Monday, February 14, 2011

Monticello Ranch

A weekend on the trail!

Right around Valentines Day this year we had the great opportunity to travel to a friend's private ranch grounds in Monticello, Georgia.  Previously used for hunting, this 150 acre plot is full of walking trails, ponds, and several tree perches for hunters.  We had a blast romping through the pines, catching toads, and making smores.  My friend Angela tried out her new camera and we were able to have our first family photo taken!

Monticello Family Photo
Monticello is already far off the grid, so you can imagine the roads you must take to get to such a place.  Sitting by the pond reminded me of Walden and all at once I understand why my husband finds comfort in solitude.  Alone with your thoughts wrapped in a hammock, your responsibilities and unsettling speeds of life melt away to a more Utopian state and life is once again in balance.

Ana holds her first toad!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clingman's Dome & Highlands NC

Long weekend trips give this SAH mom something to look forward to.  One of my favorites was our trip to Highland, NC. We found it almost entirely by accident, as we initially planned a trip to visit Clingmans Dome in Smokey Mountain national park.  Unfortunately the top of the dome is closed in the dead of winter, but that didn't stop us from ditching the car and taking a short hike up the closed road.  It was 7 miles to the top and we opted to go only 1 of those. Our daughter and deep snow gave for poor hiking conditions and several people passed us on skis.

Stunning drive through Highlands, NC past several falls
The drive from Clingmans to Highlands, NC was spectacular even in the dead of winter.  It reminded me so much of the drive through the catskills on the way to the annual beerfest in NY and several switchbacks made me glad I was the driver instead of the passenger.  We stopped and photographed a few of the falls including Bridal Veil falls (below) and Rainbow Falls (above).  A weekend like this one puts me in a state of Zen: beautiful mountain scenery, quiet nestled hotel, wine and fresh cookies at dinner, cuddle time with family in bed. What more can a woman ask for?