Tag Archives: Festivals

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 www.vrbo.com (#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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Filed under Georgia, Memorial Day Weekend, Vacations

Strawberry Festival 2012

Last year, I had decided to make it a tradition that one day during the week of the Strawberry Festival I would surprise the boys and check them out of school early to head off to Plant City and play.  Friday, March 2nd seemed just as good as any…so that was our day.  I showed up at Davy’s school at 1:15 wearing my cowboy hat and he just knew the moment he saw me.  Mom agreed to meet us there at 2pm, so we had plenty of time and Davy got to change in the car.

Now, the thing that we learned this year and will do different next year is that Monday-Thursday they have an all you can ride wrist band for $20.  Matty is tall enough now to ride half of the rides at the festival and Davy is tall enough to ride 90% of them.  Needless to say, we spent a lot of money.  We were also under the impression from last year that they boys could only ride the rides on one side of the festival (we assumed it was the kiddie section), but it turns out that they can ride them all over.  More fun for them.

Both boys got to play darts as well as try to win some fish.  All together we won four.

Next, they rode a couple of roller coasters and Davy rode his first big boy ride, the Hang glider…

After we were done riding, we walked through the cattle and stopped at a seal show on the way out.  It started to rain so we ran for cover near the exit….but no trip is complete without the cowboy hat.  Aren’t they so cute!


Both boys crashed on the way home….  Love them.  🙂

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Filed under Fun Outings

Georgia State Apple Festival

Ellijay, Ga is known for it apples and we were very excited to discover that this was the weekend for the Georgia State Apple Festival.  The boys love the Strawberry Festival, so we just knew that they would love this too.  The festival had a tons of rides and outdoor activities…and they wouldn’t have to be riding around in the car.

Matty was so brave to go down this big slide.

I love the big corn fields in the background.  Reminds me of a trip Andy and I once took to Turkey Creek when we lived in Chicago.

Ok, the boys (and I do mean all three of them) had great fun with this apple cannon.  If we could have brought it home, they would have….

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Filed under Fall, Georgia, Vacations

The Strawberry Festival

One of my favorite childhood pastimes was to go to the Strawberry Festival.  This huge local festival is hosted in Plant City every spring and the weather is always gorgeous.  Andy and I had decided early on that this festival would become a tradition for our boys.  We would randomly pick a day and then surprise them by showing up to school and checking them out for early release.  Davy went once when he was younger, but he didn’t remember it and Matty has never been.

Mom came along to join us today and help me out with the boys.  She met us at the gate 1 entrance and as we walked in I just loved watching Davy’s reaction.  He immediately spotted the cowboys hats and I just smiled to myself.  Right after Andy and I started dating, we went to the festival on one of his weekend visits and he bought a cowboy hat (his first cowboy hat) and said it was because I always said that I wanted to marry a cowboy.  How cute is he. :O)  I promised Davy that we would pick up a couple on our way out.

To the left of the festival, or on the east side, they had the little children’s rides…so that’s where we headed.  I asked Davy which one he wanted to ride first and he smiled from ear to ear and pointed to the ferris wheel.

From there both boys wandered through the rides, riding as many as they could.  We were lucky because the height requirement for most of them was 36 inches.  Matty just barely hit that mark.  Other rides were the train, fun house, the carousel, the swings, four wheelers, bumper boats, trucks, helicopters, the giant slide, and the spinning strawberries.  

After we were done riding the rides it was time to indulge in some festival food.  No trip to the Strawberry Festival would be complete without some strawberry shortcake loaded down with whipped cream.  Some other foods that we had were bacon dipped in chocolate, cotton candy, and fresh squeezed lemonade.  Outside the shortcake tent was this “grandpa puppet”, Matty thought that he was so funny.

Over at the midway Davy won three fish and both boys won stuffed toys by throwing darts.

As we ended our day at the festival, like promised we stopped at the hat booth to pick up a few cowboy hats.  Aren’t my boys just the cutest…if I do say so myself!  :O)

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Filed under Fun Outings