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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I have to admit, I felt a little bit uncomfortable leaving our car at the bottom of a 1 mile incline where the owner's nine year old boy picked us up in an RTV to  get to our tent which had no internet, cell phone or radio reception.... or air conditioning. Unless you count a stand fan as air conditioning!  (My kids thought it the coolest thing ever that a nine year old can drive anything, by the way.) 

Growing up in Africa camping is a national pastime.  Extreme camping that is.  I also know myself.  If my dad wanted to go anywhere I had my little checklist to review "Is there a flush toilet?  Scorpions or poisonous snakes?  Is there a bath house?  And no, a shower contained in a black plastic bag hanging from a tree limb does not count."  But we loved this getaway!  From the cool breezes blowing through the canvas netting all night while tiki torches flicker softly in the distance,

to the hour long endeavor to prepare a cup of coffee first thing in the morning while the kids chase daddy long legs around the fireplace,

to the late nights around a communal bonfire where we reflected on our lives munching on s'mores while the kids catch lizards in the creek.

Our hosts pulled together meals with such seamless effort every night while we were allowed to sip on our second glass of something. 

The air was filled with the sweet smell of grass and the scenery were so beautiful in the most natural of ways.  Here in the mountains people stop to say hi and extend a helping hand; inquisitively ask where you are from and dote on your kids like long lost family members.

I had a moment watching my girls strip their shoes; wading into a shallow, ice cold stream navigating slippery rocks at the bottom of a fast flowing waterfall.  It was so perfect.  Even if we only had this one moment to enjoy it would've been enough , because it was cherry picked right off my summer bucket list.  Right next to running barefoot and catching critters in the wild.

But there was so much more to do.  We spent one afternoon at the community center pool where we met John the volunteer fire fighter who is the local life guard and the occasional school bus driver.  He laughed so hard watching our girls, fearless and loud, not standing back one inch for the boys who joined us in the pool.  They had water fights that escalated into full out war without the nasty meltdowns and slid down the rocket fast slide like this is something they did every weekend.  Swallowing water every now and again was a given;  but lets face it that has never stopped them before!

We frequented the local creamery not once, but twice during our stay.  It had some of the best ice cream I've ever eaten.   It was also where all the locals hung out right next to the BBQ smokehouse, which made for a lot of interesting people watching.  We biked along the Yadkin river until we were hot and sweaty and then we headed back to the creamery.

This weekend I realized that you do not have to go a million miles to find a million dollar getaway.  And this getaway was a wonderful way for us to spend our Memorial Day weekend!