Monday, April 13, 2009


Why is it that I always feel like I need another vacation to get over my vacation? I suppose it has something to do with having three children. Or it could have to do with the fact that I cannot sit still for one minute because I always feel like I have to maximize my time - in other words cram as much as humanly possible into a day.

We left on Saturday April 4th to go to Banner Elk for vacation. I rented a beautiful cabin near Grandfather Mountain overlooking a lake. The plan was to go hiking, explore the mountains, be one with the earth kind of thing. After our hikes we were going to take it easy, enjoy the hot tub, play games and hang out with each other.

Sunday was a beautiful day so we packed out lunch and headed over to Grandfather Mountain for a hike. The skies were clear and the weather was just cool enough to make hiking really enjoyable. That was until we were a mile into the hike, halfway up the mountain and I felt like my lungs were going to explode. To make matters worse, my nine year old and six year old were running circles around me, bouncing off the rocks, and generally making me feel like I was an 80 year old woman. But I am proud to say that I made it all the way up the mountain and back down. I was never so glad to see my van though. After having a picnic lunch, we headed on to the Blue Ridge Parkway and down to Linville Falls. The kids were pretty tired by then but were game for hiking to the Falls. The trail was not as strenuous (thank goodness) but still was a good 3 mile round trip. After leaving the Falls we were all wiped out and David suggested we stop at McDonald's for an ice cream. Wouldn't you know the ice cream machine was broke?

On Monday, it was very overcast and cold. The forecast was calling for a 70% chance of snow with an accumulation of 6 inches, a huge change from Sunday's weather. We figured hiking was out so we headed into Boone to look around and hopefully find a sled. We stopped in Mast General Store and let the kids pick some candy from the thousands of kinds available. Afterwards, we were searched for a sled but had no luck finding one until I spotted a Goodwill and suggested we stop there. Lo and behold I found one for $2.50.

Monday afternoon it started sleeting and snowing and by the evening, the snow was really coming down. We had a nice evening in front of the fire watching some television and eating popcorn. When we woke on Tuesday morning, it was still snowing and several inches had already accumulated. The kids went sledding but it was so cold and windy, they didn't stay out for long. Later on that afternoon, they went back out and spent hours riding the sled and playing in the snow. Haley even built a miniature snowman. The snow finally stopped sometime Tuesday night and we ended up with somewhere around 7 inches of snow.

Haley sledding and screaming. She didn't do one without the other.

Harrison sledding down the road.

Holden standing in the snow so I could record how deep it was.

Socks, mittens and shoes drying in front of the fire.

By noon on Wednesday, most of the snow had melted. Although it was still cold and windy, we took advantage of the day and headed over to Moses H. Cone Park. After we left there, we ate some lunch and headed over to Julian Price Park to hike one of the trails there. We chose the shortest trail although it was still a three mile hike up and down some pretty steep hills. Add to that the mushy ground where the snow had melted and you can just imagine how dicey it got at times. But the trail was really pretty because it twisted around in the forest and went over several creeks. I was afraid that one of the kids was going to end up in the water but thankfully we all arrived back at the van without any mishap. Afterwards we went in to Blowing Rock to walk around downtown but unfortunately most of the stores were closed. I don't think I have ever been to a town where the stores are closed on Tuesday-Thursday.

Thursday morning, we headed back home. It was 80 degrees and sunny by the time we reached the city limits. A huge change from our mountain adventure but I think the kids had enough of the cold for awhile.