Monday, July 23, 2012

Vacation - prior to Work-cation that I've already blogged about.

As mentioned in my previous blog my honeybun was on vacation last week. We wanted to go to the beach but it just wasn't in the budget cards so we settled for puttering around the house and seeking out local things to do. Yeah, we're a cheap date!

On Monday we took my mother-in-law out to lunch and for a walk around the mall. Well, we walked and she rode in a wheelchair. She probably could have walked but to be honest I was a little fearful of someone knocking her down. Have you ever noticed how many rude shoppers there are at the mall? Everyone is walking 80 miles per hour and most are in their own little bubble with little regard to the people around them. People - put down your cell phones and walk! (The sadly ironic thing was most of the rude jerks were adult women.)

Anyway I guess, at 90 years old, she's earned the right to ride through the mall. I did offer to see if one of the mall security guys would let her ride his Segway  but she turned me down.

After a lap around the mall she suggested getting an ice cream cone. Since we had walked off our lunch we thought it wouldn't hurt to indulge ourselves. We found out later that wasn't a great idea. Evidently Alice has become lactose intolerant. YIKES!

I won't go into the details, let's just say her caregiver has now given us strict instructions that she is never allowed ice cream again, no matter how much she begs for it. 
That's right, you smile now lady 'cause that's the last ice cream cone you're gonna get!

On Thursday we trekked up to North Georgia to Helen and Anna Ruby Falls. To be honest I don't know why we keep going to Helen. What was once a quaint little village is now one big tourist attraction trap. The shops are a big joke, containing nothing more than the same generic trinkets that can be found at any souvenir shop along the highway. There are plenty of places to eat if you have an arm and a leg to leave for payment. Fortunately we ate lunch before we got there so all we ended up buying was a $5 lemonade and a $2 bottle of water. Yes, seven dollars to quench our thirst.

We did play like tourist and take the obligatory photos of ourselves.

hey, how does this reverse camera thing work?

there ya go, is that better?
Can you see the sweat pouring off our bodies? It was 90 degrees outside but felt more like 190. I couldn't believe the people I saw running around in jeans. People, have you lost your minds??

 This sight was much more refreshing. It was all I could do to not jump into the fountain. The only thing holding me back was fear of arrest and having to ride home in wet clothes, though I'm pretty sure I would have dried off pretty quickly in the heat.

I didn't take any other photos while in Helen. The shops all had signs that it wasn't permitted to take photos, video, or make sketches of the crafts within. No worries there folks, nothing here I want to copy. I guess I could have taken pictures of the buildings and people milling around but honestly I was too hot and cranky. I do regret not taking a photo of the woman taking up parking money. She was a hoot, with her toothless grin and her mountain accent. She entertained us with some chit-chat and I swear she was flirting with my husband. Back off woman, he's mine!

We had briefly entertained the idea of tubing down the river while we were here but I didn't think it was such a great idea for someone who was finally free from back pain. After we got up there and saw how hot and miserable it was I regretted our decision not to bring swimsuits. We also thought about playing a round a putt-putt but, again it was just too dang hot to enjoy it. So, we decided to leave Helen and drive on up to Anna Ruby Falls. Surely it will be cooler there?

As we started on the trail  we quickly regretted that we'd also forgotten to bring proper foot gear. Dale had on tennis shoes but they weren't his best walking shoes, and I was wearing sandals. Oh well, we've come this far, we might as well push on.

After we got a short ways up the trail Dale stopped to take a picture. 

 it was then that I realized I didn't have my phone with me. Guess I won't be taking any pictures. Honeybun's gonna have to do it for me so I will have blog material. Unfortunately that means photos of me get taken   In case you can't read lips, I'm saying what I always say when someone tries to photograph me, "hurry up and take the picture!"

As we continued on up the trail two things became glaringly apparent. First, we are horribly out of shape. And second, we had forgotten how steep some of the trail was. For the young and fit it was a piece of cake. For two middle-aged fatties it was a real workout. I'll go ahead and admit it right now, we had to stop several times to sit and catch our breath. At one point a guy passed us jogging. Showoff! I really wanted to trip him as he ran by but that wouldn't have been very nice, AND at that moment I didn't have the strength to stick my foot out.

