There aren't many places more relaxing to me than the North Carolina Mountains. All through my childhood we have gone up to the NC mountains in the summer. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories. It seemed like our family was always the happiest when we were there. No worldly interruptions, no fighting and no responsibilities. As we continue this tradition of going to the mountains, I hope that my kids will find the NC mountains as wonderful as I do and that we will be able to create some wonderful memories as a family. Two years ago we found a great place called Bear Lake Reserve, near Cashiers, NC. We absolutely loved it, so Ma rented two cabins there again this summer. The day the exchange students left here we took off for two weeks to the mountains for our much needed family vacation. Charles and I were both burned out from work, so we were ready to get away. This year we shared a cabin with Carol and Addison, while Ma, Aunt Louise, my mom and the rest of the kids were in the other cabin. Isabelle and Addison shared a room and thought it was the best thing ever. There were a couple nights we heard them up talking, but for the most part they did great. Bear Lake is so great because there is so much to do right there in the development. Our cabin was a 5 minute drive to the Lake Club, which has a huge pool that the kids love, and is right on the lake. Down on the lake there is a great beach area for the kids to play at. There are also canoes and kayaks that you can take out whenever you want and pontoon boats that you can rent. There is also a little movie theatre in the club house. Our cabin was also 5 minutes away from the tennis courts and golf course. We played tennis several times. Charles had a great time trying out his new golf clubs at the driving range almost daily and playing a round one weekend when Brian came up. I joined Charles one time at the driving range and then we continued our tradition of walking the golf course and looking for golf balls. We only walked 5 holes, but we found around 30 balls. Not so shabby.
There was a great picnic area with a pavilion and fire place up at the top of the mountain. We cooked dinner up there a couple of times. It was just breathtaking.
We attempted to get a good picture of all the grandkids, these are the best three that I could get. Addison wouldn't even stay in the first two pictures. It's not easy to get a good pic with 3 youngsters.
Even though it was a little bit cloudy, it was a beautiful sunset!
Isabelle has become a big fan of s'mores. She was especially excited about these super-sized marshmallows.
One happy girl!
Catching some rays!
Of course Charles made crepes for everyone a couple of times.
Addison and Anya playing with Ma
Ever since we were little we have been going to Sliding Rock when we go up to the NC Mountains. This year was no exception. Although I did stay back at the cabin with Anya, everyone else went and had a blast.
Jumping into the hole!
Kids playing on the shore at Sliding Rock
Back at the Lake Club there is a great beach area on the lake that the kids loved to play in. Isabelle loved it! She could walk way far out and not have to worry about waves.
Out in the lake there was a floating dock that had detached from the shore. Charles, Brian, the twins, Ashley's boys, Laila and Kenzie had a blast playing on it. They spent an entire afternoon jumping off it and trying to make each other fall off. It was very entertaining to watch.
Anya and Addison were happy as can be playing in the sand on the shore as the other played out in the lake.
Laila and Isabelle
Anya loves playing with Addison. Pretty crazy that Addison is a year older than Anya. Anya is almost as tall as Addison, and is definitely a bigger girl. I love her rolls!
We had a few discipline problems with Anya, so she got very used to going in time out.
This was one of my favorite moments. The girls were playing around this little table and when I walked up to see what they were doing I found them taking turns saying prayers. What sweet little girls.
We had such a wonderful time on vacation. It was just what we needed! We are so grateful that Ma is so generous as to rent cabins, year after year so that we can all have a wonderful family vacation.