Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grandfather Mountain

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been in North Carolina visiting Roberts mother Joanne.  While there we took a day trip to Grandfather Mountain.  It is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and located in Linville, NC, approximately 1.5 hours from Robert's hometown of Lincolnton, NC.   When you arrive at the park you are given a CD that corresponds to the different areas of the park so while you are driving through you get to hear the history and background.

On the way up the mountain there are 3-4 stops where you can get out and snap some pictures.  The park also has a few nature exhibits with bears, dear, pumas, and otters.

As well as some beautiful gardens and scenery...

And plenty of huge boulders to take pictures in front of...

 After a few scarey hair-pin curves on the way to the top you get to the "mile high" swinging bridge...

From the Grandfather Mountain website, "The Mile High Swinging Bridge was built to give visitors easy access to the breath-taking view from Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak.  The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. Surveys show that the journey to the other side is always considered the highlight of a trip to Grandfather Mountain."

I don't know if I would call it a "swinging" bridge, it was more of a bouncing bridge.  The bridge felt very safe and secure which is not what I expected, even with the bounce. 

And of course the views were amazing...

 Robert's mom waiting for us at the bottom...

As we climbed drove further up the mountain the temperature dropped and dropped, when we left Lincolnton it was 95 degrees and only 75 degrees when we got to the swinging bridge.  This Florida girls was LOVING those temps (and secretly looking for a jacket)!!

Grandfather Mountain has 11 trails varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. It is in the back country of Grandfather Mountain State Park that you come up against the more challenging hikes. We didn't have time, shoes or the lung capacity to do any hiking this trip but you better bet we will be back...more than once.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Starting A Family

***Don't get too excited, this is a birthday post for our "fur-child" Rebel***

This weekend is Rebel's birthday weekend.  We are out of town visiting Roberts mother so Rebel is partying it up at the Dog MaHall this weekend.  Here is our adoption story.

Robert and I moved in together in June of 2010 and very shortly after started looking for a dog.  We visited the ASPCA and the Humane Society of Orlando on many occasions.  Orlando's shelters had an abundance of Pitt Bulls and Pitt Bull mixes which was not what we were looking for so we headed out of town.

We had stopped at the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach once before and noticed a larger variety of dogs so on July 22nd 2010 we headed back to Daytona for a second look.  Robert spotted a cute little Australian Shepherd  right off the bat and fell in love (don't tell Rebel but I was secretly looking for a chocolate lab) so we took him to the outside play area, he was so well behaved.  He didn't bark, he didn't jump, he walked so well on the leash, boy did he have us fooled!

We went to the front desk to put our name in for him, but someone else already had a hold on him.  She said they they had until 6:00 to call or else he would go to the next bidder.  So we put our name in just in case and prayed that they wouldn't call.  At 6:15 we got a call that the cute little Australian Shepherd was ours!!  And so the fun began...

Happy Birthday Rebel!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Going To The Cabin And We're Gonna Get Married.

Okay, now we have a bride, groom, ring and a bunch of ideas for a wedding.   Robert and I knew we wanted to spend our honeymoon hiking the mountains of Tennessee so while looking for a cabin to rent we ran across a few that were big enough to sleep 15+ people.  So the idea came to have the wedding in Tennessee as well, have our closest family stay at the cabin with us and just get married there.  From what I have heard October in Tennessee is beautiful with the leaves changing so why not then, and why not October 22?   The date worked perfectly with our work schedule so October 22 it was.  Come to find out later October 22 is also the date my mother married my step father...even better, what a special day!

Jackson Mountain Homes has some of the most beautiful cabins in Gatlinburg, Tn so naturally we went with them.  We are renting the Smokerise Lodge for the wedding weekend, it sleeps 17 people, has three levels, two hot tubs, a entertainment center, a pool table and some of the most amazing views.  We are only having 15 guests (including ourselves) so this cabin should be perfect.

Robert, his mother Joann and I went to Gatlinburg this past March to meet some of the vendors for the wedding and the Jackson Mountain Homes staff were so kind to let us tour the cabin since it was vacant at the time.  Here are some of our pictures...

We will be holding the ceremony on the third level balcony.  Imagine this view with the beautiful fall leaves (minus the black cigarette butt holder)...which leads me to the theme of the wedding...FALL as in "Fall in Love".  We will be decorating with fall leaves, pumpkins and everything fall, but the most important thing will be family.

After the wedding and all the guests depart we will have this beautiful cabin to ourselves for one night before we move to a smaller more intimate cabin...The Luxury Lookout.