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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hikes, weird woods, Buche de Noel, fear of heights. Just the usual.

I loved having the kids home for Christmas for two weeks and I loved having Dan home for a week and a half.  However, I also enjoy routine so I'm happy that everyone is back at work and school today.

Just like any other Monday (although it's really Tuesday, looks like I'll spend another week not knowing exactly what day it is), I went grocery shopping and I've got some laundry going and I will be paying bills and all the other fun stuff that comes along with my job.

But first, I thought I would share some highlights of the last few days of 2017 with you lovely people.

Last Thursday, we had planned to go on a hike.  But the weather that day was really cold and Friday looked to be a little warmer so we switched gears and did the hike Friday.  But my husband isn't one to just sit around so we did some googling to find something else to do and I came up with a visit to The Devil's Tramping Ground. 

One of the gifts Peter got for Christmas was the Atlas Obscura and when I was googling things in NC I came across the Atlas Obscura website.  The Devil's Tramping Ground popped up and Dan was very intrigued.

He said he can remember as a small boy in Massachusetts reading a book of weird places/ghost stories.  This book mentioned an odd place in North Carolina where the grass wouldn't grow and legend claimed it was because the devil had been dancing around on it.

Totally obscure but something that would definitely stick with a little kid.  So off we went to find it.

It was about an hour and a half from our house and the ride was pretty.  We were basically in the middle of nowhere but our GPS took us right to it.  It wasn't marked but it looks just like it looks in the pictures here - so not very impressive!

We walked a little further into the woods and it felt creepy to me.  Dan kept commenting on the fact that the ground felt weird and the woods looked weird.  And when we got further into the woods, a giant owl that swooped in front of us and rested in a tree above our heads 

It was really creepy and totally not worth the hour and a half drive but it was nice spending the afternoon with the family.

So the next day we went on our hike.  It was still chilly but there was no getting out of this hike.  When Dan decides he wants to do something, we are doing it.  And did I mention that Dan does not like to sit around the house?  Did I also mention that one of my favorite things to do is sit around the house?  I guess it's a good thing I'm a stay-at-home mom!

Anyway, we headed to Hanging Rock State Park which is only an hour from us.  We had decided that we were going to hike the loop trail to Moore's Wall.  It was a 5-mile hike and it was steep.  The trail was marked strenuous and it really was - for me anyway.  I have gained a lot of weight over the last 6 months and I could definitely tell it during this hike. 

But we persevered to the top and the views were gorgeous.  At the top, there was Moore's Tower which we climbed as well.  Because it has been so cold here, there were very few people at the park.  It was nice to be able to take pictures without a bunch of random strangers in our way! 

The total loop took us 3 hours.  I think if I hadn't been there, Dan and the kids could have finished it probably 20 or 30 minutes sooner but my girth slowed us down!

And after the hike, we were all starving so we had Mexican for lunch.  So much for my girth!

Dan was restless on Saturday as well and would have been very happy doing another 5 mile hike.  I had to put my foot down on that one.  We compromised and went to Quarry Park which is less than 20 minutes from our house.  Basically it's a huge quarry that the city bought and turned into a park. 

There's an observation plank that's been built over the quarry.  There are great views of Winston-Salem on the horizon.

We headed out onto the observation plank until I realized that it was made of metal grates.  My fear of heights took over and I froze.  I made it about halfway out before I panicked and had to turn back.  I think I might have been able to make it to the end of the deck but people were coming and I didn't want to look like an idiot.  I think if the deck had been solid and I couldn't have seen through it, I might have been okay. Although, I will admit that when I was climbing Moore's Tower the day before (it was about 2 stories) I got panicky. 

Here are a few pictures from the quarry of me and my sweetie because the kids wanted to stay home.

This picture was NOT taken at the end of the observation deck.

See the grate?  I could not bring myself to walk across this thing.  Scared much?  Yes!
On New Year's Eve, we went to dinner with friends and watched the ball drop but not before I helped Peter with an extra credit project for his French class.

His teacher had given the class a recipe for Buche De Noel in French and the class had to translate it and make one. 

I had to send the teacher a picture of Peter with the finished product and verify that he did at least 50% of the baking.  He basically did it all with me barking orders at him (I'm such a fun mom).  But I think either something was lost in translation or he possibly left the baking powder out because the cake was so flat and thin.  It was more like a crepe. 

Yesterday we took the tree down and had a traditional New Year's lunch at my parent's house - it included collards, black-eyed peas and pork. But I didn't eat the black-eyed peas or the collards because gross!  I guess I won't have good luck or big fortunes this year. 

Happy New Year!!


Madeline said...

I love that French teachers are still giving kids extra credit for Buche de Noels! How fun for you to get out and go on all those hikes!! I am craving fresh air but it is too cold here.

Gigi said...

I've never heard about the Devil's Tramping Ground and I've lived in NC for over 20 years. Interesting.

RR Mama said...

Happy New Year sweet bloggy friend! I hope the new year brings you much happiness.

Mari said...

I'm with you! I'm not a fan of heights and have a very hard time with grated walkways.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The Devil's Tramping ground seems so creepy to me too! NO thank you on that and the elevated grates. Nope. NOPE. NOPE.
I'm also a home body....especially is the weather is cooler. Happy 2018!