Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 3 - Amicalola Falls and Crab Legs

The boys had Monday off of school for Martin Luther King Day.  I had been wanting to hike Amicalola Falls for awhile, and it seemed like the perfect day for an adventure (well, except for the rain in the forecast).  We set out early on our drive and the boys were not very excited about my plans for the day.  It was about an hour drive up to the park and then just a two-mile round trip hike to the top of the falls and back.

The trail is meant to be hiked going up the waterfall, so that you can see the entire thing from the base and then choose how high up you want to climb.  Well I must have gotten confused and taken a wrong turn right from the start, because we ended up hiking the back trail all of the way up instead.  I kept thinking we should have been able to see the waterfall by now, and it wasn't until about 1/2 mile up that I realized we were going the wrong way.  We decided to just keep going.  I pointed out this cool tree that had somehow grown to the side & then back up.  Isaac wanted to take a photo to pretend like he was holding it up.

When we finally made it to the top, the boys were quite underwhelmed.  I pointed out the parking lot below to show them how far up we had come.  

We began climbing down all of the stairs that we were meant to climb up, and finally got a view of the waterfall. I had to start bribing the boys with drinks and snacks to get them to smile for photos.  

After every few flights of stairs there would be a landing with seating to rest or take in the views.  Luke's little legs started to give out after awhile.  I was surprised to feel my calves get a bit shaky towards the end. 

The total height of Amicalola Falls is 729 feet, making it the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.  I'd love to go back again in the spring when everything is green and the water is flowing a bit more.  Still, it was an impressive waterfall and a fun hike.  Though I'd go up the right way next time!

Once we were past the falls and headed back towards the visitor center, Luke had a little fall and scraped up the palms of his hands just a bit.  We made a bit of a detour off the side of the trail to rinse his hands in the cool stream and let the boys play on the rocks a bit.  They loved jumping from rock to rock across the water, and picking up the smaller ones to throw in and make a splash. 

There were several playground areas back near the visitor center, so we spent some time playing for a bit.  Inside the center they had a section of live reptiles - mostly snakes and a turtle or too.  Luke had seen a display of stuffed birds before the hike and had not stopped asking for one.  That is until he saw the stuffed snakes!  Isaac has a stuffed snake that he got years ago during a visit to the San Diego Zoo, and Luke has always been envious of it.  Well today was his lucky day I guess because I gave in and bought him his very own snake.  Isaac was content with a push-pop.

Before our hike that day I had told the boys we would get a treat afterwards.  I had packed lunches for each of us, which we ate during the drive home.  Then we stopped at Menchie's once we were back in Woodstock.  (Double dose of ice cream for Isaac, but he didn't mind one bit.)  Luke always finishes first and then asks to go draw on the big chalkboard.

Charlie had been on a business trip for a few days and while out at a store one night found a display of Lego sets on clearance.  We typically don't buy our boys toys on a whim, but Charlie decided to bring them each home a Lego set.  Luke wanted to build his right away when he came home from school. (He is also quick to change into his "comfy" clothes everyday immediately after school.)  He still needs a lot of help, but is getting much better at following the instructions and building on his own.

Our Ward had an emergency prep fair and the Young Women were asked to make a video demonstrating how to turn off household utilities.  I was not the one filming, so I didn't have a lot to work with, but managed to put together a decent video nonetheless.

YW Utilities from Carrie Wood on Vimeo.

In Luke's preschool class they have a big stoplight with red, yellow, and green lights.  If the boys stay on green all week then they get to choose something out of the treasure box on Friday.  This week Luke chose a red plastic heart necklace to give to me.  I was totally charmed and flattered by my sweet boy and his choice to pick something for me rather that himself.  I wore my new necklace with pride for the rest of the day.

One of my goals for the year is to read more books, and I finished my first one this week.  Andy Warhol was a Hoarder by Claudia Kalb.  It's a collection of essays analyzing possible mental disorders of famous personalities throughout history.  It was a fascinating read and I enjoyed learning the history of people such as Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Darwin, Fydor Dostoyevsky, Christine Jorgensen, and Betty Ford.

On Saturday we drove down the Barrett Pkwy to go to Hobby Town.  The Pinewood Derby is coming up and Charlie likes to get the boys cool decals and accessories for their cars.  After shopping we decided to stop for lunch at Red Lobster.  We haven't eaten at a Red Lobster in at least ten years, so the boys had never been.  Isaac is a seafood lover and was so excited to see king crab legs on the kids menu.

Charlie had to help him quite a bit to crack the shells and pull the meat out, but Isaac thought it was the coolest thing ever - especially the one with the claw on the end.  Something tells me it won't be another ten years before we go back.

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