Shane took the day off of work on Friday, and since the boys only had a half-a-day of school anyway, we let them play hooky instead, and headed to the North Carolina mountains for a day of fun!!
I seriously don't think there is ANY place more beautiful than the N.C. mountains in the fall!
The beauty takes my breath away!
Before heading out the door though, we stuffed our bellies full of pumpkin pancakes!
A perfect way to kick-start our FALL day;)
After a short two hour scenic drive, we arrived at our first destination---the Linville Caverns!
The kids had never been to the caverns before and were super excited to check it ALL out!
They jumped out of the car and immediately started running and climbing on every rock and bolder in sight!
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to visit the mountains.
The weather was sunny and gorgeous with just a hint of that lovely fall chill in the air!
It was PERFECT!!!
Because they only take small groups into the caverns at one time, we had to wait a few minutes for our turn to enter.
Everyone waited patiently for our turn to come!
Before long, we were called, and we began our decent into the deep dark cave!
I'll be honest, I was a little worried about the bats that I knew called these caverns home!
Sure enough, just as soon as we entered and turned the corner, we had our first bat sighting!
It was tiny, but a BAT none-the-less!!
I was a little creeped out by it, but my kids were ecstatic to see the critter!
We squeezed our way through the tight corridors, and made our way to the deepest (and darkest) part of the cavern. It was here, in the inner most part of the cave, where they turned off all lights on us and let us experience "total darkness"!
Again, I was a little creeped out, but my kids thought it was "AWESOME"!
We finished our hike through the cave, and before long we were
back in the car, heading to possibly my most favorite place on earth...the little town of Blowing Rock!!!
Kilwin's Chocolate Kitchen was calling our name...
and the promise of a yummy ice cream cone was on every ones mind!
"After that hike through the scary cave mom...ice cream sure does hit the spot!"
I couldn't agree more, Riley!!!
Everyone gobbled up their delicious ice cream cone and were soon ready to hit the town playground!
The kids were having the BEST time just running around and playing that we could have just stayed at the playground the rest of the day!
They were in no hurry to leave,
however Shane and I still had a few other places left on our "to visit" list!!
So we bid farewell to the playground...
and headed to yet another beautiful spot in down town Blowing Rock!
I'm not even sure what this park is called, but it is right behind main street in Blowing Rock?!?
If someone knows, let me know.
Anyway, we brought along our leftover lunch scraps and
and I think the ducks appreciated that!
They sure did seem to enjoy our leftovers;)
We enjoyed a nice walk around the pond
and stopped just long enough to snap a few pictures along the way!
I LOVED this signed which is perfectly placed right at the exit of the park.
Sweet memories left with us that day--for sure!!!
Once again, we jumped back in the car and headed to our final destination listed on our agenda...
Moses Cone Memorial Park!
This park is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, right outside of Blowing Rock!
We had never been here before, but I had read online reviews about how beautiful it was,
and a "Must See" while in Blowing Rock!
The trails within the park were described as easy,
so I thought it would be the PERFECT place for our family to hike!
This was our first ever real hike experience as a family and the kids did great!
They had so much fun running around and exploring all the things around us!
Whether climbing to the top of a great big hill, or skipping stones across the lake...
what ever it was...my kids were loving it!!
And as I watched their sweet faces, saw each precious smile, and heard their squeals of delight, I was once again blown away and humbled by all the Lord has entrusted to me!
Psalm 96:11-12 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.