101 in 1001: #64 Visit Hocking Hills.

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills OhioI can't believe I haven't shared our trip to Hocking Hills last fall! Maybe it's because I was sick the whole time and have blocked it from my memory. Ha! Let me back up ...

I've wanted to visit Hocking Hills since I heard of the Glenlaurel, this quaint little Scottish inn in the heart of Hocking Hills. I had this bright idea to book a fall weekend visit for Nathan's 30th birthday (I know. Awesome idea, right??). That also just happened to be the weekend after my last 2013 wedding, so it was extra celebratory. I literally booked months in advance because the Glenlaurel is popular and so is Hocking Hills in the fall.

The drive in was gorgeous. The sun was drifting in and out through the colorful leaves, and we were so excited to be getting away for a couple days after a super busy wedding season. As we turned into the Glenlaurel property, we admired the Scottish links golf course on site and oohed and aahed over the beautiful carriage house that greeted us.

I would highly recommend the Glenlaurel to anyone traveling to Hocking Hills! The lodging is made up of cabins, cottages and crofts (a smaller version of a cottage and what we booked for our stay) that are equally as quaint as the carriage house and manor house. The property is really big, and we immediately took advantage of the grounds and set off on a hike just after we arrived. (Turns out that was a good idea because it was unfortunately rainy for the rest of our trip.)

For dinner our first night we booked the Glenlaurel's traditional six-course meal, which is served just after a happy hour (where Nathan partook in one of his first Scotches!), call to dinner and Scottish poetry reading. We really NEVER treat ourselves to a dinner like that, and it was so fun to experience it all.

And then … I think running myself ragged during wedding season caught up to me and I just felt terrible the rest of the weekend (it was definitely NOT the food, I might add! The food was awesome!). That, coupled with the rain, created a trip I was definitely not envisioning, but we still got some beautiful photos out of that weekend! I'd love to go back and experience the Glenlaurel all over again. When it's not raining. And when I can properly enjoy the amazing breakfasts that come with each stay. :)

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio Thank goodness Nathan brought his point-and-shoot camera. We may not have any photos at all if Nathan hadn't made a point to document the trip!

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio Here's the Carriage House.

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio And here's our croft! How cute is it?? Bagpipe music was being piped through the speakers as we walked in. It totally got us in the mood for our Scotland trip this fall (have I mentioned we're going to Scotland this fall?!).

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio The day we left it cleared up enough to visit Old Man's Cave at the state park, which is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!

Glenlaurel Hocking Hills Ohio And I will end with this Where's Waldo?-style photo of Nathan. :D

101 in 1001: #57 Go on a Girls Trip.

This past weekend my college BFFs and I traveled to Chicago to have a girls weekend in honor of our dear Susan who is getting married in one month! :D Four out of the five of us were there (Lindsey's in Scotland with a new baby girl!), and it was SO good to see them and chat about everything and nothing all weekend. Chicago Girls Weekend

Two of the most important things we realized over the course of the weekend were a) we look a lot older now than we did in college (what's up with that?!) and b) we did some pretty weird things in college. I think we've always known the latter (I won't even begin to get into our inside jokes), but every time we're together we laugh so hard we cry over the random memories: the videos we made, the experiences we had that no one else would find funny and the things we did while cramming five of us into a 3-ish bedroom apartment.

Chicago Girls Weekend

Because we missed Lindsey and we can't ever leave anyone out, we obviously made a paper-plate-on-a-stick version of her to tote around the city. I really wish I was kidding. Actually, no, I don't. Because this is just another normal day for us and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Chicago Girls Weekend

Leah, the resident Chicagoan, lined up some pretty awesome stuff for us to do: a delicious brunch, manicures, aromatherapy making (see below) and more.

Chicago Girls Weekend

On the way home to CLE, I listened to an audiobook I've been wanting to read: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. It was the perfect read (or listen!) after a weekend with my own best friends. I realized, while listening to Bertsche talk about the different stages of friendship, that I am extraordinarily lucky to have many lifelong friends that know me inside and out. And these four girls, who I met freshman year of college in good old Morris Hall, will always be lifers.

101 in 1001: #5 Run a 10K.

Well, I did it. I didn't run the whole thing (think a run/walk combo), but I'm counting this as a huge check mark! Nathan and I, plus his family, ran Cincinnati's turkey trot on Thanksgiving this year. It was fr-fr-frigid, but sunny and clear, which was the best weather we could have hoped for! I lived in Cincinnati for four years before moving to Cleveland, and it was so fun to run by some of my favorite spots and reminisce about living in that city. Cincinnati Turkey Trot

When I moved to my Cincinnati neighborhood right out of college, I tried so hard to catch the running bug. Hyde Park has got to be the runningest neighborhood EVER (seriously, you'd see tons and tons of people running all the time. Sun, snow, sleet, rain, etc.), and I felt like I should run to fit in! I enjoy being outside while getting exercise, but I only ever wanted to run a mile or so before calling it quits. I've pushed myself farther for a couple races here and there, but it's just never really been my thing. Anyone have any tips for a wannabe runner??

I had high hopes that I'd bust out this 10K no problem, but I honestly had a difficult time training in the midst of busy season and, let's be honest, the start of winter. I'm totally adding another race like this to my next 101 list (oh yeah, it's happening!). For now, I'm just happy I crossed crawled across this finish line.

101 in 1001: #11 Shoot a Charity Event for Free.

Does anyone shoot charity events for money? I'm now realizing how ridiculous that title sounds, but I take all my 101 in 1001 goals verbatim from my list sooooo ... Anyways, the important thing is that I got to photograph TWO charity events this year! I think it's really important to give back, and while I'm still searching for an organization (besides my church) to volunteer with on a regular basis (suggestions??), I'm thankful to be able to use my photography here and there when it's needed.

This first event was really, super cool. The Silver Spoon Awards Party is a food and wine-tasting event that benefits the Arthritis Foundation of Northeastern Ohio. There were SO many Cleveland-based restaurants and businesses in attendance, including my personal fav, Hodges. (I even got to take a picture of Chris Hodgson ... come ON!) Even though I don't profess to be a foodie, I love the creativity that goes into cooking. Everything at the Silver Spoon Awards was so photogenic ... AND so delicious!

Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards Cleveland Ohio Photographer Silver Spoon Awards

Then I got to photograph an event that really spoke to me: Literary Lots. I LOVE to read, and Literary Lots is all about bringing the magic of reading to vacant, urban spaces. What an amazing, creative and inspiring project! It was reading meets art. During the summer, this empty space in Ohio City was completely transformed into a literary playground. There were sandwich boats a la Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a space for tea parties, and a jungle gym of "pasta tubes." Talk about letting your imagination run wild!

Check out this video to get a better feel for the project:

Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots Cleveland Ohio Photographer Literary Lots