Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountain Mama

We spent the past few days up in the mountains of NC for a little min-vacation. I love that we live so close to the mountains and are able to get up there frequently. I grew up attending summer camp near Asheville, NC and it was beautiful. I'm so excited to able to expose my kids to hiking, rafting (don't worry, not yet!), and nature while they are still young. My hope is that they will grow to love the outdoors and make a lot of memories on trips like these.

We met my parents up in the Boone/Blowing Rock area and got our first dose of nature with the view from our window ... swans! We had a swam family - momma, daddy, and two babies - that entertained us in the lake below throughout our stay. Needless to say, they were very well fed and stuffed full of hotdog buns by the time we departed.

We only had a few days, but we managed to fit in trips to Linville Caverns, the Mast General Store, and Grandfather Mountain. The caverns were too dark to take pictures and I wasn't able to snap any at the general store because I was trying to prevent four hurricanes from breaking anything! But I DID get some pictures of Grandfather Mountain.

Luke wasn't too sure at first.

But he perked up when he saw the main attraction ... the mile high swinging bridge!

I thought the kiddos would be scared to walk across a SUSPENDED SWINGING BRIDGE that was ONE MILE high in elevation, but they just waltzed on there like it was nobody's business. Luke didn't even want to hold someone's hand and my heart about dropped into my stomach when he started walking on the edges of the bridge right beside the openings between the railings!

Luckily they planned for small children doing this and the openings were not that large, but I still didn't like it.

We paused to take this picture in the middle of the bridge ...

And had some great views once we reached the other side.

The best part was that it was less than 80 degrees up there! While the majority of the country was experiencing record highs and a heat wave, we were nice and cool!

After our time in Boone, we headed over to West Jefferson to have some more mountain time with the Matt's mom and her husband. We were only there a short while, but we enjoyed going on a hike, seeing hummingbirds, and playing endlessly on the porch. But the definite highlight of this visit was time spent at the river.

The mountain rivers and rapids are so beautiful and they always remind me of the summers I spent rafting and tubing down them. I can't wait until the kids are old enough to do some of those same things. For now, they were content to simply wade...

Fish for rocks ...

And take lessons on stone skipping from the pros.

Oh, and we practiced our Baywatch running form as well.

Overall, it was such a fun few days even if it was brief. Living near the mountains is one of the reasons we moved to North Carolina, so I'm glad we're taking advantage of it as much as we possibly can. And hopefully, as they get older, we'll be able to take our little river rats on even more cool new mountain adventures that they'll never forget!

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