Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mountain Trip to Hayesville, NC + My First Time White Water Rafting

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we are heading to the mountains in October to enjoy a little mini vacay while Jacob is on fall break.  Since we are staying at my Uncle’s mountain house, I started reminiscing about our last trip to the mountain house many years ago, and I thought that it would be fun to recap that trip.  My goal is to eventually get all of our old vacations on the blog one day anyway, so this will be the start of it.

This trip took place back in 2010 before we had any kids.  I had actually just miscarried our first baby three months prior and I was still recovering mentally from that.  This trip has always held a special place in my heart because it felt like the start of a more positive state of mind for me… of finally being able to let go of my pain and move on.  Getting out of town was just what I needed.  This trip was also special because it was our last trip before getting pregnant with our sweet rainbow baby, also known as Jacob.  He was conceived just a few short weeks after we returned home.  :o)

We left on Friday, September 3, 2010 right after work, stopped at Chick-Fil-A for dinner, and then continued to the mountain house.  We arrived a little before midnight, which didn’t seem like a big deal back then, but now that we have kids and we’re old, that sounds really late to be arriving at a destination.  Lol.

The trip was a lot of fun because we (Brian and I) went with my mom, my dad, my two brothers, Zach and Alex, and my oldest brother’s girlfriend, Cheryl, plus my Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg and my two teenage cousins, Wil and Shelby.  It was a big group, but the house is gargantuan, so it held us all very comfortably. 

Upon arrival, I snapped a few pictures of the rooms before they became lived in and messy.  This is the bedroom where B and I stayed.

This is the master bedroom where my aunt and uncle stayed.

This is the suite downstairs where my parents stayed.

The kitchen.

The living room, including a happy B and a happy momma excited to finally be there!

Since it was so late when we arrived, we got settled in, spent a few minutes chatting in the living room, and then we went to bed. 

We woke up the next morning to this gorgeous view from the back deck.

And I snapped a few more pictures of the house in the daylight.

This is the view of the front entryway from the living room.

This is the outside front of the house.  (Most of the house hangs off of the mountain so you really can’t see too much of it from the road.)

This is the living room, and there is a massive deck off of the back of it that goes down the full length of the house.

My brothers and cousins found this moose head in a closet when we were unpacking, and just prepare yourselves, because you’re going to see a lot of it throughout this post.  Haha.

First up for Saturday morning was a family hike up the mountain.  It was a gorgeous day.  The weather could not have been anymore picturesque.  There was a chill in the air, the sky was blue, and the sun was shining. 

We stopped several times on the way up to take pictures and then we hiked back down. 

The first Georgia game of the season was on at noon, so we all hung out in the living room and watched that, and then I laid out on the back deck to read and catch some sun since it had warmed up.  And just for the record, I totally started the gold trend back in 2010 with my gold bikini.  ;o)  I think that was my favorite bathing suit ever.  <3

Later in the afternoon, we opened a couple of bottles of wine and settled in on the back deck and chatted for what seemed like hours.  It was so nice and relaxing.  Then my uncle pulled out the grill and prepared hamburgers for dinner while my cousin and brother serenaded us with Christmas songs.  Too early?  #IThinkNot  (Yes, I come from a long line of Christmas lovers… see why I’m so obsessed?)

While he grilled, we all hung out on the back deck to watch the sun set and the kids all pulled out that moose head and started taking silly pictures with it.  These make me laugh so hard.

The next morning we woke up bright and early to this view:

That’s fog over the lake.  So beautiful.

We had a quick breakfast, and then we headed to Carolina Outfitters near Bryson City, NC to go white water rafting on the Nantahala River.  It was a little over an hour of a drive to get there, and we arrived bright and early for our rafting trip.  We had to sit through a quick course on how to put on our equipment and how to maneuver the boat, and then we were off.

We did one of the guided tours and it was a very peaceful rafting trip.  Most of our time on the river was very serene and the water was very calm.  The big rapid is at the end and I was so scared.  I’m definitely not very adventurous when it comes to stuff like this, but I survived!  Check out the look on my face when we were going over the rapid!  Haha.  #Terrified

After rafting, we enjoyed lunch at the restaurant there on site and then we took in the other surroundings while also watching some of the other rafters come down the river.

We were all exhausted by the time we got back to the mountain house as it was an all day excursion, so we all showered, put on PJs, and cooked dinner again.  On the menu that night was breakfast!  Eggs, grits, bacon, and homemade pancakes.  I was the official flapjack!

