June 11, 2013
Wishing my big boy the happiest of birthdays today. I can't believe he is 4 years old! Today is a day I will always reflect on the beauty and joy this child has brought into my life. I am forever grateful he is mine. As I take time to remember his dramatic, scary birth I express endless gratitude for modern medicine, amazing doctors, and the "she-woman" strength I was blessed with when it was time to push him out. What an amazing gift Oliver is!
June 8, 2013
When we traveled from the Great Smoky Mountains to Asheville we took the longer, beautiful route along the Blue Ridge Parkway; the most southern portion. Then we continued along the Blue Ridge Parkway when we left Asheville and drove north. We intended to take it all the way to the northern most point, but encountered days of fog and rain. Not the best conditions for driving on small, tight, winding, scenic parkways.
The few days we drove along the parkway were extremely beautiful. We were surprised that spring was only beginning in the mountain tops. Even though the trees were bare the bright, luscious spring green was stunning. We were at the Blue Ridge Parkway a little before the official season started, so most of the visitor centers were still closed.
|Difficult children. :)|
The next several photos were when we hiked to Second Falls near Graveyard Fields. It was a perfect hike for our kids and I thought it was one of the most beautiful short hikes I've been on.
Other beautiful stops along the Parkway...
|I had to document our usual lunch. I made tons of pb&j sandwiches while Brian drove over the course of our travels.|
The below photos are of our campsite at a state park in North Carolina. It ended up being our last night camping (not what we had planned) and we hurried home the next day. I will explain more about that decision in my next post.
Asheville is a pretty little city tucked away right into the mountains. We didn't do anything great and memorable while there, but spent more time just taking it easy, doing laundry, and playing. The Biltmore was a place that almost everyone recommended. But it would have cost us about $200 as a family, so we decided to wait until another time when the kids might consider a tour of a huge mansion interesting instead of "boring" (Isabella's favorite word lately.).
The only photos I have of Asheville are from the day we went to Western North Carolina Nature Center (say that 5 times fast!). It was a great little center that felt more like a small zoo.
|Watching the otters play and eat.|
|Drawing and writing observations of the otters. Homeschooling at it's finest.|
|Watching the mountain lion pace.|
|Counting how old the tree was.|
I think it was well over 10 years ago that I first saw photos and read an article about The Great Smoky Mountains. Ever since then The Great Smokies have been on my "must go/see/experience" list. We loved our visit there. The beauty of it all was breathtaking and indescribable. The history of some of the Appalachian people was captivating. Now that I've been to The Great Smoky Mountains I
Ready for an overload of beautiful (and fun) photos?!
|We saw many deer up close. We even, kinda, saw a black bear way far away, once.|
|A little hiking.|
|It rained a good amount while we were there, which was a bit of a bummer. But that meant there were waterfalls everywhere...not such a bummer.|
|A process in photographing my children.|
|Cable Mill in Cades Cove. I loved learning about the people who lived here and worked hard to survive in the mountain tops.|
|It wasn't quite spring in the mountain tops.|
|It was pretty wild watching the clouds blow around us. You can see why these mountains are called The Great Smokies.|
|Learning about the animals that are native to The Great Smokies.|
|We loved the Junior Ranger programs at the National Parks. Definitely a highlight.|
|Our hotel room in Gatlinburg, TN...we loved the fireplace, of course.|
|We had to pack up the car in the pouring rain. Luckily we didn't have to go far.|
|I love my husband and his awesome adventurous spirit!|