Red Apple Barn – Ellijay, Georgia | Travel Series 3

Red Apple Barn – Ellijay, Georgia | Travel Series 3

Hi guys! I hope that you’re doing well. 🙂 For today’s post, I decided to share a third addition to my travel series here on Dreaming of Guatemala! On October 1st, I got to go to an apple orchard with my family in northern Georgia, and we had such a great time. I took lots of pictures (many of which I’ve shared today) – I’m so glad we got to go this year. ❤ Let’s get right into this post!


My family and I drove up to Ellijay, GA around lunchtime on the first Sunday of October. We stopped at a local Dunkin Donuts restaurant instead of breaking at a traditional rest stop, as there wasn’t one in the area. My parents gave me and Joshua money to buy ourselves a treat, and I got a sour cream donut and caramel iced coffee.

A short while later, we pulled into Red Apple Barn’s parking lot. We arrived about ten minutes before they opened, and the line leading over to the table where you pay was already pretty long. I hopped out of the car to save my family a place in line, then everyone else went and found a parking place.

Before I got to the end of the line, my mom came and joined me to pay. We bought a 3/4-peck bag to fill with apples once we went to the orchards. (The entrance and parking is a short distance away from where the actual apples are grown.) I stopped to take a few pictures before we got on the tractor ride, and my favorite one is of a bin of pumpkins (below).

The festive vibes are real, haha!!

There were two tractors going when we got over to the loading/unloading area. The one that looked like an authentic hayride was loaded first (just before we got there), and the other one, which had the same wooden seat trailer but no hay, was where we got to sit. *sighs* Haha I was hoping we’d get to ride on the first one, but I didn’t mind too much!

The ride up to the orchards is one of my favorite parts of the whole experience.

You weave in and out of this path that leads through forest, then out into open field, then back to the forest again. You go down hills and up hills, curving around the mountainside until you reach the rolling hills of apple country.

Aside from the thick dust that billows up behind the wheels of the roaring tractor, I had a blast on the ride, and the view is simply fantastic.

There’s our tractor driver. This was our first time meeting him – he wasn’t there on our earlier visits – and he was really nice!

It was shortly after I took the picture above that the orchards came into view on the right side of the path.

The three times that we’ve gone to this orchard, I get this huge grin on my face the moment I spot the first apple tree. There’s something about it that I absolutely love. Maybe it’s the experience of harvesting food and eating it off the plant the way God first intended for us to eat. Maybe it’s being out in nature in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia. Maybe it’s a bit of both. ❤

The tractor driver parked at the top and unlatched the back of the trailer so we could all get off. After we listened to a short list of instructions an orchard-hand (don’t know what he’s officially called, so I’m calling him that haha) has to give all visitors, we were off.

I’m silly [sometimes]. lol!
I balanced finding the best apple trees with taking photos of the beauty around us.

The best apples I spotted were absolute beauties on one side, then completely decaying on the other, lol. You have to be careful not to pry your fingers into rotten apples when inspecting all sides of the fruit! After experiences like that, I knew to delicately take one into the tips of my fingers, then swivel it to see if it was good all over, instead of trusting that it was a nice one.

Golden delicious apples have always been a favorite of my family, and I must say that they are quite delicious. (Maybe that’s why they’re called that haha) We were happy with the selection they had this year, as we had come too late in the season other times we went. Plus, stores have been running out of this kind of apple, and we’re still not sure why. After months without them, we were happy to pick some ourselves! (Although they didn’t end up having the best flavor compared to the other apple varieties we tried.)

I don’t remember what kind of apple is pictured above. I don’t even think we brought any home. Either way, the photo turned out nice. 🙂

The featured image, which I’ll share again with you below, is of someone else’s apple basket on a bench in the middle of the orchard. lol my mom thought it was funny when she saw me taking pictures of it, as it wasn’t even our apples, but I couldn’t help it; it was so picturesque!

At the edge of the fields on the back left side, there was a short row of wildflowers growing alongside a part of the forest. They were quite pretty, and I got a nice picture of the little white ones below. x

It wasn’t too long after that that we finished up on that side of the fields; we headed back up to the beginning to see what the red delicious apples tasted like. On the trek back (it wasn’t too far, but still quite strenuous, what with all the hills), a moth, once again, let me get very close to it so it could have its picture taken. lol

I love the design on its wings! I think I’ve always been fascinated by butterflies and moths 🙂 The intricate details and colors of their wing display always amaze me.

