Easter in Blue Ridge: Day 4

Dwarf Violet IrisWe all had a slow start this morning. After a late breakfast, we relaxed on the balcony.

We decided to drive over to the swinging bridge for a small hike and the view of the Toccoa river.  The drive to the bridge is beautiful.  We took the more eastern route, which provides views of the mountains, hills, and old farms.  The western route follows the Toccoa river more closely.  The trail is nice and easy, but the last 3 miles of gravel road requires a vehicle with high clearance and it will beat you up driving it.

Fallen Tree ChairThe flower is a Dwarf Violet Iris that was found along the trail.  We stopped at the fallen tree chair for a quick family photo.  On our hike, we saw a huge fallen tree giving Karen a chance to search for special rocks.  While heading back to our car and crossing the bridge, we spotted a Cottonmouth snake swimming across the Toccoa River.  The current didn’t even phase the snake as it swam across.

Toccoa River Swinging Bridge

Hannah Jones and Katie Beth Allen on Toccoa RiverAfterwards, we headed over to Hope’s cabin to visit before dinner.  Charlie and Katie Beth put on swimsuits so they could play in the Toccoa River on the rocks.  Charlie tried to get Katie Beth to jump into the water off of the rocks, but she wouldn’t have it.  Charlie JonesEventually, Katie Beth felt comfortable and waded into the water. At one point, poor Charlie slipped and hit his face on a rock.  He said it hurt pretty good and it left a good mark.

Hope mashing rutabagasIt was time to head back for Hope’s Easter dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt at Hope’s cabin.  Dinner was about ready, but needed more time.  Karen, Hope, and I headed out to hide the Easter Eggs.  The children enjoyed searching for the eggs, but Hannah may be getting too old to see the fun.

After the hunt and very enjoyable dinner, we sat around their fire pit and roasted marshmallows and popped corn.

You can see more of today’s photos here. Remember, the username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”.

Rice Crispy Treats

Katie Beth Making Rice Crispy TreatsToday, Katie Beth got to make Rice Crispy Treats for the first time.  We only provided extra hands if she wanted them.

She had a great time sampling along the way to completion.

You can see the mess and craziness here. The username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”.

Great Thanksgiving

img_5121We had a great Thanksgiving dinner even if I did leave all of the recipes back home on the kitchen counter.  My mistake caused a bit of stress as I searched the Internet for the recipes while shopping for the remaining ingredients.  You can see Karen and Katie Beth with one of the cooked ducks. All of our dishes turned out great except the delicata squash recipe, which needed some adjustments to make it work.

Thanksgiving Day FunWe built the Lego Winter Holiday Train while watching classic Charlie Brown cartoons after we had our Thanksgiving meal.  We got the power components for the train, which made it neat to drive the train around the tracks.

You can see all of our Blue Ridge Thanksgiving photos here. Remember, the username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”.

Fall Break Trip to Orange Beach

Playing in the Water at Orange Beach AlabamaWe had a wonderful trip to Orange Beach during Katie Beth’s Fall Break.  We met some nice families with child that Katie Beth truly enjoyed playing with for the whole trip.

We rented kayaks from Paddled by You and we paddled out to Gilchrist and Bird Islands.  Katie Beth enjoyed discovering all of the creatures on the island.  After the islands, we paddled over to Tacky Jacks for lunch, which was much appreciated.  Paddled by You was nice and you get a free chocolate bar after your rental, but they require cash.

We had great meals of Royal Red shrimp and lobster picked up at the local grocery stores.  By the end of the week, we were sharing meals with the families that we met on the trip.  These meals were so much fun with all of the adult time and the children playing.

You can see more of the photos here.  Remember, the username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”

Grilling at The Nook

Grilling Chicken WingsWe joined my parents at The Nook for grilled chicken wings.  Karen decided it was fun to do the grilling while I kept her plied with beer samples.

IMG_0834Later, my parents had to run to pick up my sister, Hope, and her children.  They all came back to join us.

Lunch with Dad

Katie Beth and I are spending the whole day together so we decided to have lunch at Mellow Mushroom.  She drew Mel saying “You’re so Mellow.”

Making the Faculty Christmas Gift

Karen and Katie Beth Mixing IngredientsKatie Beth and Karen made Christmas gifts for all of the faculty and staff at Holy Family Regional School.  They made hot cocoa mix reindeers.  The reindeer faces are made with cocoa powder blended with powder sugar and dried milk.  The tops of the faces are made of mini-marshmellows and mini-kisses.

Our Budding Chef

Katie Beth helped with dinner tonight.  She wanted to chop up the ginger.  She apparently has been watching dad’s technique for sometime now.