We just came home from our last beach trip of the year. I feel so amazingly lucky that we got to squeeze in two trips this year. Now that we are home, I think I can officially put summer to rest and fully embrace fall. I pulled out all of all fall clothing right before we left and now I’m surrounded by piles of summer things needing to be packed away. I didn’t get a chance to share most of our summer happenings this year so in a last ditch effort to bid summer adieu, here are some of our special moments...
We kicked off summer in May with our first beach trip. My parents own a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama hence our multiple beach trips this year. Last year our trip was super crazy with an 18 month old that required lots of chasing. This year Ethan was fully entertained by digging holes and pushing dump trucks up and down the beach. Jack mostly slept through this trip, but was a happy baby as usual.
In June we took the kids to Asheville, NC to do some hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was absolutely beautiful and we hope to get back to do some more hikes this fall. Michael and I also returned to celebrate our 5 year anniversary sans kids at the Black Walnut Inn. If you haven’t taken the plunge into bed and breakfasts, I can now say I highly recommend it especially this particular one. Check out the Select Registry for a sure fire win.
We stayed put in July and enjoyed the typical summer activities at home. The sprinkler, home improvements, backyard camping and lots of indoor things as this summer was very rain-filled around here.
August took us back into North Carolina to Bryson City to visit the “quieter side of the Smokies”. Since we live within an hour of Gatlinburg we have been to the Smokies quite a few times. I do prefer the North Carolina side though as there is much less focus on attractions and more focus on the mountains. We hiked several trails including Clingman’s Dome which has been on my list for quite awhile.
While we were there we also visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation which was an unique experience. I was expecting more tepees and feathers, but apparently I didn’t know much about the more “local” tribes. It was nice to expand Ethan’s horizons (as well as my own). He was a tad unsure of taking a picture with these fellows below after they had demonstrated their war calls and fighting scenes.
That brings us to September and our last official trip of the summer back to Orange Beach. Jackson loved the pool this go around although the beach was quite more difficult. I much prefer taking babies to the beach in the pre-crawling stage, but he enjoyed it regardless. Ethan did more dump truck pushing and hole digging. He was up with the sun and down with it as well. It was a very relaxing trip (well, as relaxing as a trip can be with an almost 3 year old and 9 month old). I could just about cry thinking about how different next year will be! My babies are getting bigger by the minute.
We had a busy, but good summer with lots of quality family time. I'm looking forward to the coolness of fall and upcoming holidays. Last year I felt like I just made it through by the skin of my teeth considering there was a baby making it's appearance in December. I'm so glad to have a little more relaxed holiday season this year and I hope to soak up all the fun it has to offer with both my boys!