June was one of those months that felt like it was so busy, I didn’t even live through it; I just watched through a window. From family gatherings to hosting our band friends the Wailing Loons from Minneapolis, it felt like there was no downtime even though technically we were only away from home seven nights.
July has us gone for most of the month on an epic trip to New York, Italy and Switzerland with our 18-year-old niece, so I’m currently gearing up to get all my work done in advance so I can actually take a nice lengthy vacation.
I organized our first family reunion in 12 years. Growing up, my favorite part of each summer was the family reunion we held on my Uncle Tom’s farm on Tellico Lake in East Tennessee. While he, my grandmother and their other sibling Jimmy, who died last year at 96, have all since passed away, I decided it was time we revive the tradition. So 30 of us from three states met up in Gatlinburg for a long weekend, and it was so much fun. I hope we can revive this tradition, as I was born into a truly awesome family!
We got to see the synchronous fireflies while there! One of the coolest things we did in June was get drawn for the National Park Service’s annual firefly viewing, which lasts eight days every summer. I won the lottery (I never win anything!), and you’re allowed to take a car of up to seven people, so SVV, Charlotte, the cousins and I all packed in and spent the evening up in Elkmont marveling at this miracle of nature.
We wrapped a 10-county photography project. As part of a year-long photo contract, we photographed 10 of the counties in our region for Experience Tennessee. It was a lot of driving and shooting in the heat, but also really fun to discover new places in our region we’d never seen before.
The Wailing Loons returned to the Cedar House with an epic concert. We’ve had record temperatures this past month in Tennessee, but thankfully our backyard is a shady oasis and provided the perfect venue for the Wailing Loons to play a warm-up show before taking the stage at their sixth Bonnaroo.
I attended my 13th Bonnaroo. Despite vowing to not go this year, when a friend offered SVV and me GA+ passes last minute, we took an Uber over to the Farm and spent a short evening there. And when I say short, we were in and out in four hours as we had a 5am photo shoot call the next morning. While it was good being back at an event, I think Bonnaroo is past its expiration date, and I’d be surprised if it continues next year and beyond.
We photographed the famed MoonPie Festival. We’ve loved working with our friends at the Bell Buckle chamber over the past few years, and we were honored to be the official photographers for their signature festival last month. It was our first time at the festival and such a fun one to be a part of!
We went back to our beloved Savannah. It’s been awhile since we’ve been on an out-of-state content marketing project beyond Alabama and Tennessee—since before times in fact. Savannah is our favorite city in the US, so we were grateful to get to go back and see what all has opened since our last trip three years ago. We’ve got a lot of content to come from that trip, starting with all the best things to do in Savannah, no matter when you’re traveling.
Anyone else starting to get alarmed by the rising numbers of *the* virus? While I still remain untouched so far as I know, I’ve started being a bit more diligent than I was this spring and masking up again in flights and in crowded places, especially after everyone I know seems to have caught it in the last month. My NP told me yesterday numbers are currently as high as they’ve ever been! Watch out for yourselves, friends.