I had been telling her for years now that I was coming to visit. “Ok, honey, that would be lovely.” she’d say. And I knew she meant it. She would come down from the state of NY to visit us here and I would say, “I’m going to come up there. I am.”
“That would be so nice. We will have so much fun!” she’d tell me.
Then out of the blue I texted her and asked if the weekend of the 18th would work? October. I want to fly up and I’m bringing Emma. And of course she said YES.
Emma was more than excited for her first airplane ride and I was thrilled to experience it with her. Thankfully, we had no problems at all and the pilots on the first flight even let her see inside the cockpit.
Gram was there waiting for us when we arrived in Elmira and what a fun, relaxing weekend we had. I am so thankful that I was able to finally get up there and also take my daughter. I knew she would love it and would come back with her own memories of such a special time.
We visited with some of my cousins, my aunts, and my very favorite uncle, all of whom I hadn’t seen in about 4 years. We went for trail walks and drank coffee and Gram taught Emma to play a song on the piano. We also went by the old house on Main Street where my mom grew up. She also bought me a garden flag, because that’s her thing, buying me garden flags. And I love it. It fits my new house.
Here are some pictures from our trip.
Emma hit it off with my cousins right away and had a blast playing with them!
My favorite Uncle Rusty came by for a visit.
And all too soon it was time to come home but we didn’t leave empty-handed. We came back with many lovely memories! And a garden flag, too.
I love field trips with my kids. Especially if they involve being outside.
Yesterday we went to Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve and I can’t think why we don’t go more often! They have the coolest playground area nestled in the woods with lots of trails and a nature center with a few select animals (ex. turtles, toads, snakes, etc.) and a play area. It’s so fun for the kids and educational too!
But THIS time we took a little hike to see the rock house ruins. The last time we visited this park was back in the Spring and during that visit I learned of this excavated site back in the woods maybe about a 1.5 mile hike. I was intrigued! I knew I wanted to come back and see what THAT was all about. So I waited allll Summer long. And then yesterday we hiked the trail. I say hike but it was really just a lovely walking trail. It kind of reminded me of an indian trail in some places where it narrowed to a “beaten path” sort of appearance.
The weather was all sorts of perfect. 🙂 The leaves were still pretty but sparse enough so that we could see through the woods for quite a distance.
And finally we arrived at the ruins.
It made me think of the people who once lived here. The woman who made it a home. The children who played inside and all around.
And then there was this gigantic tree that grew and fell right here only just a few feet from the house.
I’d say it grew for a very VERY long time before it was finally brought down by natural forces.
Then we hiked back and it took us awhile because someone couldn’t keep up. 🙂
Where did October go? What a whirlwind of a month that was.
I would say overall it was a pretty good month. Beach, Aquarium, Chimney Rock Park, Dan Nicholas Park with friends/cousins, and the Asheboro Zoo (technically that was the first of November but so what) were some of the major things we did.
I planned all of that in one month on purpose.
Because I love the Fall.
And because I just wanted to enjoy it with my kids. AND the Fall is a great time to get out and do those type of things.
I want my kids to look back on their childhood with fond memories. I want them to remember the times their mom took them to the beach just “cuz”. I want them to think back about how their mom braved the heights of Chimney Rock and tried so very hard not to freak out. I want them to recall the zoo trip when the baby gorillas and their mamas were there right next to the window and how the elephants were actually up close and personal instead of waaay off in the distance like they usually are!
I’m thankful that I get to experience those things with them.
I think it’s pretty cool to be able to go to the coast and to the mountains all in one month. I heart North Carolina. Oh, and October. I love, love, love October!
I’ve been wanting to visit Chimney Rock. I’ve only been through the town once with Cory AGES ago but never actually been to the Chimney. And if you can believe it my kids have never been to the mountains either! I also wanted to see the changing foliage so off we went.
One Pumpkin Spice Latte to set the mood and breakfast for all.
One thing that I was not prepared for as I began to climb the stairs with my two oldest in front of me and the youngest in a carrier on my back was how FREAKED OUT I was to be so high with my precious children. There was a railing around the entire thing but I kept envisioning one of them losing all sense and just leaping off the top and plunging to their death. Morbid, I know. So unfortunately this was not my favorite of all the things we did or saw today. I was still glad we made the climb though!
After we ate lunch we hiked to the Hickory Nut Falls. One things is for sure, though. Hiking with a 2 year-old on your back is no joke. I think I need to be re-adjusted!
I took a whole bunch of pictures but here are just a few. After one stop to get some bottles of water, two more potty break stops, and fighting against Charlotte rush hour traffic we finally got home in time to eat some dinner and get everyone into bed. It was a full day but lots of fun and plenty of memory making!
This has been on my mind a lot lately. A Lot. Specifically about the fact that my kids will only have ONE childhood. And it goes by so, so fast.
Sometimes I look at them when they are sleeping and think, “Someday I’m going to miss this.”
I’ve started telling myself to embrace this time! Be fun!
So last week we went to the beach for the whole week.
Why? Because we homeschool and we can AND because I want my kids to have wonderful memories of their childhood. I considered it an extended field trip.
I had never been in October and I quickly realized that I’d been missing out! It is really a beautiful time of year to go. No crowds, and the weather was very mild. So while daddy was busy working and also working hard to finish up our new house, we packed our bags, school books, and beach towels and I took MY “work” to the beach. And we had FUN! Now it was definitely a lot of work. It always is when I’m by myself with them. But it was all worth it because in between all of that was a whole lot of fun!
We did some reading, watched old cartoons, paid a visit to the Maritime Museum and the Ft. Fisher Aquarium, went to the park and went on a nature walk, and played every afternoon on the beach. We even met up with some old friends who just happened to be staying nearby. I always love my talks with you Amy M.!
This week we have all been enjoying the Fall weather in all of it’s cool temps and freshness. I’m glad my kids don’t have to be cooped up inside all day. I think kids should be allowed to be kids. Which has also had me rethinking how we do education here at home but that’s another post and I’ll save it for another day. 🙂
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from last week.
Last week at this time I was at the beautiful Baird House Bed and Breakfast http://www.bairdhouse.com/ with my husband celebrating our 13th anniversary. Crazy how time flys. We had a wonderful time. No, really. It was WONDERFUL! What’s not to love about waking up to the smell of bacon cooking and freshly brewed coffee while the mountain air breezily flows through the open windows and then having it graciously served to you? A bed and breakfast is the way to go, in my opinion. This was our second stay there and it did not disappoint. We did some hiking and a little shopping, tried new foods at some great local restaurants, and had great conversation with Tom and Deede (host and hostess).
The last morning we were there we sat on a rock beside the river that runs right out in front of the b&b. Cory read a book and I just breathed. Yes, seriously. It was warm and the air was fresh and I didn’t want to waste it! Be.in.the.moment.