Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mountain Getaway – Hayesville, NC Days 1 and 2

We arrived back home on Sunday from quite possibly my favorite fall trip of all time.  We spent lots of time taking in some of the most gorgeous fall leaves that I’ve ever seen, we made lots of family memories, and I checked several things of my personal bucket list.  It was seriously one of the most perfect long weekends and I could not have asked for more… well, except maybe to not still have this lingering cough ;o)

Thursday morning we got up early, packed up the car, and hit the road.  Maui was sad that we had to leave her behind, but she was in the best of hands while we were gone. 

On the way out of town, we stopped by Starbucks because how could I not get a hot treat while driving toward colder weather on vacation?!  I tried my first ever Salted Caramel Mocha, and ladies and gentlemen, I may have found my new favorite Starbucks drink.  We also grabbed a couple of cake pops for the kids, but halfway through they both informed us that they didn’t like them.  Ummmm… OK.  

The drive up was smooth and uneventful.  Thanks to a five year old with a bladder of steel, a two year old still in diapers, and a whoooole lot of Frozen, we drove the whole way through without stopping.  #Winning

We grabbed a bite to eat for lunch at Zaxby’s before heading up the steep and winding mountain roads to my aunt and uncle’s mountain house.  We quickly unloaded our suitcases and we showed the kids around the house since they had never been.  The kids found their favorite spot – the master bed! – while B found our favorite moose head that was still there from six years ago, the last time we stayed.  

Once we had settled in, we stepped out on the back deck to this view.  Absolutely breathtaking.  

By then, Olivia was long overdue for her nap, so we put her down, and then we all relaxed while she napped.  The boys did a whole lot of puzzle-building and they also played Life:

And I spent most of my time out here:

When Olivia woke, we ventured out to a vineyard and winery just a few miles down the road… the first of my three bucket lists checks for the weekend!  Crane Creek Vineyards is located high in the Blue Ridge Mountains and it was the quaintest little place!  B and I each tasted six wines – three whites, one blush, and two reds.  We both agreed that the Mountain Harvest Red was our favorite so we purchased a bottle, poured two glasses, and settled in on the back deck. 

The weather was absolute perfection and the view was just stunning.  There was a back deck under several massive old willow trees that gave way to a sprawling green lawn for the kids to run around on, and just past the lawn were rows and rows of grapes.  It was quiet and peaceful and I think I would have been perfectly happy staying forever.  We all plopped down in oversized deck chairs on the lawn, and we set the kids up with fruit pouches and fruit snacks to keep them occupied for a bit.  When they were done with their snacks, they chased each other around and they also played with the Cornhole game there on the lawn.  It was such a relaxing time, and I didn’t want to leave!  

We bought another bottle to bring home, and then it was time to head out.  By the time we left, it was dinner time, so we drove back to our little town square and had pizza at a little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint called Angelo’s.  Then we stopped by the grocery store to grab some milk, water, and ice cream sandwiches to keep at the house.  Ya know… the essentials.  Haha.

Overnight a cold front came in, and Friday morning we awoke to temps in the 30s!  After being stuck in temps in the 90s for the last six months it felt coooold.  We all bundled up in jackets, scarves, and boots, and headed out for our first outdoor adventure – gem grubbing!  

Gem grubbing is something that B used to always do with his family when he was little and he has been dying to take our kids since probably before they were even born.  He even surprised each child with their very own divided storage bin to house their gems… a red one for Jacob and a little pink one for Olivia.  I told him it was quite possibly one of the sweetest – and dorkiest – things that he has ever done.  Haha.

Olivia enjoyed the gem grubbing for the first few minutes, but after that she was pretty much over it, so she kept herself content by soaking up the sun and sitting on a little rock.  Jacob was all into it and he got really good at being able to tell the regular “ugly” rocks apart from the gems.  After about an hour, the boys had gone through all of the rocks and they had two Ziploc bags full of gems.

We took them back inside, and the lady quickly sorted them all into piles so we could see what we had come away with.  We had a lot of emerald and moonstone, some amethyst (Brian and Olivia’s birthstones) and some rubies (Jacob’s birthstone) as well as many other different kinds of gems.  We didn’t find any of my birthstones, but that was expected since mine is a diamond.  ;o)

After gem grubbing, we stopped in Helen, GA for lunch and to do a little sight-seeing.  They have their Oktoberfest going on right now, so the city was packed with tourists. We had lunch at the cutest pub right on the Chattahoochee River (where the kids spilled their drinks simultaneously – haha) and then we did a little bit of sight-seeing.  The kids each picked out souvenirs – a jet for Jacob and a stuffed penguin for Olivia, and I bought a frame to add to our travel gallery wall.  

We got back to the mountain house mid-afternoon where we put Olivia down for a late nap, and then B and Jacob and I played Life.

