Monday, November 2, 2009

Ride the Choo-Choo!

Bright and early we boarded the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City, NC for the Nantahala Gorge excursion. It was a wonderful 4.5 hour ride that went along the Tuckasegee river and over the Fontana lake tressel. There was an hour stop in the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Unfortunately, there were no tunnels on this leg of the train tracks (Joseph looked for one and asked a few times 'Go Tunnel?')

The windows opened and we were free to move around on the train. Joseph loved hanging his head out the window and visiting the open cars.

The Great Smoky Mountains NP and surrounding areas

We climbed up Clingmans Dome which at 6,643 feet is Great Smoky Mountains National Park's highest point. It is the highest point in Tennessee.

After walking a paved (but steep) half-mile trail there was a 54-foot observation tower. From which you can see to NC, TN, SC and GA! We had a wonderful sunny clear day and enjoyed the fabulous view before continuing on to Gatlinburg, TN.

The leaves in TN were much more spectacular than NC. While in Gatlinburg we took the aerial tram to the ski resort where we rode the Scenic Chairlift to get a good view of the fall leave colors and also rode the Alpine Slide. Unfortunately, Joe and I went behind a slow lady and her slower son and half of our alpine slide ride was braking so we didn't run into the pokey people ahead of us. But the leaves were very colorful!

Bridal Veil and Dry Falls

On our first day out in western NC it was rainy and overcast. We decided to drive to see a few waterfalls. Three of them were viewable only as you drove by and we didn't get any pictures...

Bridal veil falls is a waterfall that you can drive your car under and stand under for some photo oportunities.

Ironically, Dry Falls was a very wet hike for us. It was pouring down rain but we made the short hike to go under the falls. Dry falls (like Bridal Veil) allows you to stand under it and look out at the falls.

On our drive back to the cabin we were staying in we decided to use the GPS directions to get home (it was 15 minutes shorter than the roads we had taken to get to the falls)...

Well, we'll share our experience so others don't make the same mistake. Don't trust a GPS to get you around in Western NC, unless you drive a 4WD vehicle. We had driven about 8 miles down a 'road' that wasn't paved and snaked up one side of a mountain and down the other only to find a washed out portion only minutes from our destination. Joe waded into the stream to check the depth (MUCH too deep for a sedan), and we ended up turning around and driving another hour to get back to the cabin! The GPS failed us twice on our trip, the second time taking us to an underpass and telling us to turn left onto the highway above...

The North Carolina State Fair

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Picture day!

Today was family picture day...and I think the results were pretty good. We've got lots to share!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Projects, Projects and MORE Projects!!!
Well, we are keeping busy since the weather has cooled down a little. Fall projects are just getting started!
Daddy is working on the super-fun backyard playground:

Ok, so daddy's project is only in the layout stage so you can't really see just how super-fun it's going to be yet. You may need to use your imagination a little!!

And Mommy is working on a super-cool playroom in the bonus room:

It's on it's first coat of paint in this picture, there are many more to come!! Not to mention a really fun theme...which is going to be a surprise. Joseph doesn't know that his playroom is being transformed, so don't tell him! Can't wait to un-veil the final project and watch Joseph react.

Today we made a day out of the Life and Science Museum in beautiful Durham, NC. The dinosaur exhibit was a hit with the little guy, as was the train ride!
They even have one dinosaur you can climb on!

Family on the train ride:

Rock climbing wall:

The 'Catch the Wind' exhibit:

Joseph liked the big wings to flap!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


This is one of my favorite pictures of Joseph at the beach.  He loves the waves!  He's become much more brave than he was when we arrived; almost a little too brave.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hilton Head Vacation!

We have really been enjoying the beach, not looking forward to returning to the real world...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wrightsville Beach

Joseph and I decided to go to the beach on our day off! We had a beautiful day there and encountered rain only on our drive home.

While there Joseph's new sand toys got plenty of breaking in, and are all ready for our trip to Hilton Head in July!! We had fun playing in the surf too! Joseph kept saying "Here comes the water" for each wave coming towards us, and "weeeee" when it hit us. We can't wait to go to the beach again!!!!

Dinner on the road for Joseph:

Sprinkler Fun!

The sod needed some water, it's been hot and dry here, so out came the sprinkler and Joseph. At first he didn't really want to go near it, but he warmed up to it quite quickly and was running around in no time. He really tried to catch the water in his mouth/hands, it was quite cute.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Front landscaping

Monday, May 25, 2009

We see DC

Joe and I made it up to DC to see the city while Joseph had some quality time with G-ma and G-pa. While Joseph was checking out the trains in Ashland and eating ice cream we were taking the train into the city and eating sushi. We all enjoyed our weekend away!!

Us on the Segway tour:

Asian street festival. The Old Post Office:

Joseph playing with his new train set (while eating a snack):


This is what happens when you let the little guy play with the bodywash and have the jets on during tubby-time. WWWWWeeeeeeeee!