We finally made it to our destination. Did that sign at the beginning really say it was only .4 miles? It sure felt more like a mile or two or ten. But this view ... it was worth it.  
and here we are, all hot and sweaty.  It's a lot harder to take our own photo with Dale's phone. Curses on me for not remembering my phone with the turn around camera (insert iPhone commercial here).

Here Honeybun, let me take your picture. .
Turn about is fair play. 

Wait, come back here. You're supposed to be posing, what are you doing?

I can't. Look here, pretty butterflies 
They're everywhere.  It's hard to tell in the photo but they were a very pretty blue/violet color. And I'm not too sure, they might be moths not butterflies. Did I mention there were LOTS of them and they were everywhere? And, quite aggressive! 
Here I am doing the duck and run. Honeybun thought it was funny, as well as the other people around us. Ack!

Speaking of other people around, I just have to tell you about this one family that came up after us. DISCLAIMER:  I'll admit it right up front - the next part is me being very judgmental. So, stop reading if me being so will offend you. 

Anyway, the family was a mom and dad who looked to be in their late twenties, early thirties, and two kids, a boy and girl maybe around 5 to 8 years old.  They were all nicely dressed unless you count the UGA cap Dad sported ( ugh!) and Mom's tattooed riddled body. Sorry, I think it was the cap that bothered me more than the tattoos, but the real thing that chapped my hide was not how they looked like but rather what Dad was doing while Mom had the kids looking out over the waterfalls.

Dad was sitting on the railing .... with a pocket knife .... carving his initials into the wood! I couldn't help but stare at him in disbelief. I glanced up and saw another sightseer looking at him, She looked at me and simultaneously we both just shook our heads in disgust. I'm sorry but it's bad enough when it's a kid or teenage pulling such a disrespectful act but here we have an adult, with children, acting like an idiot. Sadly, you can't help but wonder how the children will turn out with this role model.

Ok, back to our happy little trip. 

After we had rested up and cooled down (yes, it was much cooler here by the falls) we started back down the trail. Going down was obviously much easier and less strenuous. Still, I was really happy to reach the end of the trail. Let's pose for one last photo  or two  and grab another water bottle and head for the air conditioned car. It's time to hit the road.

Before I leave you, let me show a couple more photos taken in the same area at different times in our lives

Here we are in the winter of 1988, still considered newlyweds. We were on a trip with four other couples from church.

and here we are in the fall of 2002. 

We had the kids with us this trip  Ian was just a few weeks shy of thirteen and Andrew was eleven.  Ian was already a good bit taller than me and Andrew was getting close. Those were the days ....

Despite all my moaning and groaning, we had a nice trip. It was nice just getting away from home. But I promise you this, if we go back again, we are NOT going in the summer time!


  1. Any thought that Alice might have known she wasn't supposed to have the ice cream? I'm sorry I'm sure it was very un-funny but I was dying looking at picture of her grinning like a Cheshire cat...all knowing out.

    By the way re the plumbing which I hadn't had a chance to mention, my mother who would never say a dirty word often uses the word "carp" (note it does not say crap.) Your plumbing issue was an "oh carp" moment.

    Good job on the hike, even if it was short. ;) The thought of hiking right now makes me sort of puke in my mouth a little bit...soooo hotttttt!

  2. According to everyone else she definitely knows she's not supposed to eat it. I think she just caved to the temptation. Next time she asks for something like that we're gonna call first and see if it's on the approved list!

    yes, the plumbing was definitely a "oh carp" moment!

  3. The ice cream was obviously an "oh carp" moment too ;) Ok sorry I couldn't resist!

  4. I am ashamed to admit it but I have never been to Ruby Falls. Thank you for sharing your trip with us; I think it's wonderful that you and Dale are out there having adventures together. You inspire me!