Thursday, September 05, 2013

the excellent adventure (part 2)

There were more things that we did in South Carolina beyond riding go-karts and playing laser tag. We went to visit with my Aunt Grace and her beautiful family - and we went kayaking and paddle boating at Paris Mountain State Park.  We swam in several pools and we played on the amazing playgrounds at Cleveland Park. The children and I even spent a full day with my mom at our all-time favorite, best ever in the history of the universe, Children's Museum.

But I don't have any pictures of those outings, nor my family, because I'd forgotten to reinstall the memory card in to my camera that I'd hauled all the way from Virginia.  And of course I didn't realize that I'd forgotten the memory card until I took no less than 20 pictures and wondered why I couldn't see them on my camera?

In a rush of brilliance, I shook my camera a few times like an Etch a Sketch and turned it upside down and checked the battery and turned it on and off, on and off, on and off, and then half an hour or so later, figured out the problem.   And then I realized I didn't have my cell phone either. And when I did have my cell phone the battery was dead and/or I was too busy enjoying the moment that I neglected to take any pictures.

But then after four days, we left Greenville and we drove to Boone, North Carolina. And we decided that if we were to pack up and move anywhere, it very well might be to the mountain town of Boone.   Our first day, we took the children for a hike at Julian Price park.  I instantly knew I'd love this place when I discovered the little scavenger hunt maps that the rangers had created for the children to keep them engaged as we set off on our 4-mile hike...


Here's the first thing we found .... a bona fide beaver stump!!


We - especially me - was in desperate need of some time spent in nature because although we were all having a wonderful time on our vacation, the children were being children, and Henry in particular was driving the five other people in our family bat you-know-what crazy and why - yes, I'm prepared to CHOKE him in the picture, below. Something about his incessant nerve crippling whines that he'd only eat bacon and only drink orange juice and the screaming he'd do whenever things didn't go exactly his way quickly got my happy Zen all out of peaceful whack.

So he and I had a "little talk" and sorted things out.  And that talk may have involved me quoting the brilliant Bill Cosby and saying something like, "I brought you in to this world and I'll take you out and it doesn't matter to me because I'll make another one that looks just like you."  I think that reminded Henry that his mother can be a whole lot crazy and he better mind his manners from that point on.


Ah, nature ... breathe it in!



Hiking through the forest ...


While carrying a big walking stick - that was the envy of all our other children because why couldn't they find a walking stick like that?


It certainly seems like we should have been able to find another walking stick like Henry's, seeing as we were in a forest of trees. But as fate would have it - Henry was the one and only walking stick winner of the day.


Thankfully, we found this steep rock face which kept everyone distracted for the better part of an hour from their intense dismay at not having the appropriate walking paraphernalia.


Charlie and I took turns scrambling up and down this rock face with the kids and it was quite tough.  We're definitely not the only ones to have ever climbed up this steep face - as evidenced by the absolute lack of plant growth that has been worn away where the children were playing - which is unlike the mossy side on the more shady and jagged face to the right.


We hiked and hiked and hiked, taking small breaks along this tranquil little creek to hunt for items on our scavenger map.  I love Elizabeth's bright purple knee socks in this picture that my mother bought for her at a thrift store the day before.  I never would have thought I'd put my children in used socks - but howdy do, they're now my favorite, too! 


And here are the children taking another break and performing one of my favorite songs. Can you guess what it is?  Here's a hint ...

YOUNG MAN, there's no need to feel down, I said, YOUNG MAN, pick yourself off the ground, I said, YOUNG MAN, 'cause you're in a new town there's no need - to - be - unhappy. YOUNG MAN, there's a place you can go, I said YOUNG MAN, when you're short on your dough you can stay there - and I'm sure you will find many - ways - to - have - a - good - time. 

Ba - ba - ba - ba - ba .... 

It's fun to stay at the .... 


I just quickly scanned through my archives and do not see that I've ever posted a picture of the children doing this before.  Really?!  I'm stunned.