Once Olivia woke up, we bundled up and hiked up the mountain to scope out the rest of the neighborhood.  It was cold and the sun was shining and the trees were bursting with reds and oranges and yellows and greens in all of their fall splendor.  It was truly the quintessential fall wonderland. 

Jacob got a kick out of the size of some of the leaves… he found plenty of leaves the size of his head!  We also saw a Christmas tree just growing naturally on the side of the mountain.  Definitely not what we’re used to ‘round these parts!

After our nature walk, we loaded up in the car, and set out for dinner.  We found a cute little Mexican restaurant called Anejo Grill where we dined on margaritas, cheese dip, and all of our other Mexican favorites.  

After dinner, we tried to find a good local place to have dessert, but the only place had already closed for the evening, so we took the kids to McDonalds for McFlurries!  When you promise the kids ice cream, you have to deliver!

When we got back to the house, we gave the kids baths, and then we all snuggled up in the king size bed for a bit before calling it a night.  It was such a wonderful two days!

To think that the last time we were here six years ago, I had just had a miscarriage and was terrified that I might never have kids of my own, and now here I am enjoying fall in all of its splendor with my two perfect babies.  God is so good.

I will be back tomorrow for the second half of the recap!  

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


  1. Fall is the mountains is the best!! Seeing the leaves change and the mountains look like they are on fire from the leaves is one of my favorites. I was hoping we'd go back to Asheville for a weekend this fall, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen. Boo! Love the first part of your vacation. You guys did a lot in the first few days. Can't wait to read the rest.

  2. Cold weather is the only good weather in the mountains! I cannot stand going to the mountains when it's hot! Love the colors of the leaves!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  3. What a great weekend!! It's so beautiful in the mountains!
    My sister just moved about 20 minutes from Helen!
    Happy Tuesday!

    1. That's so cool! It's so picturesque up there. Perfect for this time of year!

  4. OH man those views are amazing. My girls would have loved looking for gems. We just wrapped up two weeks of learning about minerals and crystals in our chemistry book, that would have been perfect for them to do :). Glad y'all had such a great time.

  5. Ah! So much to say! First, I wanted to jump in your pictures and be right there with you! The area you were is absolutley stunning and I love a cute town :) The views from your aunt and uncles place are amazing! How awesome you were able to go to a winery with the kiddos! And enjoy it! LOL!! Gem grubbing looks fun and I know that is something we have to do with Brayden!!

  6. I cannot get over that breathtaking view! Looks like such an amazing weekend with your family :-)

  7. what an awesome trip so far! I would never want to leave that place either!!!! I loved the part where you guys saw the real Cmas tree... we have those trees everywhere here, so I loved how special it was to you guys. :-) Gem grubbing looks so fun, Austin would be all about that!!!

  8. Wow! What a fun and beautiful fall weekend/getaway!! I'm so happy you had a great time!

  9. So fun! The leaves & mountains are just stunning pictures. Did any of your family meet up with you guys?

  10. So, so glad you had an amazing weekend. Mason does that too with the cakepops. He likes the first bite and that is it. The mountain house has the most spectacular views. So gorgeous! I would have come back with a million pictures! What a fun trip. I adore all of the pictures you took! Fall perfection!

  11. Oh sweetie, what a great trip and oh, the memories! We went away for the weekend too. Isn't it wonderful, especially in the sweet Fall!

    1. It most definitely is! I hope you guys enjoyed your trip, too!

  12. How great! Sounds like it was a wonderful weekend away. The fall foliage is beautiful! I searched for gems as a kid too, that brings back fun memories. That cabin is so pretty. We always joke everyone in the family needs to get a house somewhere different so we have vacation homes all over lol, wishful thinking!

  13. Sounds like the perfect two days so far. I think gem grubbing is pretty cool. I have never heard of it. Love all the fall colors in your pictures. Seriously so beautiful. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!!

  14. Oh Lindsay! What a fabulous trip! The fall colors, the leaves, the wine, the game of LIFE...I just loved that game when I was a kid! I know first hand the feeling of reliving something with kids in tow, after thinking you might not ever have any. I'm being too wordy in a comment, sorry, but my first miscarriage was the day before Thanksgiving. I was heartbroken all Thanksgiving weekend. Now, every year at Thanksgiving I am moved to tears to look around and see one kid smearing mashed potatoes in her hair, while the other one tries to convince us he's only eating pie all day. It truly gives me so much to be thankful for after feeling so empty! That picture of Olivia & Jacob walking in the leaves is precious. I know you will cherish it always.

  15. I read this post this morning on my phone, but had to come back and look at the photos on the computer. So beautiful. You guys really packed it in, and this is like my dream time of year! Everything is so beautiful. Also, can I please have Olivia's white vest in my size?! She is a little doll. These are photos you will treasure!

  16. Wow Lindsay! These photos are beautiful! It looks like you had a WONDERFUL time!

  17. Looks like the perfect fall getaway! Your walk looks just lovely - all the leaves, especially that big pine tree! It's perfect!


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!