Friday, August 3, 2012

Mountain memories.

We spent this past weekend in the north Georgia mountains in a beautiful cabin on the Toccoa River with my mom, my brother, and his family. My brother and sis-in-law are leaving for a 2-3 year stint at the Air Force base in Guam in a little over a week, so this trip was sort of a last hoorah to get everyone together one last time before they are stationed overseas. My niece and nephew are in their early 20's and living on their own now busy with school, jobs, and their honeys so we rarely have everyone together at the same time! We got a chance to spend some time with everyone, and to get to know their sweet significant others a bit better, too. My sis-in-law booked an amazing cabin right on the river. It was too high and fast to play in in the mornings, but by late afternoon when the dam had been closed upstream, the water was about waist deep and perfect for fishing and rock hunting. Randy, my brother, my nephew, and I were the only ones to brave the river as it was like stepping into a cooler full of ice water. Elliot eventually got up the courage to wade in a very shallow section, and Sylvie only would ride in my lap while my brother pulled us around in a big inner tube. The water was so perfectly clear! I wish south Georgia rivers were like that instead of muddy!

The steps from our cabin down to the yard and little deck over the water.

Sylvie in her floaties for my peace of mind. At least if they tumbled off the bank into the river they'd bob along instead of getting pulled under.

"Hiking" along the bank with her walking stick.

So green! I guess the slightly lower temps in the mountains keep things from getting so baked and brown.

Steps down into the river. When the water was low, the big slab of rock and all but the last step were out of the water. Thats my big brother there in the stylish hat. :)

Sylvie bravely standing in the icy water! She and Elliot were extremely impressed with the abundance of rocks and the tiny minnows swimming around the steps.

So beautiful! If we didn't have so much family here and weren't so tied to our hometown, we'd already be living in north Georgia. Maybe we can own a little cabin one day!

The exact same tree face we have on a tree at home!

Helping Daddy work on the fly rod.

Randy didn't catch a single thing, but he looked cool trying anyway! We once went on a fly fishing excursion before the kids were born. I'd love to go again!

We took the kids into Blue Ridge to mine for gems, played a little putt-putt, and visited the general store. Sylvie looks gleeful over discovering a pink toy gun, and Elliot just looks dangerous! We steered them away from the guns and Elliot eventually picked out a wooden car carrier truck, and Sylvie chose a collection of little fuzzy horse figurines.

It was really nice vacationing with other people! We've never done that before, and having extra eyes on the kids and more people to spend time with them definitely made it easier.  Except for the last night when Sylvie was up nearly every hour, the kids went to bed super easy and slept great for naps and nights. Elliot insisted on sleeping in the top bunk of a rather precarious bunk bed, so we nested him in with a ton of pillows and kept our fingers crossed that he didn't decide to sleep walk in the middle of the night. Randy and I slept on the big bottom bunk, and Sylvie was on an air mattress in the floor. It worked out well.

We all took turns cooking supper - chili and cornbread on our night with homemade slaw and poundcake provided by my mom, my nephew's girlfriend cooked enchilada casseroles the next night, and we had chocolate cake to celebrate his 22nd birthday, and the last night was delicious steaks, baked potatoes, and grilled veggie skewers made by my brother and sis-in-law. Randy was up before everyone else and made pancakes two mornings.

Everyone except my mom and the kids (who were already asleep) cuddled up one night and watched a scary movie, The Lady in Black. I didn't get a chance, but the others played some board games one night, and Randy built a campfire the last night for s'more making.  Most of us took a tube trip down the river, and despite the tubing/kayaking company being rather incompetent, it was a lot of fun! Because Sylvie was technically too young to go tubing, and they failed to mention that when I called to ask earlier that morning, they allowed her ride with an adult on an inflatable kayak because they said it was less likely to tip when going over some of the very minor rapids. I have no clue how to paddle a kayak so Randy went with her. They didn't have a good time. She cried because she wanted to ride in my lap on the tube, and since the company required her to sit in between Randy's legs, he kept bopping her in the face with the paddle while he was rowing and trying to keep them from turning sideways and flipping over. They survived the trip, but she screamed for 2/3 of it. It was kind of ridiculous, and we definitely won't be repeat customers with the company. She road in my lap on a tube last summer with no problems in a different river with another company. Oh well, another lesson learned!

I've already been looking around online to figure out when peak apple season is this fall with the intention of taking another vacation in the mountains to visit an apple orchard. We're experienced peach pickers, but we've never picked apples before!

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