Thursday, November 6, 2014

Going Home

No matter where we live, the Carolinas will always be home to us.  We recently had a trip back home after being here for 4 years.  The first leg of the trip was a week with Allen’s family in Waynesville, NC.  The colors in the mountains were great and we all enjoyed being with there and getting our fix of family and Fall in the mountains.

I’m not a fan of driving in the mountains, but the views are breathtaking!


The first day we were there, we all went to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Allen’s dad had been a Ranger there and we got to explore a bit.


We got to go on this trail, which Allen’s dad helped to make.IMG_3926

I had to get a picture of the fungi growing on this log.  It was the prettiest I’ve ever seen!


Afterwards we drove through Cherokee, NC and picked up some stone ground grits.


We took a different route back to Allen’s parents house and had more amazing views on the return drive.


Over the next week we got to do all kinds of fun things, but I think that the boys’ favorite thing that they did was go gem mining.  They can’t stop talking about it!  We went to Cowee Ruby Mine. 


You basically buy a bucket of dirt based on what kind of gems you want to get.  Jackson picked Amethyst and Miller picked Emeralds.

You use their screens and just go through the bucket a cup at a time, rinsing away the dirt to {hopefully} find gems in there.


This boy found a 591 carat amethyst.IMG_3952IMG_3955IMG_3957

Miller also got some really nice stones too.


They both came out with some nice rocks gems and were over the moon excited!

The boys and Allen’s parents took several hikes.  My knee doesn’t let me go on those hikes, but I know they were fun!  One day  I met them with a picnic at this rock {Standing Rock, I think} along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Soo cool!


Even cooler is that Allen’s parents saved his hiking boots from when he was a boy and now Jackson can wear them! This picture is from the summer, but he’s rocking his dad’s boots!


Jackson was also very excited to play a little trick on his Nana.  He set up some rubber mice and rats beside her water glass while she was out for a walk one evening.  He loves a good trick!  She gave him a good reaction, so I know more shenanigans like this are in the future!


The boys also got to carve jack-o-lanterns while we were in NC.  As it turns out they were not fans of the actual work of it, but they do like to boss us around while holding knives!IMG_3990

No trip to the Carolinas is complete without at least on trip to Mast general Store!  The boys love all the things there and they may just have come up with one more thing to add to their Christmas lists!


We made many more memories that I don’t have pictures of.  They climbed tree, swung in the swings, had an acorn throwing contest, played with the dogs, got dirtier than I’ve ever seen boys get and all around had a marvelous time!  Thanks Joe and Doris for having us!

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