Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sweet water, man

A few weeks ago, we made a discovery. And it changed everything.

Well, ok that may be a little dramatic, but I think we have found our new favorite spot to visit. Sweetwater Creek State Park is a 215 acre park located just minutes from downtown Atlanta. 

The visitor's center is actually a LEED Platinum building, which because my husband is a LEED AP certified architect, I know is an extremely rare feat. Craig was a little starstruck with that little fact. By the way, having a LEED certified building means you have to hit a number of credits in sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. There are four levels of this certification, with Platinum of course being the highest. source 

For the record, I did advise against the handkerchief/doo rag, but he is ever the adventurer and could not allow anything to get in his way - including sweat.

Our little navigator is really starting to love maps...or maybe he just loves being the leader and being in charge. Yeah, it's probably that.

I am well aware of the phallic nature of this mushroom's head, however I can't help but love the color so deal.

We hiked over rocks to get this view. No, scratch that. We mountaineered our way through the rocky terrain while I held a death grip to Canon to ensure that he didn't fall into the rushing water. The view was amazing, though.

Nestled in this beautiful state park are the ruins of a textile mill that was burned during the Civil War.

And now we've come to the reason I have only so many pictures from this amazing day. We found a place in the river that we could have a picnic and cool off with a swim. This water felt so amazing and the rushing over the rocks provided a perfect spot for a nice massage. This, of course, didn't lend itself to having my camera in hand and I gladly accepted the challenge to let it go for a little while.

After a relaxing time in the water, we began to head back to the car. I got to witness a different side of the ruins. Definitely happy about that.

We so loved this park and will definitely be back to experience it many times over.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beachin' Time

**Warning : Picture-heavy post ahead! Proceed with caution.**

Over the Labor Day weekend, my parents got a beach house in Gulf Shores, AL and {almost} everyone joined. We missed my sister, who had prior obligations, but had so much fun with everyone else.

It was extremely hot, but of course we couldn't stay inside all day everyday, so hydration was of utmost importance. In the presence of a certain two year old who can't exactly drink out of a water bottle correctly, that meant performing a show of epicness the likes of which I have seldom seen.

My brother,Wread, - ever the resourceful one - scored two kayaks for free and borrowed a canoe for the weekend, so we all had to test them out. Canon took a couple of rides in the canoe. His uncle and aunt paddled with him at one point, but of course the only reason they went anywhere was due to his amazing rowing abilities. With his stick.

I can't be sure, but I think my dad won the race. See my youngest brother eating his dust waves?

We had a surprise baby shower for my sister-in-law so one afternoon was spent partying it up. We played hide-and-seek:

...balloon wars...

...and "Guess Whose Cell Phone Is Ringing?!".

We know how to party. #hardcore

Of course, being at the beach meant we had to actually spend some time in the sand and water. Don't look at me. I was happy in the air conditioning and shade.

This baby girl, though. She could not get enough of the water. You literally could not take your eyes off of her for one millisecond because she would be in the waves in an instant. She would run around you and try to fake you out just to get wet.

She cried when we had to go in for the day. I am talking alligator tears. It would have been pitiful if it wasn't so funny.

My little dude, though he loved playing the water, preferred to build and design projects in the sand. No surprise there. #likefatherlikeson

My brother, Walker, got in on the action as well and built canals for Canon's water holes. Assurance of water is a must, after all. Genius at work, people.

Our family is so lucky to be so close. The baby of our bunch, "Uncle Welles" is loved by the kiddos too. After a day of sand and water play, they curled up with him to watch tv and settle down.

Of course, it wasn't all play with us. One of the things that I insisted upon was taking family photos. Or at least partial family photos. Thanks for missing out, Weatherly. You cramped our picture-taking style.

In any case, family pictures are a serious business with this crew. Exhibits A - H.

The following picture accurately describes the personalities of the cousins in our family. Canon is the more mellowed out kid. Don't get me wrong. He can get crazy bonkers and drive us up the wall, but he is generally just a cool dude. Anderson, on the other hand, is a super-active and precocious little girl. She is the sweetest and smartest thing, but she will do what she has to do to have fun. Case in point : at this particular moment we are leaving the beach and headed back to the house. She absolutely did NOT want to leave the water, so she tried climbing out of her daddy's arms and down his back to make it back to the waves. Spoiler alert : it didn't work.

We had so much fun on this trip. Even though I definitely do not like the beach, nor do I even remotely belong there, I would go back in a heartbeat with these guys. It was a fantastic mini vacation and I can't wait to do it again soon.