Spur of the Moment | Natural Bridge State Park | Kentucky

9.01.2014

Or more aptly titled... What the Hell Was I Thinking.  Also TONS of photos...

Friday afternoon both my girls went to spend the weekend with their grandparents.  The house was strangely quiet with only one child in it.  We rented Oculus.  We were confused.  We give it a "meh" rating.

Saturday morning I sat drinking my coffee and I said to myself...

"Self, we don't get out of the house enough.  We should do something today because we have only one child to forcibly remove from his cozy bed and make spend time with us.  Let's explore Kentucky on a little road trip."

No one else was really on board with this idea.  My son didn't want to get out of bed and told me that instead of pretending we were a family with one kid, "go pretend you are a family with no kids."  Got to love teenagers, right?  The husband was very serious about not driving 3 or 4 hours, but I convinced him.  And by "convince" I mean, I didn't tell him.  Away we went to view the beauty of Kentucky via the Appalachian region and the Natural Bridge State Park.

Small panorama while sitting under the Natural Bridge.

The shortest (supposedly easiest) route to the bridge was stated as being only a half mile long on the sign at the trailhead, but several other places said it was 3/4 of a mile.  Longest half mile hike I have ever taken (probably closer to that 3/4 mile mark).  Thank goodness there are several small little huts with benches along the way.  I would never have made it to the top without several breaks.

Yes, I totally selfie'd when I got there.  But not before I was like... I claim this rock for my old, tired ass.  Get outta my way!  You can't tell from this picture, but I was completely drenched in sweat and my face was as red at a beet.

There was a tiny staircase carved out of the rock (just out of the shot in the panorama photo).  The husband and son decided they were going to continue climbing.  I decided to let them do that all by themselves.  The prospect of climbing up anything else was not on the menu.  Then this...

My view.  My husband leaning over the edge telling me that I needed to get up there.  I was terrified.  But not terrified enough that I didn't tell him to hold on, let me take a picture!

His view.  That's a wee little me.  So up the tiny little staircase I went.  The tiny little staircase that turns into the scary, equally as tiny, squeeze between huge, millions of years old, walls of rock.

When I got to the top... it was breathtaking.

Suddenly, that exhausting hike was forgotten.

He graced me with a photo op.  How gracious of him.

Yep.  Did it again.

I wish I would have made a photo sphere while I was there, but new phone.  I haven't downloaded the Google Camera yet.  *kicks self in ass*  Instead I did a full 360 degree panorama.  It looks a bit strange so I cropped it a couple of times to split it up.


Not far from the bridge was the skylift.  We had nearly convinced ourselves that we were going to take the skylift down because... exhausted.  But then we saw the skylift and my heart fell into my stomach.

It really was humid and hazy though the distant hills didn't look quite so blue in reality.  Whatcha gonna do?  It was my husband's cell phone.  I was too busy rocking in a corner while crying.  NO WAY in hell was I getting on that thing.  I'm scared of heights as it is, but DO YOU SEE THAT?!  Nope.  So I sucked it up, took a little breather, and began the journey back down the trail.  Going down wasn't as hard as going up, but it sure wasn't easy either.

After a quick stop for gas and snacks, the Nada Tunnel, a one-lane, 900 ft. long tunnel that is 12 ft. wide and 13 ft. high.

Not ominous at all, right?

They built this tunnel for the logging trains to move timber.  They drove TRAINS THROUGH HERE!  There must have been no room on any sides of the locomotives.

I feel like we barely scratched the surface.  For a spur of the moment idea, I think it actually went well.  My husband and I both agreed that we need to return.  With more planning and a hotel room.

Currently {august twenty ninth}

8.29.2014

this weeks themes:
needing, missing, reading, hoping, playing

First, I'd like to apologize for my absence.  I feel like my days are pretty full and I don't have too much time to myself.  What time I do find, I'm walking on my treadmill while watching Netflix. I really do intend to be more present.  As soon as I find a few more hours in the day...  Also, no graphic this week... I haz the lazy.

a) Needing some good recipes.  Every week I scour through Pinterest and my cookbooks preparing the weekly meal plan.  I always need simple.  And with the price of beef being so insanely ridonkulous, the choices are somewhat limited.

b) My son has decided that he is going to forego playing basketball this year.  I am already missing games.  I'm not missing the money spent getting into the games or the money spent on gas going to all the games/practices though.  I had asked him to give it one year, but ultimately it's his decision and I'll respect that.

c) Reading:  I'm still reading Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.  In fact, I have to renew it at the library because it's due back tomorrow.  Good news though.  I'm ahead on my goal for the year so yay!

d) I am hoping to somehow squeeze in some sewing time.  It's going to be a three day weekend so possibly I could get my crafting on.  I've also been working on some knitting for my best girl's sister who is having a baby!  Yay babies!

e) The youngest has been asking to go to the beach.  She even packed up a bag the other day.  I think one day next week I'm going to pack up the cooler and take her an hour north to the lake.  She'll enjoy playing and I'll enjoy watching her.

Watching:  Still watching Lost Girl.  I did catch up on the last few episodes of True Blood.  I was not impressed with this season.  It was just lacking something.

next weeks themes:
loving, craving, demanding, questioning, worrying

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

One & Two & Ready... Go

8.26.2014

This weekend we got to experience our kids in their first marching band competition.  It was actually just an exhibition.  A preview show of what to expect from the bands this season.  Each band ran through their show while marching then they played just the music while standing still.  The Butler County Marching Band is the second largest band in the state of Kentucky with 155 marching members.  My son plays the snare drum, and while my daughter normally plays the flute, she is only in 8th grade so can't formally march on the field.  She is in the "pit" and plays the keyboard.

Preparations for the show began many hours before the actual show.  It's a huge undertaking.  Practice run through the show, eating, dressing, hair/make up, and motivational speaking.  I was awed.

A few other bands played before them, but to be honest, it was mostly a blur.  I was just excited to see them hit the field.  The band director not only does high school band (marching, pep, concert, etc.), he also teaches middle school band (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) and beginning band to 5th graders.  He deserves to be knighted and probably needs a huge pay raise.  These bands are good and I'm not just saying that because my kids are in them.

Their show is entitled "Stained Glass" this year.  Moments before they walked onto the field, the sky began to change colors.  Pinks, purples, blues.  We'd been watching the radar for an hour.  A nasty storm cell was moving our way and I thought for sure they would not get to perform.  Instead Mother Nature gave them an amazing backdrop.

About 15 minutes after they were done, amid chaos of packing equipment, gathering kids, changing from uniforms to regular clothes... the bottom dropped out of it.  We nearly died because my husband is an asshat who kept refusing to pull over even though I knew (and he knew too!) damn good and well, he couldn't see a thing in front of him.  He finally relented and pulled over at a little gas station in the middle of nowhere.  We got snacks and let the heavier rain pass by.

It was chaotic.  It was a mess.  It was their first performance of the year.  It can only get better from here.