Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shopping in Downtown Hendersonville

On the second full day of our trip to North Carolina, we ventured out to Downtown Hendersonville. There are at least two things that have to happen when you go to Hendersonville: (1) Eat at Mike's on Main Street and (2) Buy a bag full of old-fashioned candy that weighs at least one pound from The Mast General Store. Thankfully both of those things happened and more!

We started things off on the right foot by enjoying lunch at Mike's on Main. Unfortunately, since everybody else knows how scrumptious Mike's is, we had to sit outside. But thankfully it was only a high in the mid 80s, which is basically a wintertime temp in Augusta.

After lunch my Aunt Catherine , Caroline and Jacob had to hit the road, so we grabbed a few more family photos before they left.

The rest of us then walked around downtown, stopping in antique stores, the Mast General Store, and my favorite, The Silver Fox Gallery. I was specifically on the hunt for some antique books, and I ended up finding these perfect treasures at Jane Asher's Antiques:

They are now on a shelf in our guest bedroom, and I have some fun things planned for that shadow box as well.

I also got this doily, which I plan to drape over some other old books in the guest bedroom. It gives them that much-needed finishing touch of whimsy. I love it!

P.S. This is the bear right outside Jane Asher Antiques. You can find these bears all over downtown Hendersonville, each one decorated in a unique way. It always reminds me of the bulldog statues in Athens!

P.P.S. As you can see, I had quite the photo shoot helper. I couldn't have done it without him! ;)

Hope y'all enjoy the rest of your Thursday. The weekend is almost here, yay!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Triple Falls Hike

I'm finally back to tell y'all about our trip to the North Carolina mountains! It was wonderful to say the least, and what made it even better was that more of my family came than I originally expected. Here is our whole group during our first activity of the weekend, hiking up to Triple Falls:

{From L-R: My Aunt Catherine, cousin Jacob, Mom, Aunt Carol, Uncle Bill, cousin Caroline, sister Ashley, cousin Ali, cousin Grace, brother Drew, and Me.}

This is the beautiful view of Triple Falls about mid-hike. And here's a little fun fact: Triple Falls actually made an appearance in The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis. We randomly discovered this while watching that movie this past weekend. (P.S. I forgot how much I love the epic love story between Cora and Nathanial. "I will find matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you." It gets me every time. Sigh!)

This is the view looking down the falls. I know you can't see it in this photo, but so many people were out there with their dogs. It really made me miss Kyle and Doc!
No matter how old we get, I don't think our mothers will ever stop worrying. You can see it all over their faces in this photo as they watch us climb the rocks. ;)

And if you go up the trail a little further, you can see this gorgeous view of High Falls:

All along the trail you could see these rhododendron blooms. Such a beautiful flower!

Since no hike would be complete without a little wildlife, we ran into this slithery fella only minutes after my cousin Caroline told a story about her best friend being bitten by a snake this summer. Life's a little ironic sometimes I guess!

We snapped a few family photos at the High Falls lookout, and then headed back to my grandparents' house in Bonclarken for some lunch and relaxation on their screened-in back porch. My kind of vacation!

Later that night we had an early celebration of my sister's birthday, with not only this cookie cake, but with a Turtle Pie and Hershey's Chocolate Pie as well. Our family knows how to party down with some desserts, haha!

Ashley's birthday is actually today, so Happy Birthday Ashie! She will be celebrating her birthday in Romania today, as she is there with her husband Alan on a mission trip right now. They will get back late on Saturday and we can't wait to hear about their trip! If you want to give her a little bday present, I'm sure they would appreciate any prayers you could send their way. :)

I'll be back tomorrow with a post about our escapades in downtown Hendersonville. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Happy Place

I knew it was high time for a vacation when I caught myself trying to use my contact solution as toothpaste the other night. True story. I picked up the bottle and tilted it, on the verge of pouring it on my toothbrush before I finally came to my senses and reached for the Aquafresh instead. Somebody help me!

