Last week Friday I had the privilege of meeting another blogging friend in real life, Diane Baker-Williams of A Focused Journey.
We had talked about getting together sometime during the summer since she is a school teacher summer is the only time that works well for her.
She wanted to come to Holland, which is only about a two hour drive from her house. I was more than happy to play tour guide again. Since she deals with noise and chaos in the classroom every day she wanted to go photograph places that were quiet, a more backroads experience. I haven't been out exploring back roads for a while so that sounded like a great plan to me.
Diane was due to arrive in Holland around 9 a.m. and our first destination was going to be Historic VanRaalte Farm. I decided to go out early and do some scouting before she got here since I hadn't been to the Farm for a while. I decided if I was going to go early I might as well catch the morning golden hour as well. There are some advantages to getting up at 5 a.m.
I arrived at the Farm about twenty past seven, just as the sun was starting to move upward creating lovely angled morning light. It had been quite cool overnight so there was lots of dew on the grass and the wildflowers.
As I was out there clicking away with my dslr and my iPhone and posting to Instagram, I couldn't think of one good excuse as to why I don't capture this glorious morning light more often, especially while all the gorgeous wild flowers are still in their prime.
Diane called to let me know she had arrived at our meeting place, so I scooted off to go meet her. I always find it amazing that it isn't weird at all to meet a fellow blogger for the first time, somebody you know only from reading their blog. It is more like just continuing conversations from things you have read about each other.
I brought her back to the Farm and we set off to explore; old barns, wildflower fields, boardwalk pathways, overlooks and a big open field where the sledding hill is in the winter. The whole time we were out there we only saw two other ladies, so we pretty much had the 160 acres to ourselves.
By the time we had walked all over the farm we were ready for some lunch and no trip to Holland would be complete without lunch at one of the amazing restaurants in our downtown. We chose to dine outside on this perfect summer day at The Curragh, our Irish Pub.
After lunch we were ready for more adventures. Our next stop was going to be the New Richmond Bridge, a historic multi-span pony truss bridge, which also happens to run right alongside a lovely to photograph train trestle.
We still had plenty of time left in the day. Diane likes wine, I like wine and we were so close, I decided we would stop at the Fenn Valley Winery tasting room. Wine tasting, you can never go wrong there. When we were done tasting we had the girl doing our pourings take our photo. I happened to mention that we had just met for the first time that day, she couldn't believe that, she said it seemed like we had been best friends forever.
More backroad exploring after the winery and a quick stop in Saugatuck then it was time to bring Diane back to her car and part ways. I had such a great day playing tour guide and making a new friend, we are planning another meet up in the future, probably someplace half way for both of us and new to both of us. I can't wait.