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March 1-10, 2002

"Southern Comforts"

Last year, we learned that John's cousin, Richard Kherlopian, was getting married. We knew immediately what that meant - we were going to have to plan a trip to the Southeast to attend the wedding. Although we could have easily decided to fly there just for the wedding, John suggested that we turn the trip into a family vacation, much like we had done for Suzanne and Todd Daggert's anniversary party in San Francisco, CA last August. That would not only give us a chance to visit John's family in Columbia, SC, but we would also get the chance to do some hiking and some sightseeing in a part of the country that Mary and I had never seen before.

Once we learned the date and place of the wedding (which would take place on March 2 in Athens, GA), I began to make all of our travel arrangements for our trip. I booked two tickets to Atlanta, GA through (Mary, at eighteen months old, was still young enough to fly for free, so we didn't book a ticket for her). Then, after numerous conversations with John's Aunt Lotte (Richard's stepmother, who lives in Columbia, SC), I prepared an itinerary for our trip, booked hotel rooms and a rental car, and sketched out possible activities for us to do while we were there. Backpacking was definitely out, because it was going to be too cold for us to backpack with Mary. However, there were plenty of opportunities for us to go hiking, as we were going to be close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and hours from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park…and Aunt Lotte and Uncle Richard owned a mountain house in North Carolina, mere miles from the parkway!

During the week before the trip, I began to pack our suitcases, while John kept Mary entertained. Then, on Friday morning, March 1, our adventure began…

Click on the links below to read about our adventure in the South...

Day One Athens, GA, or Bust
Day Two A Rainy Wedding
Day Three The Scenic Route to Columbia, SC
Day Four Congaree Swamp National Monument
Day Five The Vacation Begins
Day Six From the Beach to the Mountains
Day Seven Blue Ridge Parkway
Day Eight Temperatures Are Flaring
Day Nine The House at Lake Murray
Day Ten Going Home

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