We left last Friday and traveled south to just south of Cincinnati, Ohio to Erlanger, Kentucky (side note, we manged to drive through part of Indiana this day as well - so our entire trip included Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia!) to catch up with the rest of the crew. Then Saturday it was on to our gorgeous house in Ellijay that was actually named (and had) "A River Runs Through It" The place was gorgeous and everyone had such a good time exploring our creek during the week. The kids both really got into it, especially after Shell and I trekked into town to find water shoes. Best $10 I spent the whole trip for sure! Sunday and Monday were spent relaxing, exploring the area around the house, grocerying, watching movies and doing nails, hiking up the mountain we were on the side of, celebrating my Dad's birthday, lots of playing in the creek and mostly just enjoying being together.
Tuesday, after trying to figure out what the weather was going to do for the week, all of us except the kiddos and Dad went on a tubing adventure on the Cartecay River. We were told it was a three hour trip. (Every time I think about this now the theme from Giligan's Island starts playing in my head...) Unbeknownst to us, though, the river was VERY low and it took 5 hours! This was all well and good except for a few things 1) Dad and the kids were back at the house worried about where we were. None of us had a way of getting ahold of them while we were on the river and even once we got back there was NO cell reception at all where we were 2) it got chilly! BUT - what an experience! The first part of the river was pretty calm, but the last hour had Class 2 and Class 3 rapids we had to navigate. It was an experience for sure.
Wednesday the boys went golfing and the girls hung back with the kiddos for more exploring of the creek. We actually made it a pretty good way up the stream (led by Kayla!) and found a mini waterfall! Wednesday it was also my turn to cook and it honor of our salute to Georgia I made Coca Cola Chicken (the Coca-Cola company was founded and is based in Atlanta) and the Bean helped me make a Southern Peach Cobbler (we had lots of fresh Georgia peaches - their largest crop - all week!)
Thursday we split up, with part of the group heading to Six Flags over Georgia and the Gatchel crew and my parents heading to Amicalola State Falls in the morning to see the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. We actually climbed 425 stairs to the top to see the view! After a picnic lunch we headed to Mikayla's favorite part of the entire trip, a visit to Babyland General Hospital - the birthplace of the Cabbage Patch kids! Mikayla has a cabbage patch kid named CK that had made the trip with us to Georgia for just this reason (though the trip to the hospital was a surprise for the Bean) and boy was CK happy to be there! She 'kissed' all of the babies in the entire hospital and Mikayla had an absolute blast. She was so excited and thankful. It's making me smile as I write this thinking of it. On our way back we made a stop in Dahlonega, site of the first gold rush in the United States. We had lots of fun browsing the town square there, especially the General Store.
All week we had been discussing the possibility of taking the kids on the short version (1 hour) of the tubing trip and on Friday, though rain threatened, we did. I will readily admit that I wasn't totally on board (OK, I wasn't at all on board) when we left in the morning as it was only 70 degrees and I wasn't really looking forward to getting in the chilly water and possibly getting rained on, but it had really been talked up to the kiddos, so after a bit of a temper tantrum on my part (yep, even 31 year olds get to have them sometimes) we did end up heading back down to the tubing place. I'm putting this in writing - I was wrong. Even a few hours after we got back, I wouldn't have said that, but listening yesterday and today how much the kids enjoyed it (it was Noah's favorite part hands down and a close second to Babyland for Kayla and they both want to go back to Georgia just for the tubing again) I'm really glad we went. So thanks to my family for putting up with my tantrum. Grant, the kids and I got out at the 1 hour mark and the rest trekked on the rest of the way. We got out before the rain came in, but it sounds like they had quite the adventure in it :-p
We headed out early this morning and that's the whole thing in a nutshell. Both kids are asking to go back already, with Mikayla even promising to be good just so she can go back. They were both EXCELLENT on the drive there and back and we really all did have a good time. Many thanks to my parents for inviting us along - can we start planning 2015 now? Noah says we should just go tubing every day :)
Lots of laundry to catch up on tomorrow and we have a couple of lose Georgia ends to tie up then too. So until then...
Noah ready to check out the creek
A River Runs Through It
The house actually straddled the creek - too cool
There was an old water wheel on the property as well
Time for some wiffle ball with Papa!
This is the bridge about 3/4 of the way from the bottom
We made it to Babyland!
I'm going to take this one home for sure!
She got a nurse's hat
Doing CK's hair at Babyland