As you can see, Samuel wore a cute plaid shirt of his on this trip. I love how he looks in it! He enjoyed walking through the orchard, although he didn’t do much apple-picking, as Joshua was the one who was able to reach all the good ones.

The red delicious apples ended up being our favorite! They had the best flavor, and we found enough great ones to fill up our 1/2-peck bag. Life is good.

This was the first year that they had horses and mules out in this fenced-off area near the place where everyone gets on and off the tractor rides. I thought that was cool, but the experience became 10x better when I heard one of the workers tell a visitor that anyone can feed them apples – what!! At the end of our apple-picking adventure, us kids grabbed a small handful of golden delicious apples and fed them. The one below was the only one I fed; she kept getting pushed aside by another, hungrier horse and I felt bad for her.

I was sooo scared of getting my finger chopped off by their strong jaws, but I pushed the fear aside and carefully fed them anyway, lol!

Behind the area where they keep the horses and mules was a quaint red barn. It might be the one that gave the place its name, but there’s also a red barn up at the front where they sell apple desserts, so I can’t be too sure. Samuel enjoyed exploring this one up in the orchard, and I got a nice picture of it.

I think this one is used for special events, as there was very little inside, aside from a few unidentifiable props and wooden planks, as well as a moveable archway that said “wedding.” I’d never thought of holding a wedding in an apple orchard, but now I love the idea!

Once the boys were done feeding the animals, we got back on the tractor ride and headed back down through the forests and over the hills. I didn’t take any pictures on the way down, as it was the same view we had going up only flipped backward (haha), but I do have one more to share … aren’t the clouds up in Ellijay gorgeous?

Back down near the parking lot, there’s a field of flowers and pumpkins. Just like I have the other years we’ve gone, I happily went over there to snap some pictures of the flowers. Only one of those turned out nicely (oh well, haha), and I also got close enough to a monarch butterfly to get a good picture, as well!

This was the second time in my life that I’ve seen one of these butterflies up close, so I was very happy to be able to photograph it!

The last picture I have to share with you guys was one I took later in the afternoon on the drive back home; as the sun set in the sky, a tiny, horizontal rainbow appeared in the clouds. It was so cute!

Thank you so much for reading, guys!! I had a great day at the apple orchard with my family. I’m so glad we got to go this year!

Happy fall to all of you!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Chattanooga, Tennessee | Travel Series 2

Chattanooga, Tennessee | Travel Series 2

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. 🙂 I’m so excited about sharing this post today, because I have written another travel post to share with you guys!

I think it’s absolutely hilarious that the only two travel posts I’ve done so far both have the prefix ‘Chatt.’ What are the odds?? xD

Related Post: The Chattahoochee River | Travel Series 1

As you can see by the title, I’ll be talking about my visit to Chattanooga, TN with my family last month! I can’t wait to get into this. We’ve been a few times in the past, and this fun city never fails to make me happy. I love getting to experience all that Chattanooga has to offer (which is so much!), and it is very picturesque, which is a great bonus. Let’s get into this!

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A Bit About The City

Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, and its official nickname is ‘Scenic City’ because of its reputation for outdoor activities. It is also full of history, intriguing building designs, and various attractions!

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About My Experience

The day before my little brother’s 6th birthday, my family and I drove up to Chattanooga to celebrate with him. He wanted to visit the Creative Discovery Museum, which we went to a couple years ago and he really enjoyed it. Aside from a few traffic delays (it took us longer to get up there than we would have thought), he was so excited the whole way there!

When we got there, I took a group selfie before we split up. My mom planned to go with Samuel to the museum while the rest of us explored Chattanooga, and I wanted a picture of us before we parted. 🙂

Can you see little Elizabeth in the background? Haha she was exploring the grass!

I had fun taking a few pictures of her while she paid me no mind.

Once we were sure we had everything we needed to go exploring (and even then, we forgot one thing haha), Samuel and my mom headed for the museum, and my dad, Joshua, and I walked in the direction of the sidewalk leading into town, with me pushing Elizabeth in the stroller.

