Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation 2011

Well, I'm a loser. I wanted to finish the wedding posts before starting anything else, but I've been too lazy. So we interrupt this wedding blogging to bring you our summer vacation before it gets too late.
I'll revisit the last of the wedding photos and the honeymoon as I get them finished. I feel like I've left out a lot over the last two months.

We've had tons of mangoes on the tree this year. So many fell while we were on vacation that our yard smells like a giant fermented mango. But I have given several bags full of fresh mangos away to the neighbors, and I have a couple of bags frozen for smoothies.

We also planted purple okra before we left, and we came home to several large plants! Okra is one of the few veggies you can grow here in the hot wet summers. Thankfully we got lots of rain while we were gone. After a really dry June, our grass has come back to life.

Now for a vacation recap:

We left Fort Myers on a Sunday afternoon and made it to Atlanta that night. We stayed in a Best Western that seemed nice at first glance, but once we got in the bed, we realized it was damp. The carpet was too, but we were too tired to switch rooms. I don't know if it was the air conditioning or what. But I woke up with SUPER-frizzy hair. We were glad to get out of there and get back on the road to Kentucky.

Our first stop in Kentucky was outside Richmond in Waco at Scott's mamaw's house. We had a good time catching up with her and eating dinner at Cracker Barrel with the aunts and uncles. I also photographed some of the old family photos she had.
Mamaw Whittamore

Scott's dad, left, uncle, center, and Papaw, right

On Tuesday we drove an hour to Danville to see the other side of the family. We visited Melton's Great American Deli owned by Scott's aunt Gina and uncle Ronnie and stayed at their cool old house downtown. It was good to see most of the family at dinner! It was my first trip to Kentucky, and I really liked it. Unfortunately, I didn't take that many pictures. I really regret not taking any of Nathaniel, Scott's cousin Shana's son. He's so cute! I love his perfect Kentucky accent. After accidentally killing a firefly after dinner, he said, "Poor wittle thang!" He also asked me if we'd seen any dead animals on our trip. He's really into animals and catching snakes and lizards. He's definitely a country boy.

On Wednesday we headed for the NC mountains. This time we picked the city of Hot Springs. We knew it was a small town, so we could see a good bit of it during our two days there. We stayed in the Cedar cabin at Broadwing Farm just outside of town. It had a private hot tub filled with the hot spring water. The Appalachian Trail also goes straight through town, so we got to hike a little more of that. When we arrived at the cabin, it started raining, so we relaxed a little, and then went to dinner. That night, we had a great time just sitting in the hot tub and talking. It was the perfect escape.
I wish this was my yard.

There were even some ripe wild blackberries to eat. so good.

We did a few trails in the area. Our first was the Lover's Leap Trail which included about a mile of the Appalachian Trail right out of "downtown" Hot Springs.

view of Hot Springs and French Broad River from the Lover's Leap Trail/Appalachian Trail

 Then we drove up the road a bit to the Hickey Fork waterfall in the Shelton Laurel Backcountry area. It was a winding road, but well worth the drive. It was a beautiful trail with charming rustic bridges and of course, the waterfall. The trail guide says it's strenuous, but we thought it was average in difficulty and it's only about 1.1 miles one way.

Some good web pages for hiking in the Hot Springs area are here and here and here. After the trail we had lunch then relaxed at our cabin. The after a dinner at the Smoky Mountain Diner we drove up to Max Patch, an open bald with 360-degree views. It is one of the most beautiful places we've been to in North Carolina. It was AMAZING. The drive to it was a little daunting. I think the last 5 miles were on a gravel road, but it was in good shape. The Appalachian Trail also crosses the bald and continues on toward Hot Springs.

We drove back to our cabin and enjoyed another evening in the hot tub watching the fireflies light up the woods. I wish I was back there now. The next morning we woke up and drove toward Raleigh for our wedding par-tay thrown by my dad and Judy. It was a good old-fashioned pig pickin'. good stuff!

The Taylor family. We did manage to get one group shot of one side of the family.
 I'm so glad all my family could come to the party. It was so good to see everybody for a happy occasion.
Hamilton, my cousin Gray's son

Austin and uncle John

Olin, my cousin Amber's son

the pig waiting to be picked

David, my cousin Lynn and aunt Cheryl
These are the only photos I managed to get on my camera from the party. But thanks to everybody who came. We love you! Thanks to Mom and Billy for braving the drive and to Dad and Judy for throwing a fabulous party.


  1. You forgot to mention the most important part of your vacation - your visit to the Stinnett B&B :)

  2. Man, those pics are just gorge. breathtaking! xoxox... wish I could have come to the pig pickin.