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08 October 2012

CNY autumn adventures

Trips to CNY for family events always involve people. Lots of people. Lots and lots of people. Thankfully, a good many of those are people I love dearly and don't get to see nearly often enough. Many of my closest relatives are spread out across the country, and special occasions (like big birthdays and other such celebrations) are the only real opportunities that we have to reconnect and see each other. This weekend was no exception.

Friday night, Carrie Bell arrived. We actually flew in to the same airport just a few minutes different, so we spent most of the evening hanging out. She and Mom even made "snow" at the kitchen counter. 

Momma and Carrie Bell. Note Carrie's bad-ass aviators. 
I got the opportunity to have a family dinner with my brother and his family. Since they are always busy with work and two growing kids (both actively involved in sports and activities , it's sometimes hard to coordinate schedules. Thankfully, this time we were able. 

Kiersten and me
The main focus of the birthday weekend festivities is the family hike across Pitter-Pat Road, which happens to be the road on which my grandmother grew up. It's not really a hike so much as a walk, and it's only about 3 miles. But, with about 50-75 people, it goes at a really slow pace. It generally takes about 90 minutes - 2 hours. Along the way,  found an old friend from my childhood ...
A wooly bear!!
Thankfully, the rain held off, and, despite serious cloud cover, the walk was successful and the hills were gorgeous. Perfect opportunity for a cutsey photo-op with my boo ...

While I was snapping photos at the toast, my cousin's little boy squatted down in front of me and said "smile!" I couldn't resist snapping his photo. What a cutie!

One of the best parts of the hike (and by "best" I mean "most memorable") is the ride there and back ... in the open beds of pickup trucks and the backs of mini-vans. It's not so bad ... when the temperature isn't freezing!

At least we are all huddled in close to stay warm...
On the way back to the house after the hike, we were assigned "stake patrol." This means we had to ride along in the back of the van -- with the van door open! -- collecting all the photographs and stakes that my mom and her cousins had planted earlier along the hike route. I'm pretty sure we broke a lot of laws that day.

Feet swinging free as the road zips past ...
Carrie Bell and JD were great stake holders.

Doesn't he look thrilled to be a part of my family?
I'm back home and resettled in to NC life, but I already miss home a little bit.
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