Monday, June 20, 2011

The Good Life: North Carolina Edition

{An Impromptu Road Trip to Visit Our Besties}






When you are a married adult with all your possessions in storage/ temporarily living with your parents/ self-employed and working from your parents' kitchen table/ not starting grad school until September you could, theoretically, get a little self-conscious about your loserhood and get mildly depressed. Or you could have a conversation like this:

Me: I just clicked send on my project proposal. I'm a free woman for a few days.
P: Want to take the doggies on a road trip to North Carolina to visit Ash and Billy?
Me: Ohmygoshyes.
P: Get in the truck, woman.
[My mom: Wait! I'll make you sandwiches for the road!]






And so we loaded up Biscuit and the Hound of Love (plus my mom's snack pack and three cases of beer from our local brewery) and drove eight hours south to North Carolina to see our dearest newlywed friends Ash and Billy, who are recent Austin-to-Durham transplants. Remember their Austin wedding? And the beginning of their romance with beekeeping? I'm happy to report they've tripled their hives, quadrupled the yield of their backyard vegetable garden, and adopted a puppy.






Whenever we see these guys we end up drinking in the morning, eating way, way too much home-cooked food, getting stung by honeybees, and driving into the middle of podunksville in search of Strange & Unusual Sh*t. We checked all those boxes this visit, and although I've gained two pounds and am just emerging from a two-day-long hangover, my stomach is still sore from laughing so hard. There is nothing as wonderful as being totally and irreverently SILLY, people. Readjusting to Real Life after our year in India is taking a little longer than I expected, and visiting Ash and Billy is always a life-affirming reminder of what P. and I think is important to The Good Life: making the effort to stay in touch with beloved friends, making the effort to cook our own meals, living happily within one's means, maintaining a curiosity about the world and pursuing one's vision. Comfortable rocking chairs, dog-love, a little plot in which to grow decent cucumbers (or at least a kitchen-window pot of herbs), and spending more time reading than watching television doesn't hurt, either.






I know it will be exasperatingly, annoyingly difficult to keep the tenets of The Good Life in rotation when P. and I are absorbed in our graduate school work, commuting on weekends to see each other, keeping a long-distance marriage buoyant and struggling to live on grad student budgets. But I look at Ash and Billy and remember that all it takes is hard work, a sense of humor and the occasional Sunday morning Bloody Mary.

Hope you had a great weekend and Father's Day. On deck this week: a summer fruit recipe, adventures in beekeeping and a pilgrimage to see some down-home outsider art. Stay tuned!

23 comments:

  1. SHOOT! Y'all should've called me. I need to see Ashley, anyway. Hope you had a great, great time. Geer Street Garden is deeeelish!! xxo

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  2. here's what I spy: the liberal application of tabasco sauce, a beautiful sky blue hive body (and bravery in its immediate proximity), and toast that your dear spotted H.O.L so particularly wants to sample.
    Well done all around-- the trip sounds lovely and the breakfast spread looks absolutely top of the line. And the BEES! Can't WAIT to see the bees...

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  3. Awesome photos! Seattle is so over-due for some weather like this!

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  4. Oh the bees are wonderful! And especially love that stylish shade of blue that the hive is painted in.

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  5. sounds like an awesome time. i wish i had some hives in my backyard! i love bees so much, i would just hang out with them all day. and get horrible, horrible sunburns. :)

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  6. Sigh, that looks like the life I need right now.

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  7. Just as it should be. Thanks for the awesome update and inspiring thoughts of living.

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  8. Yay! Can I be friends with your friends, please?

    You know, just taking the time to reaffirm your good life tenets is hugely helpful. School and commuting will be rough, but you'll have an endpoint and you'll be able to see it through.

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  9. holy diamond ring!!!!!!

    this sounds like the perfect little trip. i plan to take some documenting pointers [from you] for our upcoming road trip...your skills are admirable.

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  10. Grad school please do tell. I want to start grad school in September 2012 so I have a nice year of living creatively, working with food, photographing. Lily, can we PLEASE meet this Summer!! Take a road trip my way ... mi casa is your house!!!! Bisous!

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  11. Damn, I need a waffle maker. To The Good Life!

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  12. you're going to be commuting? oh no. D:
    and what's hard to adjust to now that you're back?

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  13. Thank you so much for writing this blog. I, too, am about to embark on a year of long-distance partnership while I finish college (at 27) and my honeybunny does a post-doc (same age). We'll be training it up to see each other on weekends, and I am so happy to know I'll have a comrade in the sighs and sheeshes of this particular crazy adventure. Tagging along with you the past couple of years has been great. You are the best! :)

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  14. Sounds like such a perfect weekend! Have you seen the documentary the Colony? It made me really appreciate beekeepers. :)

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  15. wow everything sounds so awesome!

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  16. bloody marys, bacon and bees=good life

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  17. I'm so in love with that kitchen table. Want. ::grabby hands::

    My boyfriend and I have been on and off long-distance for about half of our relationship (goin' on a year now) and it's not as fun as spending most of our time together, but it can definitely be done. :)

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  18. This looks like the best spontaneous roadtrip ever. I was hoping to make it to NC this year (I used to visit every summer) but it's not going to happen--so I'm enjoying your photos here double.

    And I love your distinction between the Real Life and the Good Life--I need the reminder that they are not always one and the same thing...

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  19. Girl, you really have a way of telling things and taking pictures. You could talk about scratching dirty floors and I know I still would like to live your life.

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  20. This trip sounds like heaven-all except the few bee stings. (I have never been stung so I imagine it feeling terrrrible.) This reminds me that I need more spontaneous trips in my life.

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  21. girl, re-entry is a bitch. like re-entering the earth's atmosphere after the kind of year you had.
    glad you got to spend some quality time with good friends. good summer kick-off sounds to me, minus bee stings!!?? xoxo to you both!

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  22. Oh durham, this is so close to where I grew up. Great breweries, but so stinking hot and humid in the summer!

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