Thursday, August 14, 2014

Katie Visits TN!

My little sister has come and gone. She was here visiting for the past week. I was so happy to have her here. Dexter was happy to have her visiting too. He loves his Aunt Katie! It had been a year since we saw her last. And it's been ages since we've got together just the two of us. Last time she visited me by herself was back when I was living in Northern California. It was nice for the two of us to visit again and get some quality sister time in. We had a fun filled week with little downtime; there was no rest for the weary.

We started off her first morning here with a hike at Stringer's Ridge. Dexter led us astray down the wrong trail. It is safe to say it was a trail less traveled based on the number of spiders/spider webs we ran into. That's what I get for following him.

On Thursday, we hit up the local jump park. This was Katie's first visit to a trampoline place. She's much more adventurous than I am, but I am making progress. It's only a matter of time before I'm doing back flips. Or breaking my neck.

We went paddle boarding on Friday and had a blast. I learned that Katie isn't used to lake water. She is a California girl and loves the beach. She didn't exactly want to be in the lake in fear that the fish may eat her alive. She may have also asked me if there were alligators in the lake. Of course there is.

Saturday morning we drank coffee at Velo Coffee Roasters. We thought we knew a thing or two about coffee. We were wrong. Apparently we don't know a thing about it. We then spent the rest of the day working out at the park and relaxing by the pool. A little relaxation is always needed when you are on vacation.

A visit to Chattanooga wouldn't be the same without a whitewater rafting trip. So that's just what we did on Sunday! Cagney made it home this weekend just in time to join us too. Per my request, we only rafted the Middle Ocoee. I was too chicken to go all in. Not anymore though. I'm all ready for the full trip now. Thank you to our wonderful neighbor for making it all happen!

Katie's trip ended with a memorable camping trip (if you can call it that) at Fall Creek Falls. Our night ended up being cut short because of the torrential down pour that was amongst us. We tried to wait it out, only to discover that our tent was not water proof. It was no fun packing up muddy camping gear in the rain.

The best highlight from Katie's visit included her literally almost dying as she screamed and ran/tripped/fell away from what she thought was a yellow jacket. It was probably a fly. I absolutely wish I had it on film. I'm just happy she didn't hurt herself. It was definitely a close call.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getaway @ Edisto Island

This past weekend we were blessed with the opportunity to spend the weekend at Edisto Island with Cagney's family. They rented a beach house for the week. We weren't fortunate enough to stay the whole week due to school and work obligations, but we're happy we got to go at all.

Our trip started out bumpy on Friday. Our original plan was to board Dexter; however, upon arrival we found out they'd changed some of their policies. I was not a happy mom and wasn't having it. So we left the kennel, Dexter in tow, and drove back home. We had to repack the whole truck to accommodate Dexter. I can't imagine letting him ride in the truck bed for 4 hours. After a late start, we finally hit the road! To top everything off, we ran into bad traffic after a short while. Our 4 hour trip quickly turned into a 5+ hour drive. And to no availability, it stormed when we arrived at Edisto. No beaching for us on Friday!

We were actually quite ecstatic to bring Dexter along because he's never been tot he beach before! We were excited to see how he'd react because he's such a water lover. We were up bright and early on Saturday morning to beat the crowd and break the leash laws. Only to realize Dexter was afraid of the waves. We should've known. Nonetheless, he had fun. We all did!

The weather was perfect the rest of the day. We got plenty of beach time - soaking up the sun, skim boarding, and boogie boarding. Cagney spent most of the time in the water, while I mostly relaxed. Because let's face it, I don't like feeling the bottom of the ocean. I did manage to get in the water for a bit though. It's hard to say no to Kaylin when she continues to say, "Aunt Julie, come play with me!"

We were sad to have to say goodbye to everyone. We definitely wish we could've come down earlier. We feel like our time was so short, but that's because it was. Either way, any time is better than no time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Camping at Tims Ford Lake

On a whim we decided to go camping this past weekend at Tims Ford Lake. We didn't actually camp at the main campground, but rather at the Fairview campground. A lake front campsite is a requirement when choosing the perfect location and that wasn't something the main campground offered. Both campgrounds were full of campers, something we aren't really fond of. Luckily, we chose a stretch of sites that were designated for tent camping only. Even though we technically are "car" campers, we still truly enjoy the outdoors and the peacefulness it brings.

