Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy (Early) Father's Day

I have a few older posts I need to get caught up on but I really wanted to get these pictures out so I will update the older pictures in a later post :) Warning: there are a LOT of pictures in this post! Sorry!

Lincoln and I are headed back to Idaho on the 18th of June and so we won't be here for Father's Day this year. I didn't have anything planned for last Sunday so I told Sheridan ahead of time to keep that day clear that we were going to celebrate Father's Day early and he needed to keep the entire day open.

Lincoln and I woke up early and let Sheridan sleep in. Around 9:30ish we made him breakfast in bed. I knew Sheridan would be happy because he was getting a "real" breakfast (his words not mine). I usually make him eat healthier than he would like for breakfast so he was so excited when he had real bacon (instead of turkey bacon), whole eggs (instead of just the whites), and real potato hash instead of sweet potatoes like I usually make him eat. We also made him a yummy fruit smoothie.

Lately a lot of my cooking and preparation for meals gets done on the floor. Lincoln is really curious and wants to know what is going on up on the counter. The counters are high enough that even if he stands on a chair he can't really see what I am doing (plus he likes to "help") so instead, I just bring a lot of things down to his level. If I am cutting fruit, or mixing things together when baking, I just do it on the floor so he can "help" out. Well, I wanted to get a picture of the breakfast we were bringing Sheridan and Lincoln was mad because I wouldn't let him eat it!

He was happy when I let him have a bite :)
Sheridan never, ever buys things for himself. I mean never. He is also really hard to shop for, because he doesn't really want that many new things. Well, recently he has been commenting that he needs new brown shoes but he never wanted to buy them himself. I was at the Bass outlet near our house a while back and found some brown shoes on sale so I picked them up and have been hiding them in a storage bin since! I wrapped them in some old Christmas wrapping paper we had and helped Lincoln write on the wrapping paper. It's hard to read but it says, "I love you dad, Love Lincoln"
Lincoln was more interested in eating dad's food then he was surprising him with it :)
Lincoln LOVES feeding us - he laughs like crazy after you take a bite!
Sheridan's new shoes! He liked them.
Then I told Sheridan to get some comfy tennis shoes on we were going to spend the day driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and doing some hiking. Sheridan had mentioned a couple of months ago that he really wanted to drive this and had heard it was really pretty. I honestly hadn't really ever heard of the Blue Ridge Parkway before but it was sooo pretty! It is a part of the Appalachian Mountain range and really reminded us of home when we were there.

It was a 2.5 hour drive to get there - the entrance we took to the Blue Ridge Parkway is near Waynesboro, Virginia. While I was inside at a gas station we stopped at Sheridan gave Lincoln some BBQ chips! The little stinker. He loved it though.
The drive really started to get pretty! It is amazing how you only have to drive 40 minutes or so away from our house and you are in some pretty rural areas.
Sheridan was bored on the drive and kept taking these weird pictures
We finally made it! So, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a product of the New Deal's efforts to provide jobs to the unemployed of the Great Depression. Construction began in September 1935 at Cumberland Knob near the North Carolina and Virginia state line. The idea was to create a link between the Shenandoah National Park to the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and was completed in 1983. It is such an interesting and beautiful drive! The speed limit is 45 for most of the drive, but really you need to go between 35-40 because the roads are so curvy. There are TONS of pull outs to take pictures and go hiking. There are no gas stations on the road to preserve the scenic beauty (but there are surrounding towns you can get to with gas stations). Sheridan is not very good at focusing the camera when he takes pictures, but I wanted to post this picture to show that there really is a "blue" haze over the mountain range (hence the name). I tried to find out why the mountains look blue and this is the best answer I could find online:

The Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere,thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color
We stopped at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center first. Lincoln loved getting carried in the backpack carrier!

They had this awesome farm that simulated what original settlers of this area would have lived in (more pictures at the end of the post). This was a root cellar where they would store root veggies, potatoes, and canned food
Inside the root cellar
What a goon! Look at that face...
We switched off the backpack carrier and started the 1-mile hike to Humpback Rocks. The hike was labeled as "strenuous" on the guide, which normally wouldn't be an issue but two things made it harder: 1) we were carrying a 30-lb child and 2) I forgot tennis shoes and was only wearing flip flops
A little way up the Humpback Rock trail.
Sheridan was a little grumpy on the way up....
This picture really doesn't do it justice, but it was a pretty steep little hike! Isn't this pretty!?
Sheridan was being a grump and so we switched off and I carried Lincoln the rest of the way.
We finally made it! It is funny because you are walking through these this thick grove of trees and you are starting to wonder if maybe you accidentally got off the trail somehow, then all of the sudden you turn a corner and it opens up to this absolutely amazing view!
Humpback Rocks

Sooo pretty!
It truly was breathtakingly beautiful.

So then we headed back down the mountain.
Don't they look so much alike in this photo??

Switched off again....

As we were heading back we saw a rattlesnake!! It was kind of scary! It was a big one too....I didn't get very good pictures with my camera unfortunately
You can see the rattle here. We asked one of the "locals" if it was normal to see rattlesnakes and they said they come here all the time and have never heard of rattlesnakes being around.
Here are some more photos of the "farm". This is how people used to wash their clothes....

I am still not sure if these people were park employees or just locals from a surrounding town. They were all sitting on the porch and had name tags, but they were just chit-chatting when we walked over.
The sign in front of the chicken house....
And the weasel got out! just kidding ;) corny, I know.
Inside the log house - most families of 9 or 10 people would live in this teeny, tiny house

Another person who I am not sure if he was a park employee, or just a local who likes spending his time here. He was talking about the various types of corn settlers used and the tools they used to harvest it.
Pretty view - the camera really doesn't do this justice
Then it was time for our last gift to Sheridan for Father's Day! Sheridan's favorite all-time beer is made by Kona and is called Pipeline Porter. Well, it is a seasonal beer and is only available fall/winter. Sheridan didn't realize it was seasonal and was SO bummed when he realized he couldn't get it anymore. He doesn't really drink a lot, actually he rarely drinks at all, but when he does have an occasional beer he wants to have one that he actually likes to drink. So I called around to a bunch of grocery stores/wine stores and finally found one that still had a 6-pack in stock! I also have had this hidden (with his shoes) in a storage bin for the last month or so. Good thing Sheridan doesn't clean! :)

I also got Sheridan a little cooler bag so he can bring his lunches to work. So, the idea was that when we got to the top of the hike I would give him his cooler bag and he would open it and see the beer in there! Then he could enjoy it at the top of the mountain. But, as we were driving down I realized I forgot a bottle opener, plus, it wouldn't have really been appropriate to drink the beer up there because there were other people around. So, instead I just gave him this present on our way home.
Once he realized the Pipeline was in there....
He liked it!!!
Overall we had a GREAT time and it was so much fun to spend some quality family time together. Sheridan was really surprised with everything and it was so much fun to get to spend an entire day together and not have to worry about work (Exxon/Scentsy) or anything else! What a great day :)

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