Monday, June 30, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014 : Blue Ridge, GA : Just around the river bend - Day 4

When I last left you, I regaled with our stories of train rides following beautiful rivers and scenery for miles. I also promised to fill you in on the happenings of that evening, so here we are.

We came back to the cabin, with everyone eager to relax for the evening. We decided to eat "at home" that night and Grandpa loves to cook so he took over preparing homemade lasagne. So armed with a fishing pole, walking sticks, cameras, and an eagerness to explore some of us decided to trek down to the small river that ran just behind our cabin.

The path down to the river was a fairly steep one, as you can see from the picture below. That is the back of our cabin and standing at the water's edge. Not a hill you want to tumble down a la The Princess Bride.

Once at the river, Uncle Kurt and Aunt Kara began teaching Canon how to cast his fishing line. Not that there were any fish to catch, aside from tiny minnows, but Canon thought he was hot stuff. He also wore the GoPro camera on his head for a while.

While Canon was learning to fish, Craig was trekking the river like a true explorer. It is hard to tell from these photos, but the water was really rushing so that walking stick was necessary to be sure that he didn't get swept away.

Of course, while they played in the water, I took to photographing everything in sight. Man, what would I give for a macro lens. Just look at how cool this guy was. Can't you just imagine seeing him really up close and personal?!

The fog was incredible that day. It was hard to see very far, but it made for a very mystical view. I was in love.

After Canon caught everything the river had to offer, Craig took him to the center of the river so that he could admire the beauty of God's creation first hand get wet.

After about an hour, the dinner bell sounded so we began the arduous task of climbing the mountain back to the cabin. Ok, so it wasn't that difficult but apparently Canon thought it was.

I couldn't help but double back and get one last shot of the gorgeousness.

A glorious end to a wonderful day.

To those of you who are tired of seeing these vacation photos, rest assured they are almost done. I think we only have one day left. Maybe two. Heck, I could probably stretch it through this week. We'll see how generous I am feeling. Hopefully, that won't stop you from returning to see the rest, though.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014 : Blue Ridge, GA : Railroaded - Day 4

Let's mosey on back to day four of our mountainous vacation and take a train ride, shall we? The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a train that runs from Blue Ridge, GA to McCaysville, GA and back. The two-hour round trip follows the Toccoa River and provides some of the most beautiful scenery to enjoy. They have air conditioned, closed cars, but we prefer to take the open air cars, as it really does allow for you to take in the views better. And to get smacked in the face with branches. {I hear some people are into that.}

Once in McCaysville, we ate lunch at a little diner and then stopped in for a little mining. We were hunting for valuable stones and jewels and boy did we luck out. Would you believe that what we found is so valuable that we could use them to pay cash for a house? If so, we have some stones that we would like to trade you for a home to call our own. Signed, sealed, delivered. They're yours.

Taking the train during the middle of nap time, and then mining for precious gems really takes it out of you. Canon decided this bench was a good place to stop and have a meltdown. I didn't agree, though apparently I allowed it long enough to take a photo of his bad behavior. #momoftheyear

On the ride back, Canon suckered Aunt Kara into driving his play tractor on his head, presumably to simulate rough terrain and to show off the tractor's mad skillz. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he just wanted someone to rub his head because it felt good. The boy couldn't even keep his eyes open. To be fair, we were all pretty worn out. That train ride is remarkably soothing.

After leaving the train depot, we headed back to the cabin for a nice dinner at home. While it was being prepared we decided to explore the river in the back yard. Those pictures will come soon enough!

Don't you just love cliffhangers?!

Wordless Wednesday : New Name

I noticed a trend with myself. On 'Wordless Wednesdays' I always post a photo of a place that I would like to travel - something on my 'Wanderlist'. Therefore, I am hereby officially renaming 'Wordless Wednesday'. It shall now be, henceforth and forever be, named 'Wanderlust Wednesday'.

*cue the trumpets*

Mind-altering news such as this should only be reserved for late night hours so that you can take the evening to soak it in and get used to the idea, you know. That is why I waited until the last moments of Wednesday to post this. My tardiness had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that internet was down for a period of time today and I couldn't work on my post as I had planned. Nope, nothing like that.

Now back to our new and improved 'Wanderlust Wednesday'.

One thing that I must see before I leave this world? The northern lights. This is a view from Sweden, which would be lovely to visit as well. Add it to the list.

Yep, definitely a must-see. I better start racking up some frequent flyer miles, stat.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014 : Blue Ridge, GA : Hikers' Paradise - Day 3

Craig and I spent the third day of our vacation hiking with Kurt and Kara. Well, technically we spent most of our time driving around trying to find a specific trail. We drove for miles along winding dirt roads. We passed multiple farms and pastures, one of which housed horses that apparently thought they were dogs, rolling around in the dirt. We got so lost that we actually had to ask for directions from two older gentlemen in a buggy pulled by two horses. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Eventually, though, we did find the Benton Mackaye and Stanley Gap Trails and the real fun began.

We hiked uphill. Both ways. Barefoot. In the snow. Ok, not exactly, but it was a somewhat challenging trek, being at an incline a good portion of the way. Let's just say that about halfway through I was thanking my lucky stars that we didn't take Canon on that hike. 

The flowers and plants that lined the trail were absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't shoot them enough.

We came across a campground that boasted the perfect tree for hanging your food at a "bear-proof" level. Naturally, Kurt had to check it out from the top.

We encountered several creatures along the way like frogs, lizards, and snails.

I even spotted proof of Captain America in the forest. I know he was just reminding me that he is always watching out for me. Sweet man.

Doesn't this look like a dream?

Everyone looks so happy to be together, don't you think?

That's better.

There's my handsome man.

And here are the newlywed lovebirds.

This hike proved to be very fruitful in the foliage department and I thoroughly enjoyed my time, however long it took to get there in the beginning.

Bonus points, too, for the hike burning off all of the calories from the amazingly delicious and fattening dinner from the night before. And all of the other calories from the meals I had eaten in my life prior to that time.

Good times.

See you back here again tomorrow, but until then have a great day!