I feel so refreshed–and inspired. The gorgeous weather, special people, and unbeatable scenery seemed to refresh our very hearts and souls! Michael and I both feel like moving to North Carolina might be in The Plans one day. At least we hope it is. 🙂
We know that we’ve been planted in Houston for a reason, and we have a wonderful life here with great jobs, a beautiful new house, a gorgeous baby son, and amazing friends. We know that God has blessed us richly here, and we both have a feeling that He has plans to continue to bless our lives and have us bless others’ here in Houston.
In the mountains, temperatures greeted us in the 50s, rising slowly to comfortable ranges in the 70s and 80s during the day. There was always a constant, gentle breeze. It didn’t rain the entire time we were there, and almost every night was clear as well, revealing a cast of millions of stars.
On our first day, we drove down the mountain into the little town of Rosman for breakfast at Julie’s, one of the local restaurants. Our meal was delicious–and full of small-town charm. Julie herself was our waitress, and she ended up scooping Gabriel up to take orders and wait tables with Gabriel on her hip so that Michael and I could eat together for a few minutes! During our meal, a man eating at the table next to us told us about a story he’d seen about babies on the news, and the high school football coach came over and tried to recruit Gabriel for the team. The coach seemed genuinely disappointed that we were Texans.
The camp staff reunion over the weekend was a blast! All of us who came up for the weekend reveled in how quickly we all became friends, even though there was quite a range in the years that all of us had worked camp. At campfire on Friday night, we sat around and sang camp songs, remembering all of the old harmonies and melodies for favorites like “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Barges,” “Green Cathedral,” “Song to a Butterfly,” and “We Rise and We Fall Together.”
We hiked almost every day, visiting our favorite spots: Devil’s Courthouse; Graveyard Fields; Looking Glass Falls; Courthouse Falls; lovely Dupont State Forest’s Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls; Black Balsalm and Caney Bottom.
Gabriel loved practically every moment of the trip, and was the darling of everyone at camp. The child barely touched the ground for all of the people who volunteered to hold and watch him for us! His sparkly, easy smiles were a major hit :).
Aside from a few lovely mornings and afternoons that we stayed home and let him take a long nap in his pack n’ play, we packed Gabriel around with us everywhere we went. He would sleep in the car and even in the baby carrier pack if he got tired enough (see picture below). He loved it. And he slept about 12 hours a night.
The only rough part of the trip was the drive up. Gabriel was great–when he was asleep. Even though I did everything but get pulled behind the car on a skateboard to entertain that baby, he still got bored quickly and cried. At least our time in N.C. was so lovely that it more than made up for the difficult drive. Moreover, Michael and I both let God pump some supernatural patience and communication skills into us for the drive, which was a blessing. 🙂
Alright, here are the pictures! Also check out tons of great pictures on Michael’s blog: www.francophilosophy.blogspot.com. He borrowed my dad’s zoom lens and took literally hundreds of pictures while we were there.