Monday, October 15, 2012

Mountain City, TN

I don't think I ever thought I would go to Mountain City, Tennessee on vacation, but I did. We just got back from a great trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We stayed in a cabin owned by a friend of my aunts and it was perfect. We loved it. The view from the cabin was great! Based on the cabin and the view, you would think you were somewhere much more exotic than Tennessee.

We left on Monday, late afternoon, when Mark got off from work, so we stopped for the night in Asheville, NC. We did a few things in Asheville on Tuesday before continuing on our trip. Asheville is a cute town, we really liked it!

One of our stops in Asheville was Double D's Coffee and Desserts. I have to say, the coffee wasn't anything to write home about, but the experience was worth it. Jonah thought it was soooo cool that we were eating in the bus.

Annabelle was excited to be in the bus :)

Jonah loving on his sister. <3 p="p">
On our way to the cabin, we stopped for dinner in Mountain City at a pizza place.... The pizza was mediocre. The main event at dinner was jonah losing his dinner at the table. At this point, day 1 of vacation, I thought we were in for at least a day or two of illness, but luckily, Jonah only threw up one more time and then he was over whatever bug he caught. Fortunately, no one else ever got sick. We made it to the cabin in time to watch the sunset -- the picture above is the view from the cabin at sunset and the picutre below is the early morning/sunrise view. It was gorgeous.


On Wednesday, we went to Linville Caverns. Jonah was pretty excited about seeing the inside of a mountain. The tour of the caverns was quite interesting. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Here I am drinking 'cave water'. Apparently the water that runs through the caverns is purified by the limestone inside, so it is safe to drink... at least that is what the tour guide told us and for some reason, I trusted her. Tasted ok to me :)

The fam inside Linville Caverns

After the caverns we went to a little town called Blowing Rock. It was a very cute little town. We walked around and went in several of the shops. The time in Blowing Rock ended with playing in the park where we found this scarecrow and took a couple pictures of the kiddos.

After Blowing Rock, we went to a gem mine. Jonah was apprehensive at first - didn't want to get his hands dirty or wet... I know, what is wrong with him?? Anyways, he finally decided he wanted to do this and had a lot of fun doing it. He found several pretty rocks, the most notable was a fairly large amethyst gem. He is going to take it for 'show and tell' at school tomorrow. He's excited to tell his friends and teachers about his mountain vacation.


On Thursday, our first stop was Grandfather Mountain. It has a mile high suspension bridge. I was not too thrilled to walk over it, but I did it. Jonah thought it was pretty cool to be up so high. He and Mark 'explored' all around the top of the mountain (very carefully - at my request). Annabelle rode around on my back and was content most of the time. I have realized that because Annabelle is not a city baby, like Jonah was, she certainly isn't used to riding around in the carrier. Jonah was always content in the carrier, but he was used to it. I must admit I miss having the need to use the carrier. I enjoyed that part of city life -- always having the baby close and snuggly during transit.

On Friday we went to an Amusement Park called 'Tweensy Railroad'. It was perfect for Jonah. Of course, as most of you know, Jonah loves trains. There were many train themed rides and activities, so he was fully in his element.
 Tweensy had a little petting zoo where you could feed the animals. Jonah was really into this, he has been apprehensive with petting zoos before, so it was fun to see him really enjoying it. He got very tickled by the deer who were continually 'fighting' over the food. Annabelle seems to love animals. Anytime she sees an animal she starts shrieking and kicking her legs... its really quite cute. She was constantly reaching for the goats and wanted to be a part of the action.

Mark put some of the food up on Jonah's head and the llama ate right off the top of his head. It was quite amusing and Jonah thought it was great.

This is one of the rides Jonah finally decided to ride. We tried to convince him he would like it (although, I honestly wasn't sure he was). Well, once he got on it, he loved it and yelled to me the entire ride 'I told you it'd be fun mommy!' He would not let me correct him and tell him that I was the one who told him that he'd enjoy it. We rode it more than once :)


Here we are on the actual train. It was a short ride on a steam engine that included a cowboy and indian show. It was enjoyable but a bit hokey and possibly scary for younger kids. Jonah just enjoyed being on the train.

Here is another ride that we finally convinced Jonah to ride. He wasn't sure about riding something by himself, but once he finally got on, he liked it and I think he was pretty proud of himself for getting on it.
Me and Annabelle on another little train ride.

Another fall photo op :)
On Saturday morning, we packed our stuff up in the cabin and headed out. We had a hotel again in Asheville to break the drive up. We had a couple of planned stops along the way. The first stop was a hike at Linville Falls. This was probably my favorite part of the trip. It was about a 3 ish mile hike (round trip). Jonah walked some and rode in the pack some. Annabelle did better in the carrier on this hike as long as we kept moving.
                             You can't see it, but Linville Falls is in the picture behind us. :-)


Linville Falls

During the hike we found this tree stump and sat the kids on it to take a picture. I told Jonah to hold onto annabelle like he loved her and this is what he did. That boy loves his sister. Its so cute!

Here's one of the whole fam. Although the kids aren't looking at the camera, I think its pretty cute that they are looking at each other and smiling. <3 p="p">

After Linville Falls we drove to Mt. Mitchell state park in hopes of driving to the top of this mountain around sunset. Mt. Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi river. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get to the top of the mountain. There was a pretty bad accident that involved a SUV and a motorcycle with 2 people on it. The accident was blocking the road so that no one could come down or go up the mountain. The people involved in the accident were injured severely enough to necessitate a life flight to the hospital. We watched 2 helicopters land, load the injured people and then take off. We hope and pray that those injured are going to have a full recovery after this accident.

Here are a couple of shots of the sunset from close to the top of Mt. Mitchell

Another stop at a waterfall, 'Looking Glass Falls', that was close to the side a road, we didn't really have to hike to get to this one.

This was on the way home on Sunday. We wore Jonah out! :)


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