Like I mentioned previously, we have been to Chattanooga a few times before, so we pretty well know what it’s normally like. That’s why we were curious when we began noticing all of the bikers and runners in the area. My dad asked a guy we passed if there was some kind of convention going on, or something, and he told us that a half-Iron Man was being held in Chattanooga that weekend (we were there on a Thursday). I thought that was pretty cool, as we had no idea all those people were training for a triathlon!

Before long, I noticed something else: many of the bikers and runners were not from the United States. We passed a group of people talking excitedly in Italian, met a couple from Columbia, and encountered a few people from Chile. Those people we were seeing were from all around the world! That excited me further, as I have met very few people that aren’t American thus far in my life. I enjoyed figuring out what languages different people were speaking, and which flags belonged to which country. (I’m a geography nerd.)

We passed by a Mellow Mushroom restaurant as we wandered the streets, and the delicious aroma of pizza filled the air. I was tempted to go inside, even though I’d just had my lunch (lol), but I took a picture of this flower outside the building, instead.

We continued walking for a bit and stopped when we came to the Ben&Jerry’s ice cream shop. I had noticed it on prior visits, but we didn’t have the time to go then, so I’m glad we got to that time. My dad treated me and my brother to waffle cones, and Elizabeth got to try some of our ice cream, as well. The flavors I chose were strawberry and strawberry cheesecake. It was SO good!

the cow painting approves!

Shortly after we finished up at Ben&Jerry’s, a parade began on the street just outside the shop. All the people from around the world were marching south, proudly waving their countries’ flags high in the air! I took a few pictures and happily watched the whole parade. The best picture I got was of two Guatemalan representatives (I think they were missionaries) carrying Guatemala’s bandera. ❤

We didn’t have much else we were planning to do after that, so when Joshua asked my dad if he’d pay for him (Joshua, haha) to rock climb at this really cool indoor climbing place on the same block as B&J’s, he agreed. We all went inside and, after signing up and signing like ten a few wavers (that took maybe twenty minutes, it was crazy), Joshua got on his climbing shoes, went through the instruction course, and finally started climbing.

My favorite part of the whole place were the outside climbing walls.

The icy blue color makes it look like they’re made of ice!

While Joshua climbed on the higher levels and my dad watched, I sat with Elizabeth at the base of the wall pictured above. To go up to where they were, we would have had to have carried the baby stroller up another flight of stairs, lol, so I was fine to watch from a distance.

On the sidewalk below, a man got out his saxophone and began playing some awesome tunes that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. I didn’t want it to end. He didn’t seem to oppose having his picture taken, so I took one to remember him by.

Before long, Joshua came down to where Elizabeth and I were and agreed to carry the stroller up to where he was climbing so I could see. Once we were up there, I had fun watching him and taking artistic pictures (two of which I’ve shared below).

He totally looks like Spiderman in the above shot, haha!

When I pulled my gaze away from the walls that loomed above me, I was blown away by the wonderful view of the city right behind me, from that high point above the streets.

I was kind of nervous to be up so high, but the view was worth it.

And that was my afternoon in Chattanooga, Tennessee! Thank you so much for reading:) I had fun writing this! Let me know in the comments below:

Where have YOU recently explored
in your city/state?

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3 Things You Might Not Know About Me

3 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hi guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend! Today, I’m here to talk about some things that have been on my heart recently, and they all happen to be topics I never bring up in the blogging world. That’s not to say I’ve been hiding them, because there are SO many things that we experience and feel, and it would be near impossible to write about them all! So, I’m here to be a bit vulnerable with you today, and I would love to connect with others who are going through something similar to what I’m experiencing right now! I’ll be here to support you (:

If you haven’t already scrolled down to see what the three things are (I know you totally did, lol), I’ll share them with you now!

1. I am extremely introverted and suffer from social anxiety.

Online, this personality trait doesn’t in any way shine through. I love reaching out to new bloggers all the time, and I enjoy having conversations with others via comments and/or email. To all the people who know me in real life, however, I am a different person. I’m beginning to think that maybe my blogger self (or the real life me, either way) is the other’s alter ego, they are such polar opposites! I struggle to have basic conversations with new people, I consistently go out of my way to avoid interaction with others when I’m out and about (i.e. choosing self-checkout instead of the regular register), and I especially feel awkward about striking up conversation with anyone outside of my family.

