Friday, October 21, 2016

Jake's cell phone pics

 results of panning for gold - a few flakes:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Break - Wednesday

Wednesday after breakfast we checked out of the hotel and drove over to Amicalola Falls State Park, home of the tallest waterfall in Georgia. We parked at the half way mark and took a short but beautiful .3 mile hike to see the falls. Amelia did well with all the walking this trip, but was not a fan of having to hold hands on the trails with steep drop offs.

 Gavin was too scared to climb the 450 stairs to the top of the falls so Jake did that while the kids and I walked down:

 Amelia was just happy to hold the map:

 Then we drove to the top of the falls:
 After that we checked out Amicalola Falls Lodge - amazing views and cool huge map of the Appalachian trail. Then we did a short .4 mile hike near the lodge. I think this was Amelia's favorite hike as there were lots of acorns to pick up and throw into the woods to "feed the squirrels."

 After that we drove over to Elijay to visit an apple orchard. We ate some yummy fried apple pies (Amelia wouldn't touch them - wanted fruit snacks) and headed out to pick a 1/2 peck of Rome apples (we had a bushel waiting at home from my annual apple order so we didn't want too many).

After that we headed back to Dahlonega to visit the Consolidated Gold Mine. Amelia fell asleep on the way, and since she'd had a strenuous couple days I stayed in the car and let her nap while Jake and Gavin panned for gold and toured the gold mine. Jake took some pictures I'll post later when he sends them to me. After the gold mine we ate a late lunch and headed back home. A busy but fun 3 days. The kids had fun and Jake said this was his favorite family vacation ever, way better than going to the beach. I would rather visit the beach, but I did enjoy seeing everything and especially the cool, crisp, wonderful smelling air in the mountains and woods. I'm sure we'll do many more similar vacations in the future. 

Fall Break - Tuesday

Tuesday we started out with one of the best hotel free breakfasts we've ever had. Biscuits and gravy, eggs, chicken, waffles, etc. The kids were just excited to get fruit loops, which I never buy. After breakfast we drove up some windy mountain roads to hike Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in GA at 4784 ft. Jake pointed out this is lower than the elevation of the city Colorado Springs. But for my southern kids it's pretty high! Gavin was a little nervous on the drive up - I calmed him down by telling him about how Pop pop and Uncle Gary had cried when they were little and their family drove up Pike's Peak. At least our road was paved and 2 lanes. I was not a fan of all the windy mountain roads, even going the speed limit it seemed like we were going way too fast to me. Luckily Jake enjoyed the driving. We parked at Brasstown Bald and hiked the remaining .6 miles to the top up a steep but paved trail : 

 This is when the kids first stopped to really look at the view - they were in awe:

 That white dot in the parking lot is our Jeep, where we hiked from:

Here's what the aerial view looks like, pretty cool:

The kids enjoyed the visitor center and Gavin did a scavenger hunt to win a souvenir carabiner.
 Amelia was most impressed by the animatronic park rangers:

Jake and Gavin hiked back down the mountain and Amelia and I took the shuttle. I was afraid she'd splatter on the steep downward inclines. Then we drove over to Sleepy Hollow, a business owned by a former Disney imagineer. He makes whimsical fairy houses, bird houses, and play houses: 

 We stopped for a pizza buffet lunch in Blairsville, then did some hiking in Vogel State Park:

 On the way back to the hotel we stopped for some ice cream and bubbles at the Old Sautee Store:

We all went swimming back at the hotel and went to bed early after a long day of exercise.