Last week was a world wind of fun celebrating our marriage… a little early! We are just over a week from our First Anniversary as husband and wife. The weekend of our anniversary and Nicole’s birthday, we are shooting a wedding for Shannon and Henderson (which by the way we are excited about because they’re an awesome couple). We know, all too well, how shooting a wedding will take it out of us and decided to head out of town last week for a few days to spend some quality time together.After rush hour on Tuesday morning, we headed south to explore Asheville, North Carolina for a couple of days. We had a destination and hotel book, but other than that we had no real agenda. The only part of our trip that we made definitive plans for was an anniversary shoot with Jessica Merithew Photography at The Botanical Gardens at Asheville. This was our first taste of Asheville. The park was beautiful and set the bar pretty high for the rest of the trip! Jessica was amazing, fun, and super sweet! We are still waiting for our full gallery, but here is a sneak peek from our session she posted on Sunday!The first full day, we headed a little out of town to do some hiking in the beautiful DuPont Forest. The forest is known for its beautiful waterfalls and it did not disappoint. We headed to a very popular trail that included 3 falls all within a short hike from each other.
The first waterfall we headed towards was Triple Falls. Through our research, we found out that this water fall appears in the movie the Hunger Games (we have not re-watch the movie since we got back to find it, but we will). The hike was a bit of a dozy! The hill leading up to the falls was pretty much a straight up a mountain. Once we reached the top, we then had to take stairs down to the base of the fall. We are very thankful we choose this to be our first hike!
One our way back to top from the base of the falls, we chatted up a local who let us know a short cut to the next closest fall, High Falls, by entering the trail at the Welcome Center or if we “enjoyed” hiking uphill, continue the trail. We decided to head back down the hill to visit Hooker Falls, as it was near our car, then drive over to the Welcome Center to hike towards High Falls from there.
When we reached Hooker Falls, we were slightly disappointed that we did not bring swimwear… yes it was hot enough in mid-September to go swimming. The falls emptied out into a big area of the river that is a hot spot for swimming. Even though we couldn’t go swimming, we did kicked off our shoes and socks, rolled up our pants and stuck our feet into the river. The water was a little on the chilly side, but with the hot southern air, it was a huge relief. As we sat next to the water fall and river, we let our “wedding photographer” nature kick in and discussed how AMAZING it would be to do a Bridal Session in the water! Ryan even figured out how to get his gear across the river without the risk of slipping on the rocks and dropping into the river. So… if anyone is interested, let us know… we would love to have an “excuse” to head back down!
Once we relaxed for a bit, enjoyed some cool water and stunning views, we headed back to our car to drive up the mountain towards the Welcome Center to catch the trail to our final spot of the day, High Falls. The trail was not any shorter from the Welcome Center than the other direction, but it was less hilly… at least until you started to head down towards the base of the falls. As the exhaustion and heat were catching up to us, but we made a decision to enjoy the falls from a higher point instead of heading down to the base. The sun was setting and we (Nicole) feared getting stuck in the woods at night. While heading back to the entrance of the trail, we caught a few white-tailed deer eating in a small opening. Ryan tried to get a photo of them, but as it was getting dark and they got spooked, he was not successful.
After reaching the car and cooling off, hunger kicked in big time! The original plans were to head back to the hotel, shower and go out… however, a full day of hiking in the Carolina heat, we decided to just head back to the hotel and order in! Boy are we glad we did, because we were nasty, stinky and exhausted! One of the best things about an unplanned vacation, you can change your minds without any guilt! We spend the remaindered of the night in our hotel room, watching TV and eating some delicious food from Del Vecchios! Hello… why are pizza fries NOT a thing around here?!We could not have asked for a better day! We loved the idea of disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the world to enjoy some time together and beautiful nature. Keep tuned next week for the last part of our quick anniversary trip!
Have an amazing day!
Nicole & Ryan