Sunday, September 20, 2015

Asheville – Labor Day Weekend

Jonathan planned an amazing trip for us for Labor Day weekend of 2015.  He rented a little cabin right outside Asheville, complete with a fenced-in yard which made having Olive with us relatively easy.  Jonathan booked a morning of whitewater rafting and a morning of ziplining, planned all of the meals, and even gave us a tour of downtown Asheville, or, more specifically, the breweries.  My only contribution was researching a nice hike off of the Blue Ridge Parkway for Monday on our way out of town.  Whitewater rafting on the French Broad River was a lot of fun, a first for the kids, although the river was quite low after a dry summer.  Jonathan and I rafted the New and Gauley Rivers up in West Virginia in our early years of dating, so it is something we both quite enjoyed “pre-kids”—perhaps one day we’ll introduce the kids to some bigger rapids.  Ella and Jack didn’t know any different, though, and loved every minute of it. 

On our second morning in Asheville we did a ziplining tour through the woods.  We rode in ATVs to the top of the mountain and then did a 10-zipline course where the ziplines got progressively longer and higher.  We were deep in the woods—each zipline literally felt like a tunnel through the treetops.  The views from the platforms were just amazing.  Not one of us hesitated jumping off the platform on the ziplines nor did we have any problems coming in to the next platform.  It was a blast, and quite exhilarating!  We got to rappel off of two high platforms, too.  I loved it all so much more than I had expected…I knew my adrenaline-junkie kids would have fun, but didn’t know it would be so fun for me, too.  And somehow I ended up being the first off of every platform to make the leap off—definitely not something this soccer mom does every day.

On Labor Day, we explored the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at mile marker 420.2 to hike the Art Loeb Trail at Black Balsam Knob.  Part of this hike is above 6,000 feet in elevation and is nearly treeless, so the views of Pisgah National Forest are pretty spectatular.  Of course, this was Olive’s favorite day of the weekend trip (although, she did like exploring the very dog-friendly streets of downtown Asheville and the dog-loving breweries).  She was awesome off the leash, exploring a bit but always circling around to stay closeby.  Thanks from all of us for planning such a fun weekend, Jonathan!

{the whitewater rafting pics were taken with a little waterproof camera, the ziplining and brewery pics were taken with an iphone, and the hiking pics were taken with my big camera.}

Friday, September 4, 2015

Instagrammin’ in August

August was a great last hurrah for summer, although we had some fun even after the kids headed back to school.
cousins! | st. augustine beach | love these smiles | big kid tossing | little kid tossing | heads up | happy birthday to jack! | light-up balloons | sparklers | and fireworks! | happy 10th, jack! | learing backgammon from the best. | tastes like chicken. #alligatortail #conchhouse | nana and poppop. | and somehow while we took the previous picture ella lost her flip flop off of the dock…thank goodness dad could lower her down to retrieve it. | olive’s a good little car rider. | and so the soccer season begins. | jumping isn’t the only way to get high at sky high. | borrowing her brother’s sneaks to do the ropes course. #bravegirl | baden! | a little blueberry love. #heartsinnature | 10 means he gets his gym wristband! | lots of tennis with my girl this summer. | watching the pros play at the winston salem open. | close to the action | last day of summer tradition | ella’s first day of middle school—off to 6th grade! | jack’s first day of 4th grade | checking out some new charlotte breweries.  #woodenrobot | finally checking out the carrigan farms quarry! | say geronimo! | i did it, too. | it’s higher than it looks!