This is not because I’m lacking in social skills.

I’ve been bullied.

Since I was ten years old, I have been [periodically] dealing with cyberbullying, exclusion from church groups, and just your average bullying, too. People don’t like me, guys. lol But that’s not true about everyone! The nice people that I do meet, I struggle to get along with because I’m blaming myself for other people hating me without cause. lol I live a sad life, y’all.

But there’s hope!!

I am not staying in any social situation that’s bad for me. Family, friends, church … online, real life – if it affects me negatively, I leave it.

I am learning to see the abuse I have endured for what it is; a problem of the accuser, not my own. It’s not my fault; I am simply the target of their anger and depression.

The past is behind me. I desire to slowly get more comfortable reaching out to others in real life, in the smallest of ways, and letting whatever might come at me slide right off me.

I found a few books at the library yesterday that will help me with this!! If I enjoy reading them, you will most likely see a post or two on them in the future.

Now, on to my second point.

2. I have a sensory processing disorder.

Since childhood, I was known to respond to physical and audible stimuli more intensely than most. Loud sounds were very bothersome. I hated getting hurt. I was extremely ticklish and didn’t like being touched. I also found strong smells/odors very offensive and overwhelming. On the positive side, I was able to hear conversations that were being had in the house rooms away from where I was. I had a very good ear for the tones of voices and, over the years, have developed a strong ability to accurately impersonate many different people.

The traits that I mentioned above have carried over into my life as a young adult, as well. When it comes to how I react to being touched, hearing loud noises, and smelling something strong, as well, everything feels more intense to me than others. It is very bothersome, and as I am only just beginning to understand this about myself, it is quite hard to take in. Truthfully,

The fact that ‘disorder’ is in the official term was upsetting to me.

When I think of disorders, I don’t picture something like this. I see a disorder as something different from everyone else, and I don’t want to be different; I want to fit in. I suddenly felt like I was not like everyone else … but that isn’t the case at all.

I was beginning to let this shape the view I have of myself, instead of letting it be the answer to my problems.

When I realized that, I was instantly able to overcome that anxiety! I am so thankful that the Lord led me through this, because it got off to a rather rocky start. ❤

I found a book at the library on this subject, as well. (If you couldn’t already tell, this enlightening library visit is what prompted this post, haha!) I really hope that it helps me – I’m sure I’ll get at least a little something out of it! – and if I do, I’ll share my findings with you guys.

On to my third point. This is the most apparent one, as it has shown itself in little ways during my time of blogging!

3. I am a perfectionist.

Is this one a shocker?? Probably not, haha!! The May blogging challenge is proof of this – not the challenge itself, but keeping up with my normal post schedule most of those days, too! My mom pointed that fact out to me when I was later trying to figure out why I was so stressed throughout May, LOL.

But my perfectionism is not, and I repeat, not isolated to my blogging life.

If I’m going to play a game, or make a craft, or bake a cake, etc, the finished product has to be perfect, or I absolutely despise it and get upset at myself for failing my own unattainable goals. *sighs* The cycle is endless.

Instead of learning from past mistakes, I get upset at myself for what I just did!

I know that there are many other perfectionists out there, and that there are all forms and levels of it. The one thing I do know is that mine hinders my happiness in many ways, and that there are steps I can take at overcoming it – or, at the very least, toning it down.

If you guessed that I found a few book on perfectionism at the library, then you’re absolutely right, haha! I’m very excited about this one, actually – not because it’s more exciting than the other books I found, as they all look great, but I had no idea there were books like this out there! I can’t wait to read it!

Here’s the list of the books I found, if you’re interested in checking them out yourself:

  • Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD
  • The Happy Introvert by Elizabeth Wagele
  • The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide by Ted Zeff, PhD
  • The Everything Guide to Coping with Perfectionism by Ellen Bowers, PhD

Thank you sooo much for reading today’s post! It gave me such joy to write all about this, and I would love to talk to you in the comments below. x