Birthday Mountians

Well 2019 has been good so far. I just celebrated my 33rd birthday! I was exactly what I wanted. It was very low key and only spent with people I love. I got tons of birthday wishes on Facebook and Instagram so that made my day better.

The coolest new thing I got for my birthday that I have become super obsessed with is a road bike my brother got me. I love this bike. I got to try it out when I went on a group ride through Indian Trail two weeks ago. I gave me a fire to get into the cycling world. I have since purchased a helmet, lights, and a jersey so that my next ride will be more fun.

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Back in October my friend Steven and I have really found a love for the Appalachian Trail and hiking some of the most hardest sections. We even started a non profit charity to raise money and awareness for veteran suicide. We call the charity Mission 22- 22 cause of the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday.  We have recently gotten a lot of attention by other Facebook groups and our page continues to grow.

Last weekend we went and climbed Mount Mitchell, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. So Steven and myself, along with two other guys set out to climb the toughest mountain but to also camp in the coldest conditions. I have to say it was cold. That night it got down to 15 degrees. I was wrapped up in so many layers and tucked in my sleeping bag that I stayed warm through the night.

The climb to the top was hard. You had to be careful as there was ice on the rocks so that made most of trip very hard. I did fall a couple of times. Having tracking poles this time did help a ton. I think I might use them on my next hike. When we finally made it to the top it was super foggy, cold, and wet. We got our pictures as we hung our Mission 22 flag and hurried back down the mountain before it got too dark.

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I love weekends like this where I get to camp in the wilderness and reflect on what is important. The past year ended in a way I did not expect. I have been trying not to get depressed and stay positive but I am finding it harder these days. To be able to climb a mountain really brings things into perspective to the point where you believe you can do anything and face any problem head on and know you will be ok.

Thats all I am trying to do is be ok

My Mountain Expedition

A couple of weeks ago my friend Stephen and I decided to not only go camping in the mountains but to hike one of the toughest sections on the Appalachian Trail.

I have never camped before and I am not one to rough it but Stephen is military so I figured if I had any questions or feared being trampled by a deer then this guys would help me through it.

We drove Friday night up to a hostile in Tennessee after work. We got there very late and found a camping spot by the river to set up our tent. We built a fire to keep warm and quickly fell asleep.

The next morning we walked up to the owners house where we were feed a great breakfast that included homemade from scratch blueberry pancakes, hash brown casserole, egg soufflé, and sausage and gravy biscuits. I of course had to have my coffee. Breakfast was well greeted by great conversation with the locals.

After packing out backpacks with much needed items and a couple of beers we got in the shuttle and headed up to the mountain to begin our climb to Carver’s Gap.

The moment we begun hiking on the trail we were in awe of the great views.

We met some people on the trail and had some great conversations and people gave us advice on how to proceed and where we needed to get the freshest water. We then made the plan to camp on Big Hump Mountain that night and then head back down the mountain in the morning.

We finally made our journey up Big Hump Mountain which was a hard climb. I had to stop a couple of times to rest but the views at the top made it worth it.

Once we made it to the top we got out of sleeping bags, changed into some dry less sweaty clothes and took a rest. The sunset was amazing. It was so quite and peaceful that nigh. The stars were so bright and close it felt like you could reach up and pull them out of the sky. The hours I did sleep I was awaken by the sound of deer walking by and then running off quickly when they realized I was watching them.

The next morning we awoke to an amazing sunrise before packing our stuff and heading back down the mountain. The views coming down the mountain were awesome.

After walking about 6 miles we finally got back to highway and to our car.

My first camping trip was awesome and I can’t wait to plan the next one at another location.

Pumpkin Time

Fall is here or at least it has been here for a couple of weeks. I wish that outside felt more like it. It still feels like summer. Today as I am writing this it is humid and sticky outside. Gross!

I love the when it is fall. The leaves change color, it gets colder, bonfires, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spic lattes make this season great. Speaking of pumpkins, one of the best traditions we have as a family is to head over to the Pumpkin Patch at Riverbend Farms and pick out our pumpkins.

This year we went with my brother and his family and had a blast.

Climbing on fake animals…

and tractors.

Sliding down the slides

After playing it was time to get on the hayride.

The real work began as it was time to pick up out pumpkins…

I think my family had a great time and it gave mine and my brother’s family some time to enjoy each other.

Up To The Top Of Chimney Rock!

