Vernon Volumes

Vernon Volumes text

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Asheville NC Visit

On October 10th, Andrea and I went to Asheville for an adult trip while Grandma Genie stayed with Connor and Paige. We drove the 6 1/2 hour route up in to the mountains and could feel our ears pop as we got to over 2000 feet of elevation. We'd been hoping that we would see the Fall colors, however we were probably a week or two early this season and everything was mostly still green. On the way in town we stopped at the summer camp area where the kids will likely go to camp next summer and took a tour and then we drove the rest of the way to the Grove Park Inn resort. The Inn was over a hundred years old and was built in to the hills with an amazing view.

We spoke to the Concierge desk and they recommended we see the Biltmore Estate and we got tickets for the next day. On Thursday, we visited the Estate and ate lunch at the restaurant prior to our entry time. We decided to pay for the audio tour devices and we're definitely glad we did. Each room would have a different code # and after punching it in to the handheld phone device it'd give you the history of the room and would point out details that may have gone overlooked otherwise.

On Friday, we took an electric bike tour with the "Flying Bike" company. We were a little apprehensive about how fun it could possibly be since the area was so incredibly hilly. With the electric bikes it was no problem though. There was a pedal assist mode that you could dial up or down to determine how much assistance the motor would provide, and you also had a twist throttle that would allow you to rev up the motor and get the bike going without any work at all. The throttle was especially handy to get you going from a full stop or when you were trying to get going uphill. The bike tour took us through downtown, then down some nature paths and eventually took us to our hotel. Our guide did a great job of talking to everyone, keeping us together, and pointing out interesting landmarks and explaining the history of the area. It was very enjoyable and the weather couldn't have been nicer for the day.

After our bike tour we stopped at Sunshine Sammie's for some ice cream sandwhiches, which were made from scratch with local ingredients. We loved them so much we came back on the weekend.

For two mornings of our stay, the tennis club at the resort offered an advanced group clinic. It was rainy and cold, so we used the indoor courts, which was something we'd never done before. The pro did a good job of involving everyone and had some fun games. There were quite a few guests and quite a few locals that showed up, so it was a pretty large group at times. We hung in there and played pretty well, although it was tricky to see the ball sometimes with the lighting.

One of our goals for the trip was to do a lot of hiking in the mountains. The Grove Park Inn offered a trail, which was not very long, but had a couple different loops. We did each loop a few times and enjoyed the trail.

On Sunday, we drove out of Asheville to find a more interesting trail and went to the Catawba Falls trail. It was barely over a mile to the waterfall, but it felt like quite a bit since the trail went up and down a lot and was quite muddy and difficult at times. The Catawba Falls trail had a great payoff though with a spectacular waterfall at the end. There was a path up the mountain near the waterfall and we were tempted to try it, but it was so muddy and slippery out we decided to be safe and went back to the car instead.

We drove back to Asheville and spent the rest of the day at the North Carolina Arboretum where we hiked for a few hours up and down a bunch of interconnected trails. It was quite the hike and we definitely felt like we got to hike our butts off. Overall we had an awesome time in NC and we're glad we had the opportunity to visit. It was neat to have some different weather, see a new town, experience the fun activities in the area, eat at some new restaurants, and most importantly to spend some time together.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Oktoberfest 2018

Our friends in the neighborhood had their annual Oktoberfest party and this year Andrea decided to dress up for it. We went to the Tavern with Ross and Gina beforehand and then headed over to the party. The DJ did a good job with the dance music and Andrea had fun dancing with Annie and friends. It was a great turnout and I think there may have been more people dressed up this year than last year.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Chloe's vet visit with Paige

Chloe had a few accidents at the pet sitter over the weekend, so we took her to the vet to get a checkup. Paige has been saying for a while now that she's considering being a vet when she grows up, so I made the appointment in the afternoon and picked Paige up from school on the way. Paige enjoyed helping with Chloe and the veterinarian was sweet about talking to Paige and letting her use the stethoscope to listen to Chloe's heart.

Paige's favorite part though, by far, was playing with the kitty in the waiting room. The little kitten was available for adoption and Paige would have been super happy if we'd taken him home with us.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018 and Four Seasons weekend

On Friday night, September 5th, we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. We try to go every year and we went a bit early this year to make sure we'd get it in this holiday season.

The weather was super hot when we arrived, but we stayed out of the sun and once the sun went down it was bearable. We started off in the Adventure area and with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, enjoyed our Pineapple Whip, rode the Jungle Cruise, and then started our way around the park.

The kids were cute about the rollercoasters and who they were going to ride with. On the Barnstormer, Connor said he wanted to ride with Paige and it made her day to get to ride with him. Their first time on a rollercoaster without a parent holding them in.

The Space Mountain ride was different than I've ever experienced it this trip. It's always a rollercoaster in the dark, but this time around it was DARK. There's usually a light tunnel at the beginning, some flashing stars in the sky and some other stuff. It's usually dark, but you can still see a little. This time around it was completely blacked out. The only thing you could occasionally see were the red lights around some of the security cameras. The kids loved it and we rode it twice.

We didn't stay too late and left just as the fireworks were starting. We did a lot of trick-or-treating and got lots of goodies. We also pretty much rode everything we'd wanted to as well. The party is an awesome way to do a lot without having to wait very much. 

On Saturday we spent the day at the Four Seasons pool area. They had a 4 player Pacman Battle Royale game, which was fun to play as a family. Paige and Andrea loved a big touchscreen restaurant game, and it was neat they could play it together.

Paige, Connor and I all climbed on the rock wall. Paige is getting fast with her climbing and scrambled up it four or five times like a little monkey. She had a little trouble a couple times, but got to the top multiple times. Connor struggled with it, I think he was trying to go too fast and wasn't really using his legs or getting his balance before reaching for the next handhold. He got frustrated and quit after falling a few times.

We enjoyed lounging by the pool and the lazy river as well. We all went around a bunch of times and had a nice day relaxing.