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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Into the wild

This past weekend was fall break, a time for Emory students to get away.

Many students go home. Others visit friends. Some even do volunteer work or go on mini-vacations.

For my last fall break at Emory (yikes!), my friends and I decided to escape from the city for a few days by heading up north.

Welcome to Blue Ridge, GA, a small historic town nestled in the mountains of north Georgia.

We made our way through the windy dirt roads, and turned into the driveway of our home for the weekend. Here, I was expecting a modest log cabin. But we walked into a three-level, all-wood beauty, fully furnished with plasma TVs, a fireplace, a pool table, and a hot tub.

Less than two hours outside of Atlanta, the hustle and bustle of the city was quickly forgotten. Our Blue Ridge cabin was secluded in the woods, surrounded by an endless expanse of nature. What an out-of-this-world experience for a city girl like myself.

Some of the guys went to the store and came back with a BB gun in tow. Our backyard (can you call the wilderness a backyard?) had a few shooting targets pinned up on trees. We all took shots. Well, I took many. I even hit a few targets. But I might have enjoyed just wearing the yellow-tinted protective glasses more than shooting the gun.

As the sun went down Saturday night, I cuddled up in a wooden rocking chair on the back porch, taking in the cool breeze, nature’s tranquil sounds, and the scenic views of the North Georgia mountains. It was a whole other kind of Georgia, unlike anything I’d seen before.

We cooked up a fire for S’mores (check out all the essentials in the above photo). One fire-roasted marshmallow, plus a hunk of chocolate, plus two graham crackers, equals the most delicious campfire treat.

On Sunday afternoon, after the town was out of church, we strolled along Main Street, enjoying the antique and specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and small-town atmosphere of downtown Blue Ridge. The locals were welcoming and cheery—I really saw some of that Southern charm that we Northerners always hear about.

That evening we had barbeque galore. The “men” grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken for a woodsy dinner on the porch. I could really get used to life in this mountain town.

My few days of retreat were much needed. But I have to say, I was glad to return home. The weekend away reminded me that my days at Emory are soon coming to an end, so I better make the most of them while I can.

-- Cory Lopez 10C, communications intern, EAA

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