The past few weeks have been rather hectic for us as a family. Swim team, Jon's work schedule and other assorted commitments made us sorely lacking in family time. We needed to get away for the day and just be together. Mountains it was. What better place than the simple life of mountain living to allow us to reconnect.
We went into Virginia and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mabry Mill to be exact. And simplicity is what we found. The kids learned about Sorghum processing that took place during the Civil War when sugar was scarce. You can't see the hitch to the right, but the kids thought they could hook Jake up and he would turn the poll around in circles to crush the cane. Nice...
Look at all of that beautiful hand spun yarn.
Have I told you that our kids are competitive? They love a good checkers game and this one was made from red and white corn cob slices.
Don't mess with her concentration...
This man was working hard on baskets.
Just because he was cute...
Again, they wanted to hitch Jake up for their wagon.
My kids are going to be pro's at explaining blacksmithing. I think we have now watched every blacksmithing demo in our area!
We walked along the mill and this was showing how all of the water came to the water wheel.
Jon was teaching the kids about the versatility of the mill. It was used to cut logs, run a jigsaw, and mill corn and wheat into flour.
I am a sucker for weathered wood and my kids... What can I say?
Inside the mill were things for sale.
And they could feel the difference between corn meal and corn flour.
Nothing like a good game of peek a boo to make all the kids smile!
Again, in love with weathered wood and the trees!
Jake loved climbing up these mill stones and practicing his jumping. He is rather wild in fact. He thinks he can do it well even after he jumped off the sofa this morning and put a nice gash on his head! I am sure he is going to enjoy life to the fullest...
The front of the mill was so beautiful. So inspiring in fact that other states has used it on postcards claiming it as their own! I am sure it would be even more picturesque during the fall.
Beautiful Rhododendrons all in bloom. They were just covering the mountains. Never ceases to amaze me how the mountains change monthly.
We decided to go into the gift shop to check things out. Nothing like a little patriotism to make your heart swell.
Noticed this right off... Wish I had that at the foothills. Thankfully, my hubby let me drive after the first warning of car sickness. Blech. Sure love to visit, but I could never live here!
Of course, Jake found the brooms...
And the olders found the candy. Who could resist for only 25 cents!
Poor Jake didn't get one of his own so he tried the kids. He didn't want to give them up so Jon had to up the anty. Guess a good full breath is better than candy!
Just sitting enjoying the mountain music. I couldn't coerce the kids into dancing though!
After leaving there, we went out for a drive. Love these views!
Of course we all deliberated on our hike. Jon would seriously hike 20 miles without batting an eye. I would be the one stuck in the back with three screaming kids!
We settled on a hike off the parkway which was only a mile. Jake was strapped to my back so it was fun for all of us! Unfortunately my batteries died on my camera so only my phone worked as a back up camera. Just picture beautiful mountain lakes, meandering hills, deer and so many wild raspberries... Mmmmm...
So this day made for one happy Momma. I needed it...