Wednesday, October 20, 2021

2021 Mountain Trip - Days 3, 4, & 5

If you missed the first part of the recap, you can see it here, and now we’re wrapping up the mountain trip recap today!

Friday, October 8

When we left off in the last part of the recap, Olivia had started running a fever and my parents were trying to decide whether or not to join us as scheduled.  Olivia woke us up early Friday morning, so we took her temperature and we were super disappointed to see that her fever was still hanging in there.  It was nowhere near as high as it had been Thursday, but she still had a low-grade fever of 100.2.  We waited about another hour, took her temp again, and it had gone down to 99.8.  I called my parents to let them know, and they ultimately decided not to make the drive to join us.  My Momma still works in an office with other people, and she didn’t want to risk catching anything and bringing germs into the office, even if it wasn’t Covid.

While we were all super disappointed, I completely understood.  I’m sure I would have made the same decision even if it was the un-fun one to have to make.  When I broke the news to Olivia she started sobbing, and it just broke my heart.  She kept on saying, “I’ve been waiting for this trip for so long and the best part was that Pop and Cokie were going to come.”  I couldn’t have agreed with her more.  We’ve tried to arrange for my parents to come with us to the mountains for several years now, but it just hasn’t ever worked out.  One year, they went to be at my niece’s birth (obviously way more important – haha), then my niece’s first birthday, then Covid last year, and then Olivia’s fever this year.  We thought this year was finally going to be the year, but then the fever struck.  Sigh.

I spent some time consoling Olivia after the phone call, and then once she was feeling a little better, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  After breakfast, Olivia asked if she and Jacob could do their haunted gingerbread houses that we’d bought at Trader Joe’s and we thought that would be a great idea to cheer her up. 

B and I helped the kids get the houses put together, and then while they settled and dried, the kids played pool and B and I lounged around in the living room discussing plans for the day.  We knew we needed to get out and find something fun to do to cheer up Olivia, but we didn’t want to take Olivia out anywhere where there were a bunch of people in case she had germs.

Once the houses were dry and stable, the kids spent some time decorating them, and then when they were done, we all got ready for the day.

Once everyone was ready, we ate sandwiches and fruit at the house again, and then we hit the road for our favorite winery.  Just as we got right down the road, Olivia discovered she didn’t have her Leap Pad, so B made the trek up the horrible driveway to go back to the house to get it, and he ended up locking us out of the house accidentally.  Lol. 

The main lock (the deadbolt) is controlled by a keypad, but there’s also a bottom lock that’s controlled independently.  Well, out of habit, B locked the bottom lock from the inside just like he does at our house every time we leave, and since the keypad didn’t control the bottom lock, he realized immediately that we were locked out.

He contacted the owner and the owner responded right away telling us that there was a spare key in a lockbox.  B was able to get back in the house right away and everything was resolved quickly.  Whew.  Gave us a little scare, though.

Back on the road!  On the way out of our neighborhood we saw some more deer.  We stopped at one point so I could take a picture of them, and we were treated to a picture-perfect setting of a momma deer with her baby.  They both looked up, completely unafraid, and looked straight at me as I snapped the pictures.  It looked like they were posing for me!

There are many wineries in North Georgia, but our favorite one ever is Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris.  Their wine is delicious, the property is so picturesque, and they’re family friendly… we’ve been taking the kids since Olivia was just three years old. 

We discovered it way back when we used to stay at my aunt and uncle’s mountain house because it was only about 15 minutes from their house.  Once they sold their house, we started staying in a different location, and the winery is over an hour away from our new location.  Totally worth the drive, though, y’all!

The drive was easy, and the weather had miraculously cleared for what looked to be the whole day.  Originally, the forecast was calling for rain the whole day, so we were very grateful for the change.

