Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Part 2 {Family Trip to the N.C. Mountains}

In my last post, I mentioned that I would write up a Part 2 of our family trip to the mountains. I finally got the photos downloaded and ready to post, so I''ll be sharing that with you all today! Just a warning, this is going to be a very long post. It might possibly be one of the longest posts I've ever published!


Day 3: Hang out at the cabin in the morning, gem mining, and trout fishing.


Sweet, sweet photo
Mema reading little man's favorite book, "The Little Train." We could read this to him every day and he would never tire of it. He is in love with all things trains. :)


 Gem Mining in Cherokee, NC.

The girls had a blast "mining for gems" and got to take home a couple bags of what they found. They got to sift through a large bag of dirt to uncover their gems. Definitely a fun activity for little ones.



Lydia bug and her Aunt Kathleen sifting through the next batch. :)



This guy didn't have too much patience for all the sifting...haha. He was more than happy exploring the outdoor area of the mining place...and heading for this Coke machine which he thought would just give him the drink of his choice without paying (with just a push of a button). He was a little upset to find out he had to put money into the machine in order to get a drink, which we did not. ;)


In the afternoon, we went to a trout farm to go fishing while little man stayed back at the cabin with Mema and Aunt Kathleen. The girls really, really wanted to fish with their Poppie, so we were excited to find a trout farm somewhat nearby. I was actually surprised at how much fun we all had! We easily spent a couple of hours at the place and what was even more exciting was we got to take home and cook what we caught! 

Checking in!

Getting the rods ready for fishing.

The girls patiently waited for the rods to be ready for use.



Lydia caught the first fish within minutes!! One lady commented by saying, "That a girl! Show these boys how it's done!" Haha.
After that quick first catch, it took the rest of us anywhere from about 40 minutes to an hour to catch the rest of our supply. I'm thinking Lydia bug has a future in this fishing business. ;)




 Focusing on catching her fish and patiently waiting. Tessa did catch one too. She didn't want to leave without making her catch of the day. :)



 Eeekk....another one!! At the end of the day, we ended up catching 4 trout fish, which was more than enough to cook up for dinner.

We asked the girls if they wanted to see the fish being cleaned and cut so we could take them home to filet. They surprised us and said they wanted to see how it worked so they got right up there and watched the lady do it.


Once we got back to the cabin, my husband got ready to begin cooking the trout and little man began opening his presents for this birthday.


One of the gifts he received was from his sweet Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Mark. It was a Melissa and Doug zoo truck with animals inside. He loved it and graciously let his sisters play some with it too. 


After cooking our trout and having a nice dinner with it and some delicious sides, we sang, "Happy Birthday" to Gavin and cut into his cupcake cake.


We had a little bit of trouble using one of the lighter's that the cabin offered, but after a little bit of trial and error, my husband was able to get the candles lit! Hooray!

Birthday boy!!!


You're 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After the cupcake cake, it was time to open up Gavin's next gift. This time he got a wooden train set from Mema and Poppie. He was pretty excited about it. In fact, when he got up and came downstairs the next day in the cabin, he said, "Toot, toot!" 
We actually had to hide the train set from him the next morning because otherwise, he wouldn't want to go anywhere without it. 
Out of sight, out of mind! 


Toot, toot!

Day 4: Clingman's Dome and a nice afternoon/evening at the cabin.
Our oldest and youngest went with us to Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains on Day 4 of our trip. It was not a long hike mile-wise, but it was pretty steep, so our youngest was held most of the way. 
Although, I will say that he did a good amount of walking as well...especially on the walk back down. ;) Pretty impressive for his little leggies.

Family picture!

Stopping to pick some flowers. :)


Strike a pose! 
My does this girl love to pose for the camera. She doesn't get that from me (at least I don't think so...haha)

Such breath-taking views all around the place. 
I don't always look around at the world around me and think about God's handiwork (but I definitely should do that daily!!), but walking these trails and being in the mountains definitely was a good reminder of His handiwork.
So picturesque!

We let the kids climb up some of these larger rocks which was fun, and possibly a bit scary at times. 
These 2 were definitely feeling adventurous that day!



My girl making it to the top!


YAY!!! We finally made it! 
I love this photo!!

One of the views from the top of the dome.

 


Sweet boy stopping to pick up some rubble.

We found a Pokemon rock on our walk back down the trail. It said, "Hide or Keep" and had some information on it about Geocaching. The kids were excited to find a painted rock, ha. We actually ran into the lady and her son who put it there. We told them we would take the rock back to Hampton Roads and hide it there. ;)

My beautiful girl! We climbed these rocks at the bottom of the hike one last time.


After our hike, we had dinner and then played in the game room for a bit. This room was pretty sweet- there was a pool table, checkers game, air hockey, and Foosball table. It was definitely a hit for the kids, and the adults even got in on the action.
Poppie was showing the girls how to play pool.

Lydia enjoyed marking her pool table stick while waiting to be coached by Poppie.




Tessa and Poppie played air hockey for a bit, until Tessa realized she wasn't winning and then wanted to quit playing the game. It's safe to say she's a bit competitive. She definitely gets that from me. 
Hopefully, we can train her up to use that competitive spirit to work hard and not give up easily or get discouraged. I know that is still something I'm trying to work on, but don't always succeed at.

A couple family photos right before we left the cabin in the mountains.

See you later, Maggie Valley! 
We had a great trip and are very thankful for the memories shared.