Friday, June 19, 2009

I don't wanna grow up...

In my last post I mentioned something about adding some pictures from our BBQ... sorry if I got your hopes up. We took none. What I MEANT to say was that I was going to add some pictures of the rope swing that Brandon built for our front yard. It's big enough for his two girls and two of their friends to sit on comfortably at the same time... without having to do the "spider" trick. PLUS I'm pretty sure at some point Brandon was on there with all 4 of them while he was holding a baby. You just had to have been there. I guess we all have a bit of kid left in us somewhere.

Anyhow, it's really cool and the kids love it. And obviously so do the adults. The first picture is the old swing... which Brandon had to try one last time before we cut it down. It's also for sale by the way... it'll be in the yard sale we're having NEXT weekend: SATURDAY June 27th from 8AM-1PM out on Harrison Pike just down from Phillipi Baptist Church. Be sure to come check it out. We're getting rid of some great toys the kids don't play with anymore, some furniture, Christmas decorations, clothing and MUCH more. Every thing is priced to go and if you don't like the price... make us an offer! Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 15, 2009

SO it's been a week...

So it's been a week since I posted anything new and I do appologize. Who knew summer could be so busy? Anyhow... Brandon and I were out and about all weekend and I've got some GREAT pictures to share with you. I'll start out with a few from our trip down the middle Hiwassee yesterday and load up some more tomorrow from out BBQ this weekend.

We packed up about 6 rafts full of people and set off down the river from Webb's store at about 5:45 or 6:00. It really was a beautiful and very enjoyable trip. We had planned on taking 2 boats, POSSIBLY 3 and the crew just kept growing and growing. Hey, the more the merrier! Maybe you'll come along with us next time. All are welcome!
Brandon's 2 year old, Candace even went with us and I got a great picture of the 2 of them. It's tied at the top with my other favorite picture from the trip... Brandon "jumping" off the rope swing. Or should I say swinging with a SPLASH into the water. I think the rope swing had seen it's better days. Hope you've had a great weekend! Stay tuned...

Monday, June 8, 2009

The "Nasty" Nantahala

This weekend Brandon, his cousin Rudy and I drove to Bryson City, NC to make our first and DEFINITELY NOT last trip down the Nantahala. It was a beautiful day and a great ride through some beautiful country down HWY 64. We pulled into the NOC, Nanatahala Outdoor Center just around 3:15, looked around the store and then asked where we need to go to rent some duckies (funyaks that are sorta like mini-rafts) and catch a ride to the put in. Of course no one asked to help us out when we came in otherwise we might have found out the information I'm about to share with you in a more timely manner. When we finally got to the outpost we found out that they stopped rentals around 3:00 and were not running any more shuttles. Now, this typically wouldn't be an issue, however Brandon was the only one planning to go down in a kayak. Rudy and I were going to have to rent a ducky. They refused to help us out but told us they would love for us to come back the next day.
Needless to say, we turned around and left seeking another outfitter to help us with our journey... considering we had driven for almost 2 hours specifically to go down this river. We stopped at another location, of which I don't know the name and she told us the same thing, they weren't sending out any other trips or shuttles, however there was a little place down the road that they thought might be able to help us out. So once again, we all piled into the Sequoyah and took off. We came to a little family run outfitter by the name of Paddle Inn ( who, after hearing our problem, QUICKLY equipped us with all the gear we were missing (pretty much just 2 duckies and a life jacket) hussled us into the van and put us out right at the put in for the Nantahala. All this took about 20 min. tops from beginning to end. The trip was fantastic and although the water was FREEZING we all had an INCREDIBLE time. When we came back the shuttle was waiting for us at the pull out to take us back to the outfitters and immediately showed us our pictures. "Mom" gave us a deal on our CD since we were the last 3 boats of the day and I've included a few of those pictures.
All in all, if you go down the Nantahala and want to go with someone who cares about the people more than the "busisness" of rafting we HIGHLY recommend going with Paddle Inn. I'm sure that the employees would have liked to have gone home on time but they put our needs above theirs and sent us out later than normal anyhow. We plan to go back again soon, especially after we found out that they designed and manufactured their own line of boats. It really was an outstanding trip!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sleepy Summer Mornings

This morning I drug myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 7:00, actually more about 7:20ish, because Brandon's 2 girls had bicycle safety days at their summer camps today. Any school day and I'd be up and going long before 6:00 am but my summer mornings are precious and reserved for sleep. Anyhow, we piled ourselves and the bikes into the Sequoyah and headed out. Brandon said, "Pack your bathing suit just in case." With him... you never know where exactly that will lead you. So I did and off we went. After dropping the girls off we drove towards Ocoee with the temperature at this point being a chilly 63 degrees and no sun in sight. So I'm thinking, we aren't taking boats, paddles or life jackets.... we have to be going swimming somewhere. His plans were for us to drive up to the blue holes and waste time swimming a bit before we headed to Rock Creek so he could try on some helmets for kayaking.

Needless to say I backed out of the swimming part and forgot to even take my camera to the blue holes. However, we plan on going back SOON, when the sun returns that is, and I hope to have some great pictures to share with you. If you live in this area and you've never been to the Ocoee, you really MUST make a trip this summer. I've forgotten how amazing that river is even without the mass of water flowing through it. The rocks of the river bed that give it the "whitewater" classification really are amazing uncovered. Anyhow, this afternoon since it is so cool outside I finished planting some flowers in the flower bed and hanging baskets and I think the front of his house is really shaping up nicely. The rocks that we got to line the flower beds are one of a kind... and I'll never tell where we got them. :) I hope to tear down the back deck and lay down some pavers to make a stone patio and MOVE THE GRILL TO THE BACK OF THE HOUSE. The picture above is of the front of the house so far. Hope you enjoyed some time outside on this fantastic Friday... I'm just looking forward to a bit cheerier weather soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This almost became my finger...

Brandon and I were out on the Hiwassee this past Saturday and I eddied-out behind some rocks and trees in order to do some filming for him so he can watch his own techniques in order to improve. Well, needless to say I got a bit sidetracked when I noticed that the spot I was holding on to was also being occupied by this little critter:

It's been so long since I've actually SEEN a millipede or a centipede that I'm unsure which one it is. I'm gonna have to do some googling. Anyhow, we took a "High Adventure" nature walk today through the woods behind our house to get some cane for the peppers in the garden. I came back with a few scrapes and Brandon came back with a tick... which we promptly removed and popped. I had no idea those suckers would actually POP when you heat them with fire. Anyhow... here's a picture of our garden.
It's really starting to look good and we picked our first banana pepper today. I'll load some video of Brandon and his buddies up here soon. Happy trails...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hooray for Summer!

So, summer is here and I'm enjoying feeling like a normal person again. I'm filling my days with luxurious things that I seldom get to do during the school year like sleeping in, working in the flower beds, and my new favorite past time... PADDLING! Since Brandon and I have begun dating, over 4 months now... almost 5, he's put me in a kayak and taken me down some great (and VERY COLD) trips on the Hiwassee. It's my goal to post some pictures as well as video of some of our adventures together and some of his with his crazy friends here for your enjoyment. Please feel free to return often and to share this site with anyone you think might enjoy it. Hopefully it will encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy some adventures of your own... do share!