Category Archives: Memorial Day Weekend

GA Day 3 – Toccoa River Tubing, Mining, and Hiking

We started our day by stopping at Mercer Orchards.  They are one of the largest orchards in the area and known for their “u-picking” and different jams, jellies, and butters.  Currently, they were picking strawberries and the blueberries were expected to be ready by the end of the week…so we decided to pass and instead browsed through their gift shop.  We bought some old-fashioned peach butter and some peach butter with honey.  On the way back to the truck, Andy noticed that we had a flat tire.  Uh oh!  So, he ended up calling AAA and waiting while the boys and I went on a tractor ride through the orchards.  We saw apple trees, peach trees, cherry trees, pecan trees, strawberry plants, blueberry bushes and more.  By the time we got back the tire was changed and we were on our way!


From here we drove over to McCaysville to go tubing.  We found a company that didn’t have a minimum age requirement, perfect for Matty.  It seems that most of them require that the children be 5, but Matty is awesome and can do anything!  The Toccoa River Adventures offered floats for $6 per person, cheap outdoor fun!  We decided on the short float which was about and hour and forty five minutes.  The boys had a great time.  The water was cold, but not to cold…. Andy and Matty even braved it in to do a little swimming.

For lunch we headed back to Blue Ridge and ate at Blue Ridge Mountain BBQ.  It is another walk up BBQ place that has a lot to offer and delicious food.  After lunch we promised Davy that we would take him mining for gems.  That was his one request on this trip, so of course we had to find a place.  Right off of the main street there was a place called Huck’s Lost Mine.  The large buckets were $25 and it came with a round of mini golf for two.  The bucket was packed full of treasures and the boys had a great time playing in the mud.  We wandered over to the ice cream shop and then took off south for a quick hike at Fall Branch Falls to end the day.

The hike was only about a quarter-mile and it let you walk right up to the waterfall.  At the bottom of the hike, across a small field, there’s access to the creek for the kids to play in.



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GA – Around The Cabin

We loved this little cabin that we found on  It is advertised as a two bedroom, but it also has a loft that has two additional twin beds, so all together it has three bedrooms, 5 beds, plus two sleeper couches.  It was the perfect size for us, and a perfect price $109 a night.  What made the experience even so much better, were all of the extras that the house had.  There were tons of stuffed animals, books, movies, games, a large screened in porch, a hot tub overlooking the mountains, a hammock, a fire pit, a swing, and a zip line.

The swing was fun for the them, but a little scary for us.  When you push them off, you are standing on the side of the mountain and it proceeds to slope down so the kids are so much higher than if the ground was flat.

The zip line was far and fast.  Andy had to stand at one end and I stood at the other to catch them.  If they were older they would be able to stop themselves on the tree at the end, but our poor little guys would have crashed into it.  I tried to get their pictures when they were about half way, but they were flying towards me and I was afraid of them crashing.  They loved it!

Sunday night and Monday night, we ended in the hot tub.  The temperature dropped down a little and the kids just had a great time.  Next time we head back to Blue Ridge, this will definitely be where we stay!

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GA Day 1 – Vogel State Park and Crane Creek Vineyards

Every year, on the last Friday in May, Davy gets out of school at 11am.  His summer officially begins at 11:01 and keeping with a new tradition that we started last year, we loaded up in the car and headed north.  Last fall, when we were driving around north Georgia, we came across a little town called Blue Ridge.  We decided that this would be our destination in the spring.  We found a cute little cabin about 5 miles outside of town on (#14512), and it was perfect.  The drive up was only around eight and a half hours, it was super easy and we weren’t to tired.

Our first day of exploring!  We started with breakfast down in Blue Ridge at a cute little place called Serenity Garden Cafe.  Our thoughts were to kill a little time because Blue Ridge was having their spring arts festival and it opened at 10am.  What we didn’t anticipate was that they would charge you $5 per person to stroll through it.  Needless to say, we passed and decided to get on the road.  Crane Creek Vineyards was also having a spring festival, so Andy decided to drive us in that general direction and here’s what we found!

The next town over is called Blairsville.  They too were having a fair.  A beautiful church sits in the middle of a round-a-bout and venders were set up on both sides of the road all around the circle.  This one was free, so we parked the car and went for a stroll.  If you know us, then you know that we love BBQ sauces and honey.  We picked up some Sourwood Honey from Berry’s Honey Farm and Southern Delight Barbecue Sauce from Kickin Mule…yum yum!

A while back ago Andy read an article about a place called Mountain Crossing.  It is the first outpost and general store along the Appalachian Trail.  It is here that hikers unload their packs, mail stuff home, and pick up anything that they think they might need.  Off to our next destination.

Along the way we came across Vogel State Park.  After spotting the waterfall from the road, we pulled in for a quick hike to bottom of it.

