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Monday, September 5, 2011

Apple Festivals and Cookouts

This labor day weekend was filled with lots of great and not so great moments.

Friday evening kicked off with the "not so great" when a storm moved through the area knocking out the neighborhood power and toppling over and smashing both our patio umbrellas to pieces.

After a restless night where the power came on for a few seconds at a time just to shut down again we left home early to eat breakfast at a restaurant.  Nothing that a few cups of coffee, toast, eggs, fruit and yoghurt could not fix!

We were on our way to see what the NC Apple Festival in Hendersonville was really all about.  We've been there twice before - once it was rained out;  and the other time the kids (two years old at the time) were so obnoxious we went back home!  Before giving up on this ideal I really wanted to give it a fair shake!

By the time we've walked the three blocks to the Main Rd, sweat was already pearling on our foreheads.  The girls were remarkably well behaved despite the humidity and a sea of people navigating a 1/2 mile stretch of the Main Rd eating, drinking and shopping for everything from mountain music to bags of crisp, fresh apples.  Roughly 250,000 people attend this Festival every year.

We were hot, sweaty, sticky and fed up with the large crowd by the time we left, but we loved it and will come again!  Next time though I will be better prepared with wide brimmed sun hats and lots of tissues to wipe the sweat from our brows and maybe one of those little fan thingies that sprays mist on your face!

We drove up to Chimney Rock while stopping over every now and again at an interesting looking apple orchard farm store.  We finally ended up at a riverside park where we got out to enjoy the delectable caramel apples hubby bought the girls at the festival.

It was a serene setting with small rapids gurgling in the background while leaves were rustling overhead in the light breeze.  But it was violently interrupted by two little girls, faces covered in caramel, shouting and pointing fingers at a huge snake swimming amongst a raft of ducks.  The ducks did not seem to mind it's company, but we decided it was time to leave as it headed up the riverside embankment!

Of course no labor day weekend would be a proper labor day weekend without some form of a cookout. Hubby barbecued us some delicious hamburgers on the boat and we decided to swim and float out in the deep waters for a change.

Normally the girls would be building sandcastles and running back and forth with pales of water to build a wall or some other magical mega structure.  But the lake water levels are extremely low and the sandy beaches are transformed into clay-rimmed forts not only discoloring bathing costumes into a "beautiful" mustard yellow but feet and hands as well!  If you want to look like someone who forgot to wash the fake tan lotion off go right ahead!!  Knock yourself out!

While floating out in the deep waters........

Fudge: "Are there sharks out here?"

Mom: "No dear!  There are no sharks in the lake.  They live in the ocean!"

Fudge:  "Whales?"

Mom:  "No whales!"

That's when they both relaxed and the fun began swimming around and jumping on and off the loungers.  I decided rather not to tell them we were in 15 feet deep water.....