Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, and....Pumpkins

This post is about pumpkins. Nothing but pumpkins.
Big pumpkins. Little pumpkins.
Orange pumpkins. White pumpkins.
Rows and Rows and Rows of Pumpkins.
Obviously this is not a picture of pumpkins.

 But as you'll see, wheelbarrows were needed to haul some of these mega-pumpkins.

We drove by a field of orange on our last day in Georgia and just had to stop and see what it was all about.

It was the biggest pumpkin patch I've ever seen!

Rows and rows of pumpkins, sorted by size and color.

It was a sight to behold.

I've never seen white pumpkins before.

Decorative corn and huge bins of gourds were available too.

I just loved all these pictures. Couldn't choose which ones to post, so ... you got to see them all. Well, most of them. There were actually more!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fog, Falls & Screaming Knees

Tuesday morning of vacation week was the thickest fog I think I've ever seen!

It totally covered the mountaintops, looking like the clouds had fallen.

It was beautiful and fun to watch it lifting.

This was our last day in Georgia. We went to Amicalola State Park to see the waterfall. The Amicalola Falls drops 729 feet in seven cascades and is said to be the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

It's beautiful and majestic just like waterfalls are supposed to be. Unlike the several falls we visited on previous vacations, there was no chest-pain-inducing hike to see it. Yay!

Where the bottom of the falls is heaviest, before it starts turning into a stream, you can cross over a bridge and watch the water flow under.

There are three ways to access the falls. One is a good hike from the park entrance (we took a pass on that). Another is to drive part way and walk a pleasant path to the location I showed above. And finally, from this point, you can climb the stairs to the very top. How much farther is that, you ask? Scroll down...

Yep - you read that right. 425 steps.

Hubby says let's do it!

I said no way. (why would I want to do that when I was so happy no upward hiking was involved to see this thing?)

He said oh, c'mon and off he went.

And so I began the climb.

Somewhere at 100, where he was patiently waiting, I panted take the camera and go on!

While I rested, a bunch of elderly people passed me. Then some middle aged sisters (yes, all the climbers stopped to chat and we bonded, then they would move on). But when an elderly man with a cane trudged past, wounded pride overcame me and I started the upward trek again.  By that time hubby had long disappeared into the trees above.

And so I climbed. One step at a time, thighs burning; pause on the landings. Repeat.

Then who comes into my view? Hubby! I yell stay there, I'm coming!
But he doesn't hear. He treks down while I trek up and at some point we meet and he says 196!!!

I say 196 what?

He says I just came down 196 steps. You're only halfway - you have almost 200 to go!

Are you kidding me.

And guess what? he says. At the top is a parking lot. We can DRIVE TO THE TOP!

Are you freakin' kidding me.

And so we began the 200 step descent. Which is as hard on the knees as the climb, by the way....

At the very base of the falls, where the hike from the park entrance starts, is a peaceful rest area with a "Meditation Pool". Now I know why.

We explored two more places before heading back to the cabin and the hot tub with a hefty dose of ibuprofen. Oh did the knees scream that night...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Monday Morning in the Mountains

Hello, I'm back again to bore you with another sunrise picture!

This one was pretty unique, though. The fog was rising in wisps.

I imagined prayers rising up to heaven.

...hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue; fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in Him I put my hope. Lamentation 3:22-24 Good News version

The forecast called for rain all day, so we planned to just stay in.

It hardly rained at all. But we had such a fun day! There was a screened-in porch with wood-burning fireplace, rocking chairs and breakfast table. We played a new card game for hours and laughed so hard. We watched movies, played Ping-Pong, cooked dinner.

It was a great day, fun & relaxing. You don't have to run around, shopping & sight-seeing to enjoy vacation.

Just taking in God's beautiful creation with the one you love is all you need.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saturday in the Mountains

Starting another post with another amazing sunrise. Every morning in Blue Ridge was a new experience.
On this Saturday morning, the fog was so heavy that the mountains looked like islands jutting up from the ocean.

And here's the first peek of the sun.

Our plan was to head out early and go to Mercier's Orchard, a huge apple orchard where you can pick your own. I was really looking forward to this!

But apparently so were a thousand other people. I am not exaggerating. And that probably included about 500 little kids. The line to board the wagon that takes you out to the orchard looked like something from Disney World on a peak day. It was getting hot, so we opted to buy our apples. They had a wonderful facility where you could watch the apples being sorted & bagged; apple tasting of the many varieties, wine tasting, a restaurant, bakery & a store that sold anything and everything apple-related.

After that we took a ride towards Cherokee National Forest. Key word: "national" - remember that. Along the river, we saw what looked like a rest stop, but it was lined with international flags. Turns out this is where the kayaking competition took place during the '96 Olympics. It was a beautiful river area with very cool rock formations and  rushing water and would have been a nice photo op, but......

 ...we couldn't stop because - remember that key word, national - this was during the government shutdown/slimdown and the entrance was barricaded. Your tax dollars not at work.

We continued our ride and stopped to enjoy this scene.

And that was Saturday!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Train Stop and "You Know You're in the South When..."

Our train excursion took us to the little town of McCaysville for some antique shopping. It's not only right at the border between Georgia & Tennessee, but in the border!

Hubby standing in two different states. The state line runs diagonally through the IGA grocery store parking lot!

There's just something wrong about this next item! Kinda funny, kinda disturbing. It was in one of the little antique/junk/vintage (depending on your viewpoint) shops.


Yep, for real. We checked it out. This pharmacy sells 'scripts, guns & ammo. T-shirts too! And people were buying. We just cruised through and right back out.

On the train and back to Blue Ridge, then up to the cabin for a relaxing evening.