We enjoyed our second annual "family retreat" in the mountains this past weekend. Basically that means we gather with all of Matt's siblings and their spouses and kids and cram ourselves into a super awesome cabin where we eat junk food and have fun all weekend. Calling it a retreat just makes it sound more legit.
Last year (and like, go look at the pictures of my TEENY TINY BABY and shed a few tears with me, will you?) we met up in Maggie Valley, NC. This year we trekked all the way to Boone...a much further drive (well, for the Athens crowd), but well worth it. We went a few weeks earlier, too, to hopefully catch 'peak leaf season' (which is A Thing), and that was DEFINITELY a good call. Oh, and we stayed an extra day longer. Also a really good call. So that's your basic recipe for a great family retreat, I guess. Go to an awesome mountain town during peak leaf season and don't scrimp on your cabin rental. Jacuzzis on the porch are not optional.
I'll let my (millions of) pictures do the rest of the talking.
I love watching Millie get to know our extended family!! She took a special liking to her Uncle Tom this weekend- sometimes she'd run up to him to pick her up and read her books even when Matt and I were in the room! That really made me smile.
The porch at this cabin (and really, we shouldn't be saying "cabin" here. It was waaaaay nicer than a cabin should be) seriously brought its A game. Saturday was pretty rainy and gross, but the porch (with hot tub; did I mention that?) was covered and had plenty of rocking chairs, swings, and blankets to keep us occupied and let us enjoy the (wet, fog-surrounded) leaves.
We didn't want to waste a day in Boone, though, so we headed to explore Linville Caverns- an "excellent rainy day activity," the webpage promised.
The webpage didn't lie- we had a lot of fun! And so did the rest of the state of North Carolina. I'm pretty sure we were all there. But oh well. I've never been in a cavern/cave (is there a difference??) before, and I thought this was really interesting. And not scary- it wasn't the kind of thing where you're crawling through narrow holes. You remain fully upright at all times, and the majority of the tour is wheelchair accessible, if that tells you anything about how non-spelunkingish this tour was.
On Sunday the weather turned gorrrrrgeous and we headed out for a hike. Again...the rest of
We borrowed a hiking backpack from my friend and Millie loved being able to see everything, pat Matt's head, and eat snacks/drink water as the Spirit led her. She was also (not surprisingly) the Rough Ridge Trail Sunshine Committee, waving and clapping for every single person we passed- which was somewhere in the ballpark of ten billion. She makes more friends during a two hour hike than I've made in my entire lifetime.
I'm not much of a hiker, but I really enjoyed this one. It was muddy and crowded, but the leaves and views were just incredible...and also, happy Millie in a backpack. It really doesn't get much better.
The following picture is too amazing to smoosh into a collage, so please sit down before you pass out over the cuteness.
Ugh. For real.
Sadly, like all good things, the weekend had to come to an end. I'm not a huge fan of car trips, but even I couldn't complain much about yesterday's.
A good book, a breathtaking view, and a happily sleeping baby? I'll take it.
But now we're home, and it's kind of a bummer. The best thing about today was this little nugget in her fuchsia overall dress thingy.
And when she runs to me and hugs my legs while I'm just trying to get a decent picture?? Ummm it's like the best thing in the world. Decent pictures are overrated.
In addition to returning to Real Life today, I also made a return visit to a place I haven't been in awhile: the reproductive endocrinologists' clinic. Womp womp. I guess we'll chat more about that later, because for now, my BFFs Laurelei and Rory are calling me to come hang out, so I gotta jet. I'll just leave you with one last picture that didn't make it to a collage. I'll let you decide whether the most amazing thing about the shot is Millie's adorableness or the way that the backpack straps smoosh 'the girls' in a most attractive fashion- ha!