Without a doubt we can tell your Dexter had the most fun of the three of us. His fun began the moment we pulled into our site - he jumped out of the truck window and ran into the lake. Thank you, Dexter, for giving us time to get out and open your door for you. Not. He literally could not contain his excitement. And that is why a lake front campsite is a necessity.

Dexter swam his little heart out while Cagney and I got everything set up. It wasn't long before I joined Dexter in the lake - on my floaty. I don't dare swim in the water. There are fish in there. I have chosen the perfect floaty that guards my body from all living creatures in the lake, with the exception of an 80 pound furry fish. Why yes, this floaty is big enough for two. Always.

After hours of swimming (and a nice hike at Tims Ford State Park), we were all starved. Cagney went to gather us some wood. He always does. The he proceeded to teach me how to build a fire because I can't remember from all the times he told me before. We ate typical camping food: hot dogs and potatoes. We're still figuring out works for us. Next time we're thinking we'll go with a stew. Pretend we're living in the olden days and cook it in a cast iron cauldron.

Our night was finished off with smores and ghost stories. I have officially decided I don't like smores of any type. I don't know what it is, I'm just not a fan. I do love me some plain ol' toasted marshmallows though. I eat them right up. 

The last time we went camping we bought a book about real ghost stories in South Carolina. We only bring it out when camping. We try to read a story that happened close to were we are camping to multiply the scariness. Of course that doesn't really work when your camping in Tennessee.

Early to bed, early to rise. Or as Dexter says: early to bed, early to swim. You bet he had us all up and awake as soon as the sun peaked over the trees. He was well rested and ready to go.

We soon stumbled out of the tent to make coffee, which didn't work. Thanks Pinterest. Not having coffee in the morning is just unacceptable; thus, we are now on the hunt for a camping french press. At least our breakfast was delicious.

There was once a time (years ago) when we thought we wanted to be back country camping type of people. We quickly learned that we really weren't cut out for that. We like being comfortable and clean. And we really like eating good food.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Today is a day to remember those who served and are no longer with us. And that's just what we did. Or we at least made our best attempt to remember them. We wanted to honor them and let them know that their actions have not been forgotten. We want to thank all veterans who are no longer with us for fighting for our country and freedom. It is Memorial Day after all.

This morning we headed to our local Veteran's Cemetery to walk around. It was a beautiful day, and we had a nice time. Many of the headstones we read were from veterans who led a long life, but there were also many from those who died at a young age. Some were also dedicated to wives and children.

We also learned a little about history. After seeing multiple headstones with the same dates, we knew that something significant must have happened during those times. We looked up the dates we could remember when we got home. June of 1864 stuck out the most to me. There was a memorial (below) dedicated to soldiers in that month, as well as notes of medal of honors given to multiple soldiers. I learned that this was during the American Civil War. It was a time in which thousands of lives were lost during the Siege of Petersburg.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those who so generously gave their lives for our country. You are not forgotten.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Buzzard's Point

There are few things that I love more than starting off the weekend off with a hike first thing Saturday morning. I love getting up early to get a start on our day. Weekends are short as they are, so there is no need to waste time. Plus, we all like to get ahead of the heat. I'm not fan and neither is Dexter. Not to mention an early Saturday hike is a fantastic way to begin our three day weekend, too. And after having nothing but rain last weekend, we wanted to take full advantage of the good weather that is expected this weekend.

Today we chose to hike Buzzard's Point. It's part of the Laurel-Snow Segment of the Cumberland Trails. Earlier this year we hiked to Laurel Falls. We're always up for new hikes, and today we wanted a longer trek. It was a great hike. 

As soon as we go there, we were notified that the 50-foot bridge was impassible because of a tree that had fallen on it. After our 45 minute drive to get there, we weren't about to head home. We were just going to have to find a different way across. And we did. We made our own way. Crisis averted. Dexter was probably happy that the bridge was down. Let's face it, he's not a fan of bridges. Although he did have to cross a bridge today. It isn't an easy feat for him. I tell him not to look down, but he clearly doesn't listen.

The hike took us about three hours, out and back. Granted we were out there for closer to four hours because Dexter was out swimming every chance he had. It amazes me at how much that boy loves the water.

Another Chattanooga hike down for the Amerson Family! We have a lot of ground to cover before we move from the area next year. There are so many trails around here, who knows where we'll end up next.