weekend mountain getaway

I know I’ve mentioned before that 2 of my good friends and I met Greg and his 2 buddies, and then we all ended up marring these boys.  So the 6 of us are of course still good friends, but we haven’t hung out just the 6 of us in a while.  Well we all took a couples weekend to head to the mountains and it was so much fun!  And I think the best part was that we brought our “children.”  Yep, we found a pet-friendly cabin to rent, and so the lab family and Lily came along with us.  I was so great having them all there, and we even joked about how it was good training for when we all have kids one day, cause we all chipped in and helped take responsibility of all the dogs.  John, Leah, Greg and I headed out of town Friday around noon, so we had time to explore the mountain area before getting to our cabin.  We stopped at Mercier Orchards country store, tasted and bought some home-brewed hard cider and fudge, and I stocked up on more cornbread mix.

We wound our way through the mountains, past the Ocoee River, then on into north GA to the Blue Ridge mountains towards our cabin.

 

Friday night it rained pretty hard, so once we unloaded everything, we just spent the rest of the night hanging out in the cabin watching the Olympics and waiting for Dana and Chesley to arrive.  And leave it to us to welcome them with a bang.  There was a Christmas tree set-up in the den of the cabin, so there might have been some dancing and Trans Siberian Orchestra Carol of the Bells going on upon their arrival.  We like to keep things interesting 😉

 

Saturday we slept in a bit, made breakfast, and then eventually around lunchtime made it out to start our adventures in the mountains.  We headed to Olympic park at the Ocoee River to get some maps and make a game plan for the day.

 We drove just a bit further down the river and found a trail along creek that fed into the river.  We hiked up through the creek and along a trail till we found the perfect waterfall and swimming hole for the dogs to play in.

 

 There was a waterfall that the guys slid down, and the labradors were LOVING swimming around and fetching giant sticks.  Lily, however, is not always a fan of swimming.  It’s hit or miss with her, and usually a miss.  It’s like it stresses her out that the other dogs are in the water.  She just paces and whines the whole time.  We’ll make her get in sometimes, but she usually jumps right back out and runs along the bank again.

 
 This is Jack and Lola. They are brother and sister. Jack is ours, and Lola belongs to Dana and Chesley.  The other black lab with us is Josie, one of Lola’s puppies from last year, and she belongs to John and Leah.
 
 
 
 Greg and Jack
 
 
 family photo (although we left Sophie at home with mom and Dwayne)

After hanging out in the river we headed back to the cabin to drop off the dogs and then we left again in search of a trout pond where we could fish for trout and just pay by the pound for what we caught.  Since we weren’t taking the dogs, all 6 of us just piled in Greg’s truck and we were off.  Greg was using his phone maps app to get us there, but after winding through the mountains, around farmlands, on dirt roads for almost an hour, we still couldn’t find it.  The phone would say we were there, but there was nothing.  We decided to head back, but when we passed a road sign that matched up with our map, we made one more last ditch effort to follow it and see if we got lucky.  FINALLY, we rounded a corner and saw a tiny sign for The Trout Pond!  But….

It was a fun adventure, nonetheless!  We all got a good laugh out of it.  Friday night there was an awesome meteor shower, and what better place to watch it than out in the woods at our cabin!?  It started around midnight, and there was a 2nd floor porch just big enough for all of us to lay flat on our backs watching for meteors.  It was pretty chilly outside, so we had pillows and blankets, and were thankful all the dogs were out there with us cuddled up keeping us warm.  It seriously might be one of my new favorite memories with my friends.  We had some quiet star-gazer music playing, and we just laid there for almost 2 hours chatting and staring into the sky.  And we saw a good amount of meteors!  One in particular was really bright and had a huge tail that streaked across the sky.  It was so much fun.

Sunday morning, the boys and Dana got up bright and early to head to the Ocoee for a rafting trip with Outdoor Adventure Rafting. We’ve been using this company for a few years now, and have been pleased.  Leah and I decided to sit this one out this time, so we stayed at the cabin to pack up and clean up before leaving the cabin.  We loaded up the truck and met up with the other guys once they were back from their rafting trip.  They had so much fun! They even rescued a guy who had gotten caught in the hydraulics of one of the rapids!  From the way they described it, it sounded like a scary situation!!  After rafting we had a quick little picnic on the OAR campgrounds and let the dogs get one more quick swim in before heading back to Birmingham.  And go figure on this little trip Lily decided to join in on the swim!  I don’t know if Lola not being there this time (Dana and Chesley had already left) made the difference, or if because it was really shallow and she could walk out into the water instead of jumping into the water did the trick.  But she was swimming like a champ and fetching the sticks!!!  Bless her heart, she was the only non-labrador on the trip.  I was so proud of her at this point 🙂