Monday, August 22, 2011

Good-bye Humidity….

I got back from my girls’ trip on Sunday, only to leave my suitcases waiting to be re-packed for Wednesday…

We took a quick trip with Pappy, Nie-Nie, Kels, Uncle Adam & Aunt Lauren to the mountains.

We left mid-afternoon on Wednesday and pulled into the drive of my in-laws’ friends’ vacation house around 11:00 p.m.

AB did so good on the trip, even though she only slept for about an hour!

She had plenty to keep her busy in the car…crayons, coloring books, stickers, snacks, DVDs and even some new jewels…she insisted on wearing her rings on her toes…DSCN3965

We woke up to this beautiful view on Thursday morning…DSC_2110

Our first stop was for pictures on a scenic WAY-TOO-CURVY-for-this-Florida girl road. mountian 2011 012The crew’s been taking pictures here all their lives, and over the past (nearly) 10 years, I’ve managed to be in quite a few here, too… mountian 2011 055

We made it off of the road-from-heck and our next stop was Cherokee. On our list was to see the Indian for a picture and get some fudge. mountian 2011 089Both were checked off, and we even made a stop at the new part of Harrah’s to see about Paula’s new restaurant. mountian 2011 071AB managed to get a pink feather head-dress and drum (which she kept us entertained with the rest of the trip)mountian 2011 148and even got to ride a couple quarter rides.mountian 2011 108 Because who doesn’t drive 11 hours to do something they could have done at their local Wal-Mart?

It was back in the car for another scenic drive up the Smokey Mountain Parkway. Of course there were stops for photo-ops…mountian 2011 109


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We made our way through Gatlinburg and then up to Pigeon Forge. We did a little shopping at the outlets… Kelsey and Lauren got some “back to school/back to teaching clothes”…and I got a few “I’m too big to fit in any of my other clothes”, too. :) 

We stopped in at a family favorite, The Apple Barn for dinner…the apple fritters are a fave. DSCN3967

The next day was DW’s birthday! We got subs and had a picnic by the Nantahala.mountian 2011 171 The crew had reservations for River Rafting that afternoon. AB and I sent them off and stayed back at the outdoor center, DSC_2172where we played in the river, picked up rocks, ate some snacks and did lots of walking around and picture taking…a wardrobe change was necessary after a slight rock-gathering malfunction left AB soaking wet…DSC_2155

















We’d planned to take some pictures of the crew and even tried to walk down to the falls to take an action shot of them coming down, but they made it back so fast, we missed them! DSC_2249

It was back to the house that night for DW’s birthday dinner… steaks on the grill. We’d packed some Transformers party stuff to add some birthday fun… AB wanted to get Tangled, but I was able to talk her into Transformers. DSC_2252

AB, her head-dress & party horn…

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blowing out candles with Daddy…

Saturday was our last day in the mountains, and we decided to try a place in town that DW and Lauren had read about online. The kicker… it was in a gas station.DSC_2267

DSC_2259 I was a little nervous at first, but the reviews were right and we were glad we’d tried somewhere new. The inside looked nothing like a gas station…DSC_2265

and the food was amazing…DSC_2262We drove up to Highlands and stopped at Dry Falls on the way. Just as we were making it down to the falls, it started pouring… DSC_2271

We made it to Highlands…DSC_2282

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Highlands is fun for window shopping, and it got me itching to come home and pull out my fall d├ęcor. DSC_2301

We walked around town and into a few shops…DSC_2310


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We stopped by the Dillard House on the way home to let AB see the animals. AB was going on her third day in a row of about a 30 minute nap, so that left her feeling a bit like this… DSC_2319But once she saw the baby goats, she was back to Miss Sunshine…DSC_2371


DSC_2384She was feeding the goats and I felt bad for the donkey who was feeling left out… I was scared to death he was going to bite me, but I swallowed my fear and stuck my hand out… mountian 2011 265

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That night we went to dinner and had game night back at the house. After a hilarious game of “Things,” we called it a night…

We headed back for the Sunshine State Sunday morning and pulled in our drive around 5:00 p.m.  It may be humid, but it’s home. And there’s NO PLACE like it.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fun Friday–Butterfly Farm

A few Fridays ago, Mom and I took AB down to Homosassa Butterfly farm. DSC_1992

After you pay, you’re lead to the film room, where you watch about a 20 minute video on the life cycle of a butterfly. DSC_1994We weren’t sure how long AB would last and my Mom even told the guy, we’d probably come out early. To our surprise, she sat for the whole movie.

They had such a nice little theater and we were the only ones in it for that viewing. DSC_1997

After the movie, you take a personal guided tour through the three rooms as you follow the life cycle of the butterfly up close.DSC_2010 For each stage, they have a glass case that has actual eggs, caterpillars, cocoons and then butterflies in them. The cases all open and the guide was happy to give us an up close look at all of the stages. DSC_2008














The walls were all painted so cute with big flowers and butterflies and they even had 3-D caterpillars and flowers coming out from the ceiling. DSC_1993


After the tour, we were given our own butterfly to release in the butterfly garden. DSC_2017DSC_2018


Then we got to walk around and see all the different butterflies, plants, and even enjoy the fish pond. DSC_2026




It was such a neat little trip and AB has been obsessed with butterflies since we left!