March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Linville Adventures

I will attempt to be concise but I intend to soak up each and every memory and would love for you to feel as if you experienced the "mountain magic" with us.

Saturday: The Getting There

"Everything but the kitchen sink" ~ are you familiar with this expression? Well apparently my daughter was not. Our family of five plus Frank's dad and his dog had a lot of stuff to take to North Carolina so we have turned a corner and entered a new era ~ traveling with a car carrier. As we were loading the car, Mary Frances asked me why we needed it and I included the above expression in my response. She laughed out loud making it a reoccurring theme when anyone commented on our stuff. If you are a mom who has travelled with young children you know how it is ~ you want to make sure the children's needs are anticipated and met in order to minimize meltdowns along the way. This means not only did I pack clothes {for warm weather and cold weather}, food {complete with snacks}, and staples {since we were renting}, but also games, toys, and other activities. We were also celebrating a very important three year old birthday so we had birthday presents, birthday pictures, birthday cd, and the ingredients for a "firetruck" birthday cake. In addition we had several laptops among the adults, a double stroller, a baby backpack, and I'm ashamed to say my sewing machine that I never even opened.

All of that to say we had a remarkably easy drive from Central Alabama to Linville, North Carolina. Despite all of the people and all of the stuff, we only stopped once which I will always think is amazing!

Sunday: Getting our Bearings
Not any exciting adventures to report ~ we spent the day recovering from our car ride, making some plans for the week, and discovering the lay of the land. I went for a run to inspect the Eseeola Lodge and All Saints Church. I have always liked getting a vantage point by foot! We went for a long walk ~ Stephen and I went for a small adventure on what appeared to be a neat trail that ran beside the creek and probably the golf course though we never made it back to investigate further.
The McNeils arrived and enjoyed a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres overlooking the golf course. As noted in the above picture, the house we rented sits just above the driving range. Scarlett assured me that each evening as soon as the last ball was cleaned up this area became a vast playground for her children. I think this will be one of my children's most vivid memories of Linville because they did it each day.
Monday: A Birthday Celebration, Feeding the Fish, and a Hike at Roan Mountain

I apologize in advance for the number of pictures, but this was definitely our most picturesque day ~ We went on an amazing hike on Roan Mountain. The children did quite well despite the birthday boys initial screams to be held and the like. We took it slow and provided many gorp breaks for energy.

Stephen has a unique way of showing us how old he is...I've never seen three shown quite like this but he is very consistent in doing it.

Pops and Mary Frances were our trailblazers most of the day.

The little man loved riding on his daddy's back ~ he could see everything and not exert any energy.

Returning to the trailhead took us a bit longer than our assent as Stephen needed to inspect all aspects of nature ~ the sticks, the rocks, the moss, the mushrooms. He might have a promising career in foraging.
The Eseeola Lodge has a stream running near it where it is great fun to feed the fish. A perfect post-nap activity.

As for the birthday, the cake didn't turn out exactly as planned. I had all the supplies to make the requested firetruck birthday cake, but upon arriving in the mountains there was no mixer. It is difficult to make a birthday cake or icing without that key component so after returning from our hike I reluctantly went to the grocery store to purchase a cake. An aside, several days later Stephen said very sweetly yet matter of factly, "Oh, we never made my birthday cake. That's sad."

Tuesday: Playing at the Blount's House, A Picnic in the Park, and the Mast General Store

Wednesday: Flat Rock

The weather was threatening all morning, but we finally decided to make the small hike to Flat Rock for a picnic lunch. By the time we got our wits about us to leave the house, I forgot a camera so there are no pictures to prove we were there and and able to check off yet another thing on Scarlett's punch list.
Thursday: Pixie Trail
But first...What better way to get an almost five year old out of a morning funk ~ a crafty project. Do you know the book Snowballs by Lois Ehlert? It is a perennial winter favorite in our house. In the story, there are presumable children who are waiting for a good snow in order to make snowmen. They have been collecting "good stuff" to decorate their snowmen as they wait for snow. Well in our house, we use the term "good stuff" whenever we are collecting items to decorate anything. In Linville, we collected "good stuff" to make these mountain caterpillars.

I particularly like the above picture not because of the caterpillar but because it highlights the bark material used to make shingles to cover many of the houses in Linville.

Did you know there were Pixie Stix on Pixie Trail? The children found them "growing" from a tree.
Friday: Lost Cove
In my opinion, we saved our best hike for the last day. It was a perfect HOT day for Lost Cove.
This is the one thing our children keep asking if they can do again. I think they agree that it was the best!
My human backpack...If you've read any of my posts over the course of the month you know my middle child can sleep anywhere. Well, he did again. He fell asleep on my back as we hiked out of Lost Cove.

Saturday: Back in the Car and Home
It's always nice to go on vacation and it is always nice to come home.
Thank you to Betsy and Al for allowing us to rent their home and introducing me and my children to mountain magic. It was certainly a new set of activities that we enjoyed as a family and I think will continue. It was confirmed that we prefer an active vacation and the mountains certainly provided plenty of activity.
Stay tuned for more summer highlights.

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