White Water Falls and Foothills Trail for New Year's weekend

Today was our last day before real life begins again. Sigh. I'm not ready yet! It's been a really nice break.
We decided to try for one more family "something" (two Saturdays in a row, I know!), this time leaving the bikes at home and hiking instead.
The older children were cautious. Annie's afraid of all the unknowns; Zane's sure he's not going to get to be as adventurous as he wants with the rest of us (not just his in-cahoots-with-him dad) there. Man, it's a battle being a parent. Listen children, we're actually trying to create HAPPY MEMORIES here, could you stop being so sullen please?
Besides, how can you be sullen while looking at this?
 Soren's not sullen. He's my lovey. (He actually said this today: "I not sullen, I your lovey!") 
 So yes, on to the first half of our afternoon! We drove a little over 45 minutes and found ourselves at the border of North and South Carolina. Apparently, there's a little bit of a {ginormous} waterfall there, who knew?
All we had to do was walk less than 1/2 mile up a paved sidewalk and then down 154 steps and we were there!
 And of course, the easiness of the way pleased Annie and disappointed Zane. 
So, on our way back to the car, we decided to do a little more exploring. We drove just a bit more south, in search of the lower half of these White Water Falls. 
Our hike started like this, with the big kids happy out in front, Soren trailing happily behind.
 Until about 100 steps later, when he realized just how far they (and their dad, in search of the lower falls which was a longer hike) had gotten. "Hey, where's my fam-uh-wee?"
 Yep, it was back to just me and my buddy for a little while. Can I tell you, walking leisurely through the woods is quite enjoyable? Deep breaths, brisk air, warm jackets, sun shining on bare trees. Bliss, folks. Happy new year, Michelle. (Happiest alone moment even coincided with happiest nature-only picture this time.)
Has anyone spotted the ridiculous orange gloves yet? Stocking stuffers. Z tells me they're ridiculous. 
"Even in Tiger Town? Go Tigers?!" 
Sorry Z. Put on your gloves. See look, Soren likes them!
 We managed to meet back up with our fam-uh-wee right at this cool bridge. No lower falls found this time, perhaps enough motivation to return someday and try again? 
This was "arrival" enough for me anyhow. 
 Younger two enjoyed dropping leaves and sticks into the river and watching them make their way along the rocks for a while. More inhale/exhale time for B and me. 
We started back and found Z attempting to conquer this arched tree. Done and done.  
 Soren got a lift on our return journey (thanks B!). Amazing how much faster one can go when not following the gait of a 3-year old explorer.
 We finished up right as the sun fell below the distant hills. Wow, these were some magical moments. By now, kids were all happy, no complaining for at least 7 minutes. Amazing how a little time in nature does that.
 And this lady? She told me she actually enjoyed both parts (waterfall and hike) of our afternoon. Shocking!
 Probably because she got to spend some time with her pops.
 Sigh. Nature.
 And as we drove away, THIS as a farewell glimpse:
 Okay okay so it can't all be bliss. The sun went down, the children got restless, food was 20 minutes away. We barely made it to an old diner in Walhalla (Pete's Drive-in, without the drive-in) before someone taking an eye out, phew. After the usual diner food/hydration, our waitress told us they had a special surprise for us, if we could wait a minute or two. Then she brought out THIS:
This, folks, is a plate of deep fried Oreos and vanilla ice cream to wash them down with. Welcome to the south!
Needless to say, the children approved of the drive-inless drive-in. And the day too! Successful outings count for 2016: 1! Exhausted parents count for 2016: 2! I'm not sure I like how this ratio is going!
Happy new year. :) We promise to not eat another deep fried Oreo all year (perhaps for the rest of our lives!).


walt or jean said…
Did you notice any little fishes in that creek? I think I could see one under the bridge. Maybe you'll take me there.
ash said…
Too much to love about this post! Outside parenting, too orange gloves, fam-uh-wee, FRIED Twinkies...

Thanks for a quick look into your fun day!
ash said…
I meant Oreos. (I can totally read). Maybe just wishful thinking?