Last week I blogged about how my wife has caught the fitness bug and has been watching what she eats and working out every day. It has been nice to spend time with her and that we have something we can do together and be there for one another. It has brought out marriage to another level.

This past weekend my wife decided she wanted to go to the mountains and hike up Chimney Rock, which is near Lake Lure. It is about 2 hours from us. So we packed a cooler and a backpack and loaded the kids up and headed that way early on Saturday morning.

We got there before lunch and just before the crowds came in. We strapped Everly to my back and started to make our way to the top.

My wife did great. She and my oldest stopped a few times to catch their breath. They were a ton of stars. I think I heard someone say about 27 flights and 515 stairs total.

When we finally made it to the top I was very happy for my wife. It was a huge accomplishment for her. She is just starting her journey and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes her. She said she wanted to come back next year and do it again for some before and after photos.

Also the view is stunning…


After we hiked the rock we got some lunch at Medina’s and then played in the river before heading home. It was an awesome day and we will be back I hope really soon.

Another Beach Day

I can’t believe it is July! Wow! Where has the year gone? We have spent much of our time in the car this year as you  could tell. We have been asked by a lot of our family where are we going this weekend? The answer this past weekend was the beach…again.

When my wife and I were dating we spent a lot of time on the beach. We love it. We don’t go down to eat at fancy restaurants or to shop. We go down there and plan our butts in a chair and stick our feet in the sand and relax. That is a real beach trip. This past weekend was no exception.

We decided to head down to Holden Beach. Its our families beach and we love every minute there. It is nothing special but very special to us. We came down and dropped our stuff off at Nana’s and headed to the beach.

It was crowded, being July Fourth weekend but we managed to find a great parking spot and walk to the beach access. The beach was crowded but we did not mind. We set up camp and let the kids go wild. The water was rough. VERY rough. It was so rough that it knocked you down. We still had a great time.

After changing in the parking lot we headed back to Nana’s house.

We went to the Seafood Barn because I wanted fish.

You also can’t come to Holden Beach without getting some ice cream.

I love these little trips of ours and I hope that even though our Nana is selling her place that we can continue this tradition of being little beach bums.

Our Little Family Beach Trip

This past weekend we headed down to Holden Beach for a little family vacation. Nothing fancy but us and the rest of BrittWhitFun’s family. We really had no choice cause of all the renovations going on we could not be at the house.

The first day we were there we had a great breakfast over at Nana’s house. We then headed to the dock and got on my FIL’s boat. There is just something great about being on a boat in the summer time. We rode around for a while and found a great spot on the inlet and set up camp.

We spent the entire morning and afternoon playing in the sand, swimming, fishing, and just relaxing. It was great. The beach is one of my favorite places and it is awesome that my in laws share the same joy.

After we got done we loaded up camp and came back to the dock. We went back to the motel we were staying and got showers. After we got cleaned off we headed back over to Nana’s house so the kids could have some alone time with their Pop and Nana while the adults went out to dinner.

We had a great dinner at Provision Company which included a couple of cocktails and seafood. It is always great to get away without the kids and enjoy some adult laughs and conversation.  After dinner we went to a local ice cream shop where my SIL just can’t seem to eat an ice cream cone the right way. I mean who bites the end of a cone with ice cream still in there?

After some much needed rest we ready for day two. We went back to Nana’s house and ate breakfast again and then headed down to the beach.

We spent another long morning and afternoon on the beach swimming, digging holes, looking for seashells, and eating burgers from the local pier. Its was an awesome day. My kids got disgusting, especially Evie, and had to be rinsed off before heading home.

I must say I love my in laws and my little family. Our beach trips are always so much fun. I hope that even though our Nana is selling her place that we can continue these trips and enjoy each others company.

Exploring Charleston

As. you could tell from last weeks posts it was mine and BrittWhitFun’s anniversary. We decided that instead of taking the usually trip to the beach to go somewhere we both have never been. So after some talking my wife decided to book us a weekend in Charleston, SC. I have always heard that Charleston was a beautiful town that was full of local artist, good food, and some great local beer. I have to say that after a long weekend I have never been more sick of food and beer but it the greatest way possible.

We arrived in Charleston Friday afternoon. We were both starving. We decided to stay in Mt. Pleasant cause it was cheaper and there were plenty of stuff to do here also. The first place on our list was some good lunch. After some suggestions from our friends we ended up at Shem’s Creek Bar and Grill. I of course had to try shrimp and grits for the first time and it did not disappoint. We sat near the water and watched people paddle board in the creek. I tried an IPA called Damn Yankee that was very good.

