I have been given another unique opportunity to travel this weekend, and I am just giddy with excitement as I put together my packing list. Our annual family reunion in Newnan, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) is this weekend, and I am really looking forward to taking on that slow pace that the South is known for. It has been nearly ten years since I have attended, so to say I am long overdue would be a gross understatement. Trivial things like work, money and the sweltering humidity have kept me out of South for long enough. I am ready to make my triumphant return to my roots and as I embark on this journey, I have lots to reflect on.
I have never been to Georgia without my Grandmother, and this will be my first time seeing my distant relatives since her passing. My grandmother was the epitome of a Southern Belle. Eyes the color of a cloudless sky, shiny blond hair perfectly coiffed, flawless glowing skin and a sweet Southern drawl that made words like sugar take on a whole new meaning. She was regal in her own right, but always remained humble. She taught me everything I know from table etiquette, to swear words, to gin rummy. Even thousands of miles away in her home in Beverly Hills, she still upheld that Southern pride that runs deep in my veins.
To be in her home town without her will be very strange. But being that we had traveled there together so many times in my younger years, I am sure it will be a pleasantly nostalgic trip where I will visit all the old familiar places, see all of the familiar faces, and represent her to the fullest with a warm smile and open arms. I have been wanting to go back for a while now, but my mom and I are making the pilgrimage together, which should make it a lot easier than if I went alone.
Similar to California, Georgia stays hot well into October. In fact, the weather forecast looks almost identical to here, which is a relief when it comes to packing. Although I am thrilled fall is so close and I can start dusting off my hoodies and boots again, I could use a relaxing weekend in my favorite sundress with a glass of sweet tea in my hand.
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