We're always up for an adventure, but I have to admit that sometimes we arrive home from and trip with kids and wonder whether it was worth the herculean effort of packing the piles of essential gear, driving or flying with beings who just want to run around or be snuggled instead of sit belted in, and surviving the sleepless nights that a change in setting almost guarantee. Our recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, however, was well worth all of the above.
We spent a long weekend admiring the changing leaves and inhaling the fresh Appalachian air of Black Mountain and Montreat, NC, with two of my three sisters and their families. Our tiny lady travel companions included the following:
Our girls, Nora and Cricket.
The lovely sisters, Cousin L and Cousin P.
And sweet Cousin I.
We rented one giant house together in Montreat, which—despite the secular nature of our trip—is actually a little town built around a religious conference center. With a killer playground. And hiking trails. And free paddle boats. What could be more exciting for a group of five girls (all under 4 years and four under 2 years) and their haggard parents?
Attempting to eat at a restaurant with all the girls was a comedy of errors. Thankfully The Morning Glory Cafe and The Artisan provided us with delicious breakfasts, and everyone there managed to laugh instead of cry when our chaotic group approached. You can only imagine the complexity of the six parents' coffee orders...
While the others caused trouble at the playground, Meg and I, with Nora snuggled into the Ergo, snuck away for a hike up the Lookout Trail to Rattlesnake Mountain. It was a low-key trail with spectacular views. They don't call this range the Blue Ridge for nothing.
Below, clockwise: P and Nora admire each other. Cricket and Dad take a walk to check out the leaves. The colorful driveway to our rental house. Half of us take a spin on a paddle boat (also known to some as: “Tiny boat! Tiny boat!).
Below, clockwise: P helps push the stroller. Cricket runs around the playground wearing a stunning ponytail (thanks, Meg!). Five girls descend upon a mountain house as Jeff looks on, beer in hand. Nora and I hike the Lookout Trail.
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.