Sunday, October 15, 2017

Camp Connection

One of my favorite parts of travel is searching for the perfect spot and planning the trip.  For our mini fall break getaway, I had a wish list in finding our home away from home.  We wanted to camp but indoor plumbing was a must.  Since we had a small window of days, it needed to be realitively close so we didn't spend all our time driving.  Something near the water and promising views, since we enjoy being outdoors.  And my hope was to be tech free, though being more than a request to my guys was an added bonus.

In the end, we chose to rent a camper in Cumberland Falls, Kentucky.  It was a state park we haven't visited, even though I'd traveled near there for work a few years ago.  I knew from driving it before, the scenery would be amazing this time of year.

It did not disappoint.

We purposefully set the GPS to take us there via back roads and avoided the interstate as much as possible.  For me, in a road trip, getting there is half the fun.  I love spontaneous stops and finds along the way.  The photo above was actually called Haunted Cave Road, as peaceful as it seems.  Noah noticed it, and much to his surprise, I said, "Let's go down it!"

Through the curves and winding roads, we talked and laughed, while Noah took turns between being DJ and helping me drive.  Tim, ever the trooper, worked the night before we left so he napped in between raising up to view the scenery or see why we stopped.

Noah realized, as we entered Daniel Boone forest, the cell service became sketchy.  Luckily, his phone was pre-programmed with our route.  Truly, that and taking photos were the only thing we really used our phones for the entire trip.  I knew the camper didn't have a tv, which was fine by me, and my plan was to invoke our "no tech" rule we have on similar vacations.  Much to my delight, the area took care of that for me, as the only way you could get a signal was to turn your head just so and point your arm at an angle while walking uphill.  

Being disconnected from the world allowed us to connect more deeply with each other.  

In fact, apart from the scenery, my favorite memories of the trip are of the time we spent playing games, cooking over an open fire, and sitting around talking/laughing/telling stories.  When I replay this trip over in my mind, I smile over scenes of us at the table playing cards, singing along to classics on the camper radio, and enjoying amazing meals together with no outside distractions.  
We had so much fun in the camper, we plan to extend our next camping trip - wherever that may be.  Even my techy-phone always in his hand-teen enjoyed the time being unavailable and not receiving constant notifications.  All three of us decided we could easily handle a week of nothing but togetherness.  Not being instantly available is a peaceful freedom, circa 1996.

Of course, one of the special moments of our trip was our day spent visiting Cumberland Falls.  I've had this place in my "go to" folder for years, always trying to coordinate our breaks with the moonbow that happens there.  Even though we missed the moonbow by a matter of days, it did not diminish the astounding beauty of the place.

I could've stood for hours marveling at this landscape.

To get to this particular spot, took walking down several sections of steps, something I might have opted out of even a year ago.  With my knee injury, steps are not my friend, but I decided the memory worth any temporary pain that might come.  

Life is too short to sit on the sidelines.

Although I wasn't as adventurous as this duo, who had me randomly stopping at any rocky spot that seemed interesting throughout our trip.  Besides, somebody had to stay with the car and drive to a signal, provided a bear jump out - or an ankle twist!

However, they were pretty proud of how well ol' mom hung on the trip.  
I'm pretty proud too...
even if my hamstrings still feel those hills!

We packed a picnic for our visit to the falls but just happened upon our spot.  It was just up the road, nestled by the river that fed the waterfall.  With only one other family there, it made for a quiet and beautiful place to dine outdoors.  

As do all vacations, the end came before we were really ready.  But this area and the memories made will always hold a special place in my blessed and joyful heart.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Break Festivities

Fall break began this weekend and many of our friends headed south, so they are dodging hurricanes and torrential downpours.  We are headed east and hoping the rain-clouds steer clear!

Saturday we spent the day festival hopping.  A yearly tradition, we began at the Nut Club, a foodie lover's dream, full of food trucks as far as the eye can see.  Nearly every booth has unique items, such as brain sandwiches, centipede suckers, and snails. 

Some years we strategize, some we are spontaneous on our choices.  Though I had a few stops in mind, we ended up just eating what caught our eye.

I've been low-carbing for a couple months but planned to cheat this day with a "one bite rule."  What I quickly realized is that my belly has significantly shrunk in capacity so, after a few bites, I was full.  It didn't help that one of our first stops was the giant turkey leg booth.  Tim bought one, feeling it was a safe choice amidst the freaky fried delicacies, and I shared it with him. 

By the halfway point we were stuffed, hot and inching toward being miserable, so we cut the trip short.  Noah decided we need to come twice next year, once at night and once during the day.  Sounds like a plan!

We made it home in time for the tail end of our hometown fall festival but rain saw many of the booths close early.  Since it was a record year of vendors, I was a little disappointed to not browse but my hubby's wallet was relieved. 

Noah had entered the chili contest though so we hung around for the results.  He placed 2nd.  This momma is biased and isn't sure how he didn't claim 1st, but we're proud either way.  Added bonus is we got to enjoy the leftovers!

We're unplugging the rest of the week and going on a mini camping retreat. I cannot wait for some family time around the campfire and surrounded by God's beautiful landscape, especially this time of year.   I'm sure there will be a post to update you, once we return.

Wishing you and yours a blessed and JOYFUL Fall Break!
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