Literally since we found out we were moving back to NC we have dreamed of taking a trip to the mountains in the fall. Then we got here, had Davis, life got a bit hectic and we didn't make it that year. The following year Mike was in Afghan and i didn't have the heart or energy to take my 3 without him. So this year (and most likely our last year here for a little while) we HAD to go.
Fall always seems to be such a busy time of the year, even though it's super fun and we weren't sure we'd be able to get away twice, so we combined our family mountain getaway with Davis' birthday trip. That did cause us to just miss the changing leaves, but the weather was perfect, the mountains were gorgeous and we couldn't have asked for anything better.
We were all excited about this trip--for slightly different reasons. Mike and I were excited to relive a bit of our childhood with our kids. This is really our first family trip, just the five and a half of us ;) and we were ready to spend some slow-paced, quality time together. The kids on the other hand were very excited about the idea of the "mountains". Granted, they look quite different, in Hawaii there were huge mountains basically everywhere, they just don't remember. So the sight of these NC mountains was like seeing them for the first time. I quickly snapped this priceless picture of their first sighting. Total Amazement there folks.
As soon as we arrived in Boone it was dinner time, so we stopped at Dan'l Booke Inn to get some yummy food. The kids really enjoyed the experience there. Holden was taken with the "mountain chicken" (i don't think we've served him chicken legs in over a year--back we he told me there were "rocks in his chicken"). This time he was more open to eating around the bone and asked for seconds!
We opted to stay in a cabin a little outside of Boone. We arrived Thursday night in the dark. I didn't realize how tucked away this cabin was, but we had A LOT of trouble finding it. We were so tucked into a mountain and surrounded by trees that none of our GPS systems would work. It was so dark that we'd drive by houses/driveways and streams and not even know it. The directions written out of us by the management company were all but useless because we couldn't see any of the landmarks. I looked back at one point at our unusually quiet kiddos to find Holden scared to death. I asked him what was wrong and he told us he didn't want to "sleep in the forest". We promised him there was a nice house waiting for us and that everything would be fine, but my skeptical little boy did not find any peace until we finally found our cabin and Daddy went in and turned on all the lights and check for wild animals to ensure our safety.
The next morning when we awoke, we realized we weren't quite so secluded. There were 2 houses in sight of our own, and plenty of others as we were driving back into town. Holden announced on that ride that he wasn't scared anymore. :)
Did i mention it was GORGEOUS?
We definitely had plans for the weekend and did some fun things, but we also just putzed around and enjoyed the scenery as well. One day we stopped in Valle Crucis for sandwiches from the amazing Ham Shoppe--now called something completely different, i just can't remember--and then intended on having a picnic closeby. Of course our littlest family member had other plans and fell hard asleep in the car, so we just pulled over near the Mass General Store, and sat on the tailgate eating yummy food and talking. Daddy even walked across the road to buy us some fresh apples from a produce stand. It really doesn't get much better than that.
We also stopped to have some ice cream at a roadside stand with a creek behind it. The kiddos enjoyed watching the little fish swimming along .
Some of my favorite memories of the weekend were from sitting on the cabin porch. It had a great swing that i could nest right into while watching my children run around and play. I could have spent forever right there. We found that it was easier for our family to just pick up food in town and then bring it back to the cabin to reheat and eat later so that we weren't wasting perfect afternoon play weather driving around and waiting in restaurant lines. It was the best decision we could have made on the entire trip.
just look at those happy faces