The store was fantastic.  It was complete with home decorations for sale, all kinds of hiking gear, and the walls were lined with signed packs and boots from past travelers of the trail.

Next stop Crane Creek Vineyard!  I found this vineyard on-line searching for festivals and fun things to do.  Apparently, there are 41 vineyards in north Georgia.  It was advertised as a fun family event, so Andy and I thought that this would be a nice place to celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary. 

They had us park behind the vineyard, and then transported us to the entrance on a hay ride.  The boys just loved this, while we loved the view.

Once inside, the festival included a wine tasting, live music, lunch, painting for the kids and fishing.  It was beautiful and very relaxing, just a little hot.  If the temperature had been ten degrees cooler, it just would have been perfect!  We bought a bottle of wine, and let the kids play.  This was a nice stop.  Happy Anniversary my love!

For dinner we drove back into Blue Ridge and went to Joe’s BBQ.  It is a walk-up BBQ place with some very very tasty ribs.  After dinner we drove over to Lake Blue Ridge to check out the views. 

This house looks like a dream mountain house to me!  🙂

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Memorial Day Weekend 2011 – Chimney Rock

Davy just finished his last day of school and with a long weekend ahead of us, we decided to pack up and spend the weekend in North Carolina.  Davy loves the mountains so much and we had the time, so this gift was for him.  After we had our celebratory lunch, we went home and packed the car, and we were off.  The ride up was easy and we pulled in around 11pm.  Here’s sweet Matty sleeping on the way up.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, we decided to head over to Asheville and do a little exploring.  We stopped at the BP for a cup of coffee and a sausage biscuit and then headed out.  We figured by the time we got there it would be the perfect time for brunch.  Asheville has so many independent places to eat at, but we had such a great meal at Tupelo Honey the last time we decided to take mom there so she could see it for herself.

As we pulled into Asheville, we saw a sign for the Asheville Farmers Market!  In the spirit of being spontaneous, we decided to go and check it out.  I love Farmer’s Markets.  There were several different hangers all filled with produce, plants, meats, jams, jellies, honey, etc.  We were not disappointed and ended up having a honey taste test.  Yum!  We bought Blueberry Honey, pure Wildflower Honey, Sourwood Honey, and some Hotter than Hell Chow Chow.

We were officially starving so off to Tupelo Honey.  It was actually a good thing that we stopped because they didn’t open until after 9.  We had a half hour wait, so the boys played across the street.

Once you sit down at the table, they bring out biscuits, jelly, and honey.  Here are the boys eating theirs.  For brunch I had a sweet potato pecan pancake, mom had a grilled chicken sandwich, and Andy had fried chicken with biscuits and red-eye gravy.

We decided today that we would check out Chimney Rock; so we headed southeast out of Asheville and about 25 miles later we were there.  Chimney Rock is located in Chimney Rock State Park and is apart of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.  The rock is at and elevation of 2, 280 and you can see out up to 75 miles.  When climbing up to Chimney Rock it is roughly 400 stairs.  We parked at the bottom, took a bus to the entrance and then began our climb.  Davy and I went ahead first, Andy carried Matty, and mom followed in the rear.

Here’s Davy and I half way up to Chimney Rock.

Now, when you get to Chimney Rock lookout, of course there is a trail to go even higher and we weren’t going to give up there.  We had to go to the top to check it out!  Exclamation Point is at an elevation of 2,480 ft and is the pinnacle of the park, and essentially we just hiked 3/4’s of mile straight up.  We were so proud of Davy and Matty.  Davy didn’t complain one time, in fact he loved it, and little Matty wanted to hike it too…he’s just a little slow.  Here we are at the top.  :O)

After we hiked back down to the entrance of the trail, we met up with mom and decided to hike on over to Hickory Nut Falls.  It was also 3/4 of a mile to get there; meaning that we ended up hiking 3 miles today.  This waterfall is one of the highest falls east of the Mississippi.

By the time we got back to the bus we were hot and tired….but we were so glad that we went the extra distance.  The views and the waterfall were beautiful.  At the Chimney Rock lookout we spotted Lake Lure and decided to drive over and get a better look at it.  There was a really cute little village, a beautiful resort, and a beach on the lake.  This beach reminded me of one that you would see in a movie.  It was very clean, crowded, lots of things to do, and with a gorgeous backdrop.  Matty fell asleep in the car, Davy took one look at the water slides, and we had to stop for him.  :O)

One of the neatest things that they had here on the beach was a water balloon firing station.  You could purchase the balloons at the check-in desk, the kids would fill them up with water, and then they would launch them at each other.  Davy loved this!

After we left the lake, we headed back towards Asheville.  All of us were starving so we stopped at their local Mellow Mushroom for some pizza.  Yum Yum!!!  The weather was beautiful so we ate outside.  Today was a great adventurous day!!!














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