After dinner, we all bundled up and went out on the deck to watch the sun set.  Once the sun was completely gone, we laid in sleeping bags and blankets and looked at the stars.  You can see a million of them in the clear mountain air.  We even saw a couple of shooting stars!  We all sang songs… I don’t even remember what all we sang, but for some reason the song “Airplanes” by B.O.B. and Hayley Williams from Paramore is the only one that sticks out in my mind.  That song was very popular at the time, and I’m sure we started singing it after we saw the shooting stars since they say that in the song.  I remember wishing on one of them, and all I wished for to be blessed with a healthy pregnancy as soon as possible, and I got my wish the very next month.  :o)

<And as a side note, I kid you not, the song "Airplanes" is literally playing as I type this.  I have not heard this song in ages, and it just so happened to come on the radio as I was finishing up this post.  What a freaky coincidence.>

The next morning was Monday, Labor Day, and we got up, cleaned up the house, and drove home… but not before stopping by some local shops to buy a souvenir frame for our travel gallery wall.

It was such a simple trip… not too far from home, nothing glamorous, and yet I’ll always remember it as one of my favorite trips of all time.  And I can’t wait to head back there next month and make more memories with my own little family… rainbow baby that I had wished for on that star, and baby girl who joined us a few years later in tow.   

God is good.

*Linking up with Our Pretty Little Girls for Tuesday Talk.



  1. Sounds like you had such a wonderful trip! The house is gorgeous and I can't get over the views! That's so neat you went whitewater rafting - I would be so scared! You guys are going to have to best time with your family - can't wait to hear about it!

  2. What a wonderful trip and special time with your family. You can tell how much fun you had by all of the silly photos. :) Can't wait to hear about this year's trip.

  3. there is nothing like the NC mountains. They bring me so much joy! What a fun trip! I'm super impressed you remembered so many details from 6 years ago, and documented everything! I can't wait to hear about this years trip!

  4. This looks like the best trip! And that house, umm gorgeous!! I want to go on a mountain getaway! I know you guys will have the best time this year!

  5. Looks like a fun trip! We went white water rafting when I was in middle school, and my mom got thrown from the raft in the first rapid. She later told me she was terrified the rest of the trip, but she never showed it.

    1. I would have DIED if I had gotten thrown from the boat. That was my biggest fear! Fortunately this river was pretty tame!

  6. What a special trip for you guys! I definitely know the pain of losing a pregnancy and how it takes a while to recover from mentally. Whoa, this house looks amazing and huge! And those views are spectacular. I can see how this trip and the mountain air would totally refresh and renew you. You and your mom are twins. Do you hear that a lot?

  7. Ha, I don't know why, but this recap made me tear up. Not only was it an amazing trip (beautiful place and so much fun), but just the idea of you healing and seeing the joy from being with your family seriously warmed my heart. I think it's nice to see (especially when we all feel like we're going through tough stuff) that people heal, get through things with the support of their loved ones and find miracles on the other side of sadness. Thanks for sharing Linds...this is just what I needed today ;)

  8. I cannot get over that view. AMAZING. You have me wanting to go to the mountains! What a fabulous trip, how fun to bring your kids along this time :-)

    1. Yes, I can't wait! We're going to do a few different things this time... apple picking, gem grubbing, and wine tasting, so it should be fun! My fall heart will be so happy!

  9. Wow, what a gorgeous place and so much fun! I wish my family was more into doing BIG vacations such as this... it is usually just me and my husband and kids when we go somewhere. That moose head, what a riot! And, I can't believe I didn't love gold before it became so popular!


  10. What a beautiful home and location! Like a postcard! The moose head is hilarious. And I am SO impressed with your memory!!

  11. This place is only an hour and half from my home. We use to go to Bryson City all the time when my son was little as they have the train museum there. They also have the Polar Express there before Christmas. You might want to look into it. It's just like the movie. It's awesome. Hope you enjoy your trip this year. Can't wait to see pictures.

    1. Oh my word, thanks for letting me know, Cathy! Our son is obsessed with the Polar Express!! He would go nuts to see something like that! I will look it up!

  12. This place is only an hour and half from my home. We use to go to Bryson City all the time when my son was little as they have the train museum there. They also have the Polar Express there before Christmas. You might want to look into it. It's just like the movie. It's awesome. Hope you enjoy your trip this year. Can't wait to see pictures.

  13. #1 You seriously don't age at all and I kind of hate you for that lololol.#2 I am so excited for you to go to this place that has such a special place in your heart with your babies. It's gonna be so fun.


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