After lunch we headed to Isle of Palms beach. This beach was cool. There were plenty places to park(for a $1.50) and lots of shops. The beach as amazing. The sand was so soft. My wife and I took a long nap on the beach and just relaxed with one another.

Soon it was time for dinner. We headed to our hotel and checked in and then went to Melvin’s Ribs and Que. It was a lot of food and I could not even finish it but it was good what I ate. Then we went to a bar and had some drinks and desert. before calling it a night.

The next day we got dressed and headed to Charleston. We stopped first at Another Broken Egg Cafe. After waiting for a table for an hour and another hour for our food we indulged in a cinnamon roll that was out of this world followed by a Hello Lucy. The food was worth the wait! So good and I wanted to steal there little cute mugs but my wife told me we did not need another one.

After breakfast/lunch we explored the market place. I loved this place cause it was nothing but local artist and chiefs. We bought a few gifts for some loved ones and ourselves and I did manage to get a nice coffee cup. We even found a cool Charleston Christmas store and bought some ornaments for our tree this year.

We managed to find a cool wine bar and sat down and enjoyed a couple of glasses before heading out to see some sites.

The first place we went to was Washington Square Park. This place was so cool and it had plenty of shade. It was behind this beautiful church. After cooling off we headed to Waterfront Park which had an awesome view of the water, a pier, two splash pads, and a water taxi. It was just so neat to walk through.

By this time we were tired so we got to our car and went to Starbucks and grabbed some iced coffees. I fell asleep cause according to my wife I can fall asleep anywhere. True story.

I had made dinner reservations for us at an upscale restaurant called Magnolia’s. So we headed back into downtown and made our way there. We had some great martinis to start us off. We then were seated and indulged ourselves in some fried Mac and cheese and palmetto chesse, which now that I am typing this makes it sound bad for my stomach. My wife got a salad and I got buttermilk fried chicken that was out of this world. I wish I could have stopped myself long enough to take a picture of it. So good.

After dinner we went to the hotel and chilled out for a little and then headed back to Isle of Palms again. This time we just got some ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s and walked on the beach and looked for shells. It started to get dark and we headed back to our hotel for some rest.

I must say it was a great vacation with my wife. It is not every day we get to have some alone time. She did a great job about being away from the girls all weekend. Sunday she was ready to get home and I really can’t blame her. I was missing them also. It was a great anniversary with my love. I still can’t believe we made it to six years and I can’t help but feel we are only getting started.

Disney Mug Tuesday- Epcot Starbucks Mug

Here is the third of the Starbucks mugs that I brought home from Disney World. This one is from Epcot. Epcot was my absolute favorite park in all of Disney World. I also think it was the only one that catered more to adults. I love how you could buy booze from around the world and try different and exciting foods. Also the park is beautiful especially when you go during the Wine and Garden festival.

Every time I drink out of this mug I remember all the fun and exciting times we had in those two days we were at Epcot.

Its A Zoo Out There!

This past Sunday my wife and I decided to take the girls to the zoo. These little day trips are starting to become a thing with us. We are starting to like getting in the car and heading somewhere out of the normal.

We spent the greater portion of the morning trying to get us and the kids ready. With multiple meltdowns and a lot crying, we were finally ready to get the kids up. Once we got them dressed we made our way to the car and off to breakfast.

There is nothing like a good Sunday morning breakfast even if it is from the great IHOP.

Once we stuffed out bellys full of bacon, eggs, and French toast, we were off to  Columbia, South Carolina.

Once we got to Riverbank Zoo we decided our first stop was going to be to check out the new sea lion exhibit.

After that we headed over to the bird sanctuary and saw some pink friends and some suited up birds. The penguins were really active and kept jumping off the rocks and into the water. My girls thought it was the coolest thing.

Once we got the smell of bird poop out of our noise we headed over to see some grizzly bears and some cute kola bears.

Soon it was time to check out the barnyard animals and Evie loved petting the lamas and goats.

One of the things K-Dub really wanted to do while we were at the zoo was feed the giraffes. When we finally reach them and $6 later she backed out. That was not a problem cause my wife and Evie had no issues.

We made out way to the elephants and stopped to take a few selfies.

Then on our last stop before leaving we wanted to see the gorilla. He sleeps just like me.

One thing you have to do when coming to Columbia is eat at the famous in my mind “Lizard Thicket”. If you love