Chasing Waterfalls Pt 1

We spent the month of October on the go. Between working and traveling, I believe we were only home and not doing anything for 2-3 days. I wouldn’t trade it though, as we had an amazing time exploring our own back yard. We kicked off the month with the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. What could be better than eating and drinking your way around the world with family? I was thankful that my grandparents came in for the week, and we had a fun time at the park.

The following weekend we visited my other grandma, who lives at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She was recovering from a recent surgery, so we enjoyed just relaxing around the house and exploring the town of Young Harris, GA. If there was any place that I would want to be in recovery from a recent surgery it would certainly be tucked away in the beautiful mountains.

A random pull-off on our way up to the park
A random pull-off on our way up to the park
The view from our car
The view from our car

We then made our way to our campsite in Cades Cove. We got extremely lucky and were able to snag a last minute cancellation in the park. It was truly perfect tent camping weather… the air was cool and dry, the evenings happily spent around a campfire. I always sleep wonderfully in a tent. I love the rustle of leaves, the sounds of crickets chirping, and the dark, deep night sky. The freezing temperatures make a perfect excuse to share a sleeping bag ;).

While in the park we did a couple of hikes around Cades Cove. I could literally spend months in the park and not see everything that I want to see. The best hike was to Abram Falls. It’s an easy to moderate hike, about 5 miles round trip (great for families). Part of what makes it so great is the proximity to Cades Cove. It’s right off the loop, and there is a parking lot with a restroom at the trail head. Cades Cove can get really congested during peak season, and it can take a few hours to complete the 11-mile loop by car. The trail head makes for a great pit stop to stretch the legs and get some fresh mountain air when your driving the loop. The actual waterfall is a nice lunch spot as there are many large rocks to set up picnic. A perfect mountain day in my opinion!

Made it to Abram Falls! Great hike.
Made it to Abram Falls! Great hike.

 

Enjoying the beautiful Cades Cove
Enjoying the beautiful Cades Cove

We spent the latter part of the month exploring the Pacific Northwest. We had a great time spitting our days between Portland and Seattle. More on that to come.

-Kaylee

 

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The Girls Take NYC

One of my best girlfriends and I recently returned from a trip to the big apple. We were hoping to take our ladies’ trip across the sea to Ireland, but that fell through so we settled instead for a pub in the East Village where the bartenders were all Irish. We had a great time and were the only tourists within 0.1 miles of the pub, so I’d say it was a successful alternative to Ireland.

One can never eat too much pizza in NYC. Especially after midnight.
One can never eat too much pizza in NYC. Especially after midnight.

 

La-la Lady Liberty
La-la Lady Liberty

But really, we had a fantastic time in Manhattan. The city never disappoints, and as always, it leaves you wanting more. and more. Mostly, more money. But hey, its more of something at least. We did *most* of the quintessential we-are-new-york-tourists type of things… Ellis Island, Chinatown, Broadway shows, and Central Park. New York is one of the cities that you can return to time and time again and have a completely different experience each time. It just never gets old. And, there is always more to see (and eat).

The Lion King on Broadway... simply amazing!
The Lion King on Broadway… simply amazing!

The first time I ventured to the city I had just graduated high school went with a school group. I remember feeling exhilarated trying to navigate the streets and subway by myself. Everything was just so BIG. and BUSY. I grew up in small-town-America, so it was a culture shock, in the best possible way. Then, a few years later, I returned with the hubby and we met some friends from Canada. It was freezing, and I experienced true snowfall for the first time. Central Park was magical covered in ice. Beyond that, the cold just royally sucked. This past week, we had a great time window shopping and just being girls in a big city.

Long live dim sum
Long live dim sum
Being girly at Serendipity
Being girly at Serendipity

We met some really kind (and unkind) people, made new friends at a bar, walked many miles in boots that were not made for walking, ate all the dim sum our heart could desire, and got mistaken for locals… a lot (how flattering!).  Still, I haven’t even begin to touch the list of restaurants I want to try and shops I want to venture into so, until next time, NYC.

Swooning at the fall colors in Central Park
Swooning at the fall colors in Central Park