Monday, July 6, 2009

The Great Outdoors or The Smallings are Out of Shape

Last weekend (well, I guess 2 weekends ago now since I haven't posted in a while) was a riotous good time had by all.  Since Matt hadn't started working just yet, we decided to go visit my Granny for her birthday in Clayton.  While there, Jamie acted as our personal tour guide for all things Nature-ous and practically killed us with two days of hiking and almost-dying.  Not surprisingly, Jamie was unphased by the treacherous mountain terrain and practically hop-skipped over the river crossing while we clung furiously to the rocky boulders protecting us from certain river-y death.

You think I'm kidding.  I wish.

This is Tallulah Gorge (oooh, aaahhh) and part of its appeal is the natural waterslide on the floor of the gorge (some 300 steps down and another 1/2 mile of trail-less danger hiking).  Apparently you needed passes to get to the floor and the first day we missed the last passes by about 39 seconds.  Not ones to admit defeat, we hiked to Hurricane Falls (you might know it as the "bottom of the stairs") and all the while challenging ourselves to not only hike back up the stairs but to do it all again the next day so as not to miss the wonder of nature's natural waterpark.  Totally worth it, but a terrible idea.  Especially considering I left my inhaler in the car that day.  Epic fail.

This is Hurricane Falls.  We only had one good shot because the kid behind the camera was a little... strange.  I was afraid to ask him to take any more.  This is also before the Great Sweat of 2009 began.  We still look half-decent.

To occupy our time until the next morning, we went to a little tourist shop called Goats on the Roof.  And no, it's not a metaphor for life or something, it's really just a gift shop/ice cream parlor/Amish furniture dealer with goats.  On the roof.  I think it's brilliant and this guy who owns it, Old Goat, probably makes a lot of money.  Maybe I'll start a place called Frogs on the Ceiling, or Flies in your Food.  I could be rich!  The most entertaining part was watching the kids pedal this bicycle that would send food up to the roof for the goats to eat.  I guess you had to be there!  Or just understand that it doesn't take much to amuse me.  Either way, this place was hilarious.

The next day proved to be equally as fun as we hiked not only to Hurricane Falls but to Bridal Veil (the floor of the gorge).  It was very hot, but very beautiful as long as you didn't fall between the cracks in the rock crags or touched anything that looked poisonous.  Both of which I managed to do at some point during our hike :)  The good news?  I didn't die.  The bad news?  I couldn't feel my legs for the rest of the weekend.  Awesome.

This is us, feeling very smug about ourselves.  Try to ignore the fact that Jamie is practically glowing.  We're a very fair-skinned family.  You're just going to have to wear your sun glasses when viewing this picture!

Even though Granny and Jimpop live in a sleepy little mountain town, every Saturday night there is an auction house in town and of course, we didn't miss it!  We went a little early to scout out the items--lots of beautiful old furniture and rugs--and I had my eye on several pieces.  Fortunately for our bank account, I walked out of there with just a table and a painting.  Both of which will become my prized possessions!  Matt thinks I'm crazy, but I'm ADDICTED.  Auctions are like garage sales on eBay.  Simply magical.

Sunday was Granny's birthday and we made sure we did it up in style.  We have bragging rights because we were the first of the family to go to their country club!  It was nice and dinner was really good.  Following dinner was an attempt at timed photography so we could have a nice family shot.  This of course took several attempts and resulted in some slightly strange photos but all in all, it was a great time for sure!

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