, and I was thrilled to get to speak at the Mississippi Tourism Association’s spring meeting about pitching and PR alongside new and old friends.

Tupelo meeting

From there, it was onto Knoxville. Not the quickest, most direct drive—Tupelo to Knoxville—but it was a full week before I left for Africa, and I wasn’t going to miss either opportunity. You know how much I love my college town, and this visit to East Tennessee focusing on Knoxville’s art scene did not disappoint. I look forward to Governor’s Conference being in Knoxville this September, so I can show off all my favorite spots to my favorite tourism friends.

Knoxville trip

There were so many photo sessions. In addition to a couple senior and family shoots, I held three days of B&W portrait sessions right before leaving, and while I busted my butt trying to get all those galleries edited before leaving, which made the time away that much more rewarding. This weekend kicks off another couple full portrait days, and if you missed my announcement and want to get on the calendar, just shoot me an email.

Black and white heritage photographer in Middle Tennessee

Black and white heritage photographer in Middle Tennessee
Black and white heritage photographer in Middle Tennessee
Black and white heritage photographer in Middle Tennessee

Black and white heritage photographer in Middle Tennessee

The Challenges

Other than some tech troubles—I had to order yet another Apple desktop computer, ugh—and a few minor travel snafus we experienced getting our entire group to Africa—sorry, Coco and Shannon!—this month was delightfully devoid of headaches personally. I’m trying my best to keep that Africa enthusiasm and positivity going for the rest of the year.

Boot camp crew at Fit Beyond

My Favorites of the Month

Favorite book: Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

Favorite audiobook: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Favorite movie: King Richard, which I finally saw on the plane (you know I love me some tennis)

Favorite TV show: Ginny & Georgia on Netflix

What were your favorite books, movies, shows from April?

You can read all past monthly recaps here.

  • May 18, 2023

    I FINALLY read Lessons in Chemistry, and could not put it down. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time! Currently almost finished with Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, and loving that as well! I’ve also gotten back into audiobooks while I walk the girls in the morning, when I need a break from podcasts, and have favored Beth Moran’s books, which typically include a main character with some sort of major trauma they are trying to get over, and all are set in Sherwood Forest area.

    I have so many books on my To Read list I may have to retire soon so I can have more time to read. 🙂

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