I feel like I have finally been on summer vacation for the last week. It has been refreshing and has come at a great time for me.
Brian had to work a shutdown last weekend, which means he worked for 72 hours pretty much straight without any sleep. I knew he would be useless to us :), so I called Mom and Dad (aka Grandmomma and Grandaddy) to see what they were doing for the weekend. :) They were glad to have us, so over the river and through the woods we went to Grandmomma and Grandaddy's house, just outside of Athens. I love the drive there. It's beautiful! Much like the drive to our house growing up just outside of Hartselle. Corn fields, hay fields, gardens and produce stands with handmade signs. :) That is my favorite kind of place.
They built a beautiful house a couple of years ago that I just love:
There is also a pool in the neighborhood that we enjoyed while we were there. :) We got to swim, and see fireworks, and hang out with Grandmomma and Grandaddy. We even got to eat at Geezburger! :
Seriously good food. My favorite so far has been the hamburger steak with gravy. :) Definitely southern cooking. Yum!
We came home on Sunday evening and pretty much recuperated on Monday with school work and a trip to the library. Brian had to drive to Birmingham to pick up a part for AMP Monday night, and we got to drive with him and visit Bass Pro Shops, which I love. :) Tuesday morning, we were invited to swim with our friends Christie and Madalyn at the McMullen Cove neighborhood pool. Up until that point, it was the nicest pool I had ever been to. And it made taking little people swimming a lot easier! They had a zero entry area and a large shallow area. There was also a separate kiddie pool with fountains that Samuel loved. The pool is saltwater and there is a "cool deck" so your feet don't burn when you get out to go to the bathroom. Very nice. Also it is surrounded by beautiful mountains on all sides. What a treat! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Tuesday night we were invited on an impromptu trip to Pickwick Lake with our friends Jonathan and Leah. I had never been there and wasn't sure what to expect. I was pretty excited when we got there and saw Leah's dad's lakehouse that we would be staying in:
The Waldrops, who have three children, stayed upstairs, and we all stayed downstairs in an area that would be more than enough for us to live in and enjoy. :) Our four littles and their three had such a great time together! Here some of them are fishing on Wednesday:
I fished with them for just a few minutes and caught a fish! It was exhilirating. :)
We also went to the pool, which was even more amazing than McMullen Cove. It was another saltwater pool with a cool deck and zero entry, but this one had a waterslide, waterfall, and view overlooking Pickwick Lake. It was breathtaking. You can just see the view a little in the background here but I wanted you to see Rosemary floating on her back and Maggie with her new noseplug. HA!
We had a great time catching up on conversation with our dear friends. We love the Waldrops!
Thursday morning we got up and headed for home. We meandered down 72, picking up peaches and grapes and tomatoes and onions at Isom's Orchard along the way. We ate lunch at a wonderful new restaurant called Pie In the Sky. It may be my new favorite family restaurant:
Notice the herbs growing out on the patio. Pizza herbs like basil and oregano! They smelled so good as you walked in! I was thinking it was nice anyway, but while we were eating I actually saw a guy from the kitchen go out and pick a bunch, then bring it in to actually use in the pizza. I was very impressed. What a neat way to promote local, sustainable cooking! The kids enjoyed watching everybody work in the kitchen, especially the guy who was rolling out pizza dough right by the window. And Samuel enjoyed the pizza dough they gave the kids while they were waiting! :
We got groceries at Wal-Mart on the way home, and when we walked out it was RAINING!!!!! YAY for glorious RAIN!!!!! It has been so hot and dry lately. I have never been so happy to get caught in the rain. I could have stood out in it all afternoon. What a great way to end our "summer vacation". We came home and I used our new groceries to cook Chicken Broccoli Casserole, fried green tomatoes, and peach cobbler.
Now that we are home I guess it's back to Healthy Eating via the Whole Foods Challenge. I may need to go back to square one. I'm way off track but it was worth it! :)