Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Travels

Let's see if I can still pull one of these blog posts together... forgive me if this one is boring, full of grammatical errors, or lacking bloggish wit... I'm out of practice.

It has been a busy and exciting summer for us so far... living in our new home (we'll leave that for another post)... and having sluggish internet out here in the boonies of Walk In Water lake. Hence the lack of blog posting, though I have several posts on a to-do list as soon as I have both speedy wifi and time at my disposal. I'm thinking of making a weekly date with my mac in town so I can continue to enjoy my family blog. We'll see.

Mom and I are just home from a spontaneous, but worthwhile trip to the mountains of North Carolina. I'm proud of both of us for overcoming so many obstacles that we could have easily allowed to forbid our trip. It was spectacular and I can't wait to go back! Even though there are tons of other fun summer pics, the ones from this trip made the cut for tonight!

We rented a car and drove, along with Grace Louise and Triston, to Madison, Georgia on Monday. We enjoyed the antebellum homes and hilly drive along 441. After staying at a shotty hotel Monday night (all part of making memories, right?!), we conquered the last leg of the trip on Tuesday (minus a few wrong turns) and arrived in Highlands at noon. We stayed with family friends at their mountain home- The Cherry House, a lovely and comfortable cottage decorated with Mebbie's antique charm. We could not have had more hospitable hosts, and we are grateful for the time they spent with us!

I was eager to help Mebbie design one of her famous vintage jeweled picture frames. After watching her work the first couple of days, I starting picking through her treasures and designed my very own silver and turquoise frame. I wish I had a picture of the finished product! Here it is in progress. By far the most fun I have ever had crafting!

"Hi Mountains!" Grace Louise loved talking about the mountains and was quick to point them out as she saw them. This was our first stop at the Tallulah Gorge overlook.

Our first hike in Highlands was Sunset Rock. A perfect place to hike in the evenings to watch the sunset. I'll be doing that on the next trip! Triston pushed Grace Louise in the Bob stroller on most of our hikes, although Grace Louise actually walked a few! We took some pictures of the Bob in action, hoping to make the all-terrain page of their website ;-) We really put this off-road stroller to the test on this trip!

I think this was my favorite overlook. A secret path off of one of the hikes. Perfect for a date.

Dry Falls. One of the many waterfalls we visited while in North Carolina. Is it possible to get sick of waterfalls? I can't seem to get enough. As a flat lander, I am in awe of the mountain rivers and streams. I imagine that must be how visitors feel about our beautiful beaches!

Of course, Grace Louise wanted to swim... no matter how cold the water! This was a great little swimming hole we visited off the side of a road. Mom and I played "pass the baby" to get Grace Louise from one granite boulder to another... until alas, a place for her to safely splash in the cold mountain water!
How cool is this God-made water slide?! Sliding rock is a must for anyone visiting the area. Hidden down a trail off of a mountain road, this stream and waterfall/slide offer both fun and spectacular postcard-like views of the forest and stream ecosystems. I tried to take as many mental pictures as physical ones, as this was a loveliness I didn't want to forget. God is amazing, and His creation shouts His praises!

Our last evening hike of the trip. The Botanical Gardens in Highlands.
We ended up ditching the Botanical Garden trails at the end and jumping on this intermediate trail, which we had to walk... all of us, including Grace Louise! This was the most challenging and dangerous hike, but offered the best nature experience, including the peaceful sound of a babbling brook. So nice!

Thanking God for this opportunity to travel and explore, for keeping us safe, and for building relationships and fond memories.