Needless to say I am excited to get away to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina for a few days with my mom and brother, just for my sanity's sake. Unfortunately the hubs can't come because he can't take off from his clinical rotation, but don't worry, I'm leaving him with a short and sweet honey do list to keep him occupied. ;)

{Kyle and me at Triple Falls, NC in 2009}

So what's with the title, you ask? It's because we are particularly headed to Bonclarken, my absolute favorite place in the world. Ever. Like even if I went on a backpacking trip all over Europe it would still be my favorite place in the world. Though I can't make an informed decision about that until I actually go to Europe. Any takers on helping me fix that? ;)

{Girl cousins at Bonclarken in 2009}

I'm also really excited about seeing my brother since he's been gone all summer working as a counselor at Camp Ozark in Arkansas. Now he can add "dressed up as Buzz Lightyear" to his repertoire of professional experiences:

But what can I say? I did the counselor thing at Camp Bonclarken way back in 2006:

I don't even want to think about how grown-up those girls must look now! Anyway, I'm also excited about seeing my grandparents, my Aunt Carol and cousin Grace, since we'll all be staying together at my grandparents' house in Bonclarken. A sort of sporadic family reunion, yes, but Bonclarken has been a part of our family's history for several generations and no year would be complete without some kind of family gathering up there!

{My Aunt Carol and sweet cousin Grace in 2009}

So here's to blueberry pancakes, fresh peaches, a good novel, and breathing in fresh mountain air. I'll be back on Wednesday to tell you all about it. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Fourth Celebration + A Menu Plan

4th of July weekend usually means one thing for us: Lake Oconee. As you can see, we've been going there every summer since we started dating:






Obviously this year we didn't want to disrupt the natural order of things, so we headed to my parent's house on Lake Oconee that Friday of 4th of July Weekend after I got home from work. We kicked things off by watching the replay of the Nadal vs. Murray Wimbledon match (can you tell we are a family full of tennis fanatics? This is what we like to do on a Friday night.). I, however, promptly fell asleep with this 40 lb. kiddo snuggled up to me:

The next day got off to a slow start, as per usual, so while we were waiting on everyone we played a little fetch with Doc and Ashley & Alan took advantage of the floats.

Kyle jumped in the water first and water-skied until his arms about fell off.

Then Alan took over with a little knee-boarding and tried his hand at water-skiing as well.

Meanwhile, we ladies chilled on the boat, posed with Doc, and flipped through magazines (when it didn't give us motion sickness). Boating is my absolute favorite thing to do on the lake!

Saturday night we ate like kings and queens it seemed, and we still had some of my Dad's smoked ribs leftover. To switch things up a bit later on in the weekend, we tried a new recipe of grilled pineapple and it was dee-lish! You can find the recipe I used here.

Sunday night we went to grab some ice cream at Lake Oconee Village and caught the tail-end of a Jimmy Buffet cover band concert. Nothing says summer quite like Jimmy Buffet!

And we can't forget about Brody boy! He was workin' the camera for me and gave me a cute little smile in this photo:

On the other hand, this is what my dog does when I ask him to be cute:

Such a rebel already. The rest of the weekend was a rinse and repeat of the first day, with a little Wimbledon championship and Casey Anthony trial-watching mixed in. And because a 4th of July weekend is not complete without fireworks, Kyle and I made it back home in time to catch the fireworks at the aptly named Patriots Park in Augusta. We were so thankful the rain held off!

On a different note, I know y'all have been on edge just dying to hear about our menu plan ever since this post, so here it is:

Monday: Shrimp Scampi with sauteed broccoli + carrots
Tuesday: Balsamic Chicken with mushrooms, white rice + green beans
Wednesday: Paprika-Spiced Pork, pasta, roasted veggies + rolls
Thursday: Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread
Friday: Eating out then Harry Potter with the Greavus!

Also, don't forget to visit me over on A Cook's Connection for a roundup of summer squash recipes! Food on the BRAIN today. Love y'all!


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