We arrived at the winery mid-afternoon and headed into the old tasting room.  The winery expanded since the last time we were there, and they had a new tasting room on the other side of the property, but we just wanted to hang in our old space, so we grabbed a bottle of our favorite wine and two glasses, and we also let the kids pick out a treat.  Both of them opted for candy corn gummies and B and I opted for the pickle flavored popcorn.  Oh my word, y’all – SO GOOD.

We carried all of our stuff outside and were pleased to see that there were only a few other groups of people out there so there was plenty of space to spread out.  We picked a spot on the deck underneath the willow tree that overlooks the vineyard and got settled. 

The next hour was spent sipping on wine and munching on popcorn while the kids ate some snacks, along with their newly purchased treats.  

B and I ended up polishing off the entire bottle of wine, and then afterward, we walked to the new tasting room to scope it out.  We walked along the pond on the way up, and some little fishies followed us the whole way as if they were waiting for us to drop a few morsels to them in the pond. 

There were lots of people at the new tasting room, and the vibe was fun and a bit more boisterous than the peaceful vibe at the other end, so we were glad we had ultimately chosen the old tasting room. 

On the way back down to the old tasting room, we stopped and snapped a few pictures, and the kids did the best job of taking a few of B and me!  It’s so nice to have kids old enough to take some of the pictures now!

We had promised the kids they could play bocci ball on the way out, so they played a few rounds of that next and then we hit the road.  We had another easy drive, and by the time we arrived back in Ellijay, it was nearing dinnertime. 

B ran into Walmart to grab another bottle of kids’ Tylenol in case Olivia’s fever spiked again, and then we swung by Charlie’s Italian Restaurant to pick up takeout so we could try some local fare for dinner.  Friday night would have been our first dinner with my parents and my Momma had already made homemade spaghetti that she was going to bring, so we were all in the mood for Italian.  :o)  The lasagna that B and I had was yummy, but it was no Mom’s Spaghetti.  ;o)

After dinner, B built a fire in the fire pit, and we all roasted marshmallows and made s’mores, and then at dark, we all came inside, got in our PJ’s, and watched Hocus Pocus.  Friday was definitely a much better day than Thursday.  :o)

Saturday, October 9

By Saturday morning, Olivia’s fever still hadn’t come back, and she also wasn’t showing any other symptoms, so we chalked it up to one of those random unexplained fevers that kids sometimes get. 

Saturday was going to be our day to go apple picking, but the two places we usually go had announced earlier in the week that You-Pick was over as they’d had a late frost in the spring that ruined some of their crop, and therefore, they didn’t have as many apples available.  Saturday morning, both places were saying that they were going to be open for You-Pick, but they also basically said GOOD LUCK FINDING ANY, so we opted not to go.  This was the first year we didn’t go apple picking in the mountains, and while that was a bummer, it just seemed silly to pay a bunch of money to hunt for apples that may or may not exist.  Haha.

Instead, we slept in, had breakfast at the house, and then we decided to go hike in a park that we’d never been to – Fort Mountain State Park.  The park was a bit of a drive – about 45 minutes, I think? – so we all got dressed and piled in the car to set off on another adventure.  The drive there made me nervous because we climbed a mountain the entire time to get there and the drop-offs next to the car were straight down with no guardrails.  But we made it, safe and sound, and the weather was perfection. 

The trail continued up the mountain that we’d just driven up, and it was a pretty easy hike.  The trail was 1.5 miles long (a loop), and the journey up had some steps made of rocks here and there.  On the way up, we stopped by the 885-foot-long rock wall that is said to be built by local Native Americans around 500 AD, and then we stopped by the stone tower that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

When we reached the very top, we were treated to breathtaking views of the state of Georgia below.  A nice stranger offered to take pictures of us, and she ended up snapping multiple pictures from every angle, so we got a bunch of them!

While we were up there, another family came along with three tiny kids, and all three of the kids were running around and leaning over the edge and climbing up on the wooden slats to look down.  I swear, there were a couple of times I thought they were going overboard.  Their parents were so enthralled by the view that they weren’t keeping a close eye on the kids, and one of the times their kid was hanging so far out over the drop-off that it even scared Brian.  He was just about to speak up when one of the parents addressed the situation, and I was just thankful that they all left after that because I couldn’t enjoy being up there while they were there.  Haha.

After taking in the view, we hiked back down, and then made it back to the car.  

We stopped by the Trading Post on the way out and the kids each picked out a souvenir from the trip.  We headed back to the house after that (stopping and taking more pictures of deer on the way), and on the way, we swung by Dairy Queen to pick up Blizzards.  We put those in the freezer and had lunch when we got back, and then we all enjoyed our Blizzards as a little after-lunch treat. 

The Georgia vs. Auburn game started at 3:30, so we spent the rest of the day at the house.  B and I watched the game while the kids played video games and sorted their gemstones.  We got these pictures from my mother-in-law of Maui dressed up in her Georgia best.  ;o)

We also spotted my uncle, aunt, cousin's girlfriend, and cousin on TV since they were sitting in the front row in one of the endzones!

At halftime, I did some tidying and packing since we were leaving the next morning, and then towards the end of the game, we threw a pizza and some garlic bread in the oven.  We all picnicked in the living room for dinner while we watched the end of the game, and then afterward, we made celebratory s’mores outside over the fire pit.  Georgia ended up whooping Auburn at their own field to put us at 6-0 for the season!

The kids got showered and ready for bed after that, and then B and I watched the Bama vs. Texas A&M game for the rest of the night.  Texas A&M managed to beat Bama and the entire world of college football was shocked.  That meant that we (Georgia) were able to move into the first place spot since Alabama got knocked out!  Woooo hoooo!  (And yes, I know being number one in the middle of the season doesn’t really mean anything, but I have to say, it still feels good!)  It was super late by the time the game was over, so B and I went to bed.

Sunday, October 10

Sunday morning, we were up and out the door by 10 to make the drive home.  The drive was smooth and easy again, and we stopped by Chipotle to grab takeout lunch on the way home.  The rest of the day was spent unpacking, doing laundry, prepping for school and work on Monday, sorting through pictures, and doing all the things to catch up after being gone.

Since Olivia’s fever had been gone and she had exhibited zero symptoms of illness since Friday morning, my parents and Mama Cass came over for Sunday dinner.  Momma brought the spaghetti that we were supposed to have had Friday night in the mountains, and we all enjoyed an evening together on the back porch.  It wasn’t a mountain trip, but at least we got to see them!

And that was our trip!  Not my favorite one for sure, but Friday and Saturday definitely improved after so much had gone wrong in the beginning.  And as for that awful driveway – WE WON’T MISS YOU!!!!

Also, this picture doesn't do it justice whatsoever.  Just trust me.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

*Linking up with Slices of Life for Encouraging Hearts and Home.


  1. Bless your hearts and mine just broke when I read how upset Olivia was that your parents were coming but I completely understand as well. I love the winery and the park pictures and I’m glad the weekend at least got a little bit better for you guys so you could enjoy it!

  2. Ugh I am so sorry about your parent not being able to come and even more sorry that Olivia was so upset! Looks like a fabulous trip anyway, especially apple picking!! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  3. Love the views you saw. I'm sorry your parents couldn't come but you made the most of it!

  4. So much FUN! Ben and I need to visit that winery!

  5. It is so odd how cameras always flatten the steep terrain to look like no big deal. Those hiking views are amazing!! So sorry your parents couldn't make the trip but so glad Olivia was feeling better so soon.

    1. Thank you! And yes, you really just can't capture the essence on camera!

  6. That sucks that Olivia’s fever didn’t break sooner and your parents couldn’t come. The winery looked great. And now I need to try dill pickle popcorn. Sounds great.

  7. So glad the trip turned around! The winery is just gorgeous - I can see why it is one of your favorites!


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