Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunshine Mountain 2014

Last weekend, we planned a much needed respite from ‘city life’ and headed to upstate New York to squeeze in a family-filled weekend with John’s family. Helen Grace was just about to turn one the last time we went for Aunt Edie and Uncle Gene’s retirement from the Salvation Army. It’s important to us that she has childhood memories of newt chasing, blueberry picking, and campfire stirring on Sunshine Mountain like her daddy did before her, so off we went.

We arrived in Rochester on Friday afternoon and stopped in to see Letchworth Falls on the way to Sidney. Of course, Helen Grace has no memory of seeing them on our last trip, so it was fun to show them to her again. The falls are just majestic, and she was in awe and loved climbing down the steps and paths to get closer to them. After exploring, we got back on the road and finally made it to Edie and Gene’s (HG’s great-grandma Helen Grace’s old house) in time for a late dinner, and we found that Aunt Mary and Uncle Craig had come in town too and were there- what an awesome surprise!

First thing Saturday morning, HG wanted to run out to see the horses that Edie and Gene keep on the back half of their land. She was in love and would’ve slept out there with them if we’d let her! After spending some time with them and being reminded about newts, she was finally ready to head up to Sunshine Mountain. As we walked out to the car, John’s cousin, Jen, and her kids drove up.  HG exclaimed, “My cousins are here!!” Talk about your heart melting! We all got our hugs- and HG met her second cousin, Abby, for the first time- and then headed up to the mountain.

Soon, John’s cousin, Geoff, and his wife, Torie, arrived too. It was like a mini family reunion- so much fun! The first thing on the agenda was finding NEWTS, and Aunt Edie had a fun surprise- a pink jeep for the girls to use to get around the mountain. Aunt Mary had done some scouting and knew exactly where to find newts over at her cabin. After the girls filled a bucket with more than 20 of them, we headed back to Edie and Gene’s cabin for a cookout and s’mores. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the mountain and then headed to Frog Pond Farmers’ Market to see some cute, little farm animals (and enjoy a yummy doughnut). On the way there, HG was begging us to let her take a nap in the car, so afterward, we headed back to the house to let her sleep.

We all woke up refreshed after a nap and headed into town for pizza with John’s aunts and uncles. For dessert, HG insisted on one more campfire, and she made her very own s’more from start to finish. She is a little obsessed with fire too. Apparently, that’s a trait of Waldron women, so she comes by it naturally. She and her daddy chased some fireflies before bedtime and enjoyed the cool mountain air.

We had to head home on Sunday morning, but we were so refreshed after time in the country and surrounded by memories and family. Looking forward to our next trip already!

As close as we got to the City this timeIMG_6065 What we do on a Laguardia layover2014-07-18 11.16.13Letchworth State Park 2014IMG_6071{2010}  CIMG4863 IMG_6083 IMG_6086 IMG_6099 {2010}CIMG4861 - Copy 2014-07-18 15.41.14 2014-07-18 15.48.39 Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear2014-07-19 08.35.05Playing with Grandma and Peggy’s toys from the Paint Box2014-08-01 11.03.19 “Mama! Daddy! Come look at the horsies!!!” Edie and Gene have some horses out behind their house.IMG_6103 And off she goes!IMG_6104 She climbed under the fence, held her hands out, and called the horses. And out they came like she was some kind of a horse whisperer!IMG_6105 Gracie and Helen GraceIMG_6107 She got a little nuzzle from Fergie.IMG_6108 IMG_6115 HG and her second cousin, Abby, going for a joy ride on the mountain.IMG_6116

Edie was trying to keep up to the little girls. They were ready to get to Aunt Mary and Uncle Craig’s cabin, Whiteley Pines, to find some newts!IMG_6118Success- Josh found one!IMG_6122  The girls were in hog heaven with Aunt Mary showing them all the newts’ hiding places.IMG_6123 This little girl was a newt huntress and was obsessed with them.IMG_61272014-07-19 10.41.57 Look at this loot! They found around 20 newts just around Whiteley Pines.2014-07-19 10.42.59HG and Abby hard at work IMG_6146 IMG_6152 The whole gang at Pigford PlateauIMG_6154 Enjoying lunch cooked over the campfireIMG_6157 IMG_6161  Her next obsession- campfires2014-07-19 12.16.48 Sarah, Rachel, and Josh showing her how s’mores are done2014-07-19 12.20.15 And Uncle Gene shares his wisdom as well.2014-07-19 12.21.26 YUMMMM2014-07-19 12.23.28 2014-07-19 12.31.00 IMG_6164 2014-07-19 12.33.39Off to check on Cabin Sr.IMG_6167View from Cabin Sr. {2010}CIMG4936IMG_6170 Adding her 2014 notch on the family growth chartIMG_6174 IMG_6175 IMG_6179 Saying hello to Toohig TowersIMG_6182 IMG_6184 View from the top at Uncle Bob’s cabin. Thankfully, there were no bear sightings!IMG_61852014-07-19 13.35.41 We checked out Frog Pond Farmers’ Market with the fam, and HG had fun in the corn box with her aunties and loved seeing all the farm animals. Such a neat place!2014-07-19 14.46.17 After a delicious pizza dinner in Sidney, our wilderness girl insisted on another campfire for one last s’more.2014-07-19 20.04.14 The first s’more she’s made ALL BY HERSELF2014-07-19 20.23.53 She loved Murphy, the neighbors’ dog.2014-07-19 20.28.01 {2010}CIMG4897 {2014}IMG_6186 Sad to be headed back south so soon2014-07-20 10.54.53 But the Atlanta Sky Club provided a nice (and yummy) pick-me-up.2014-07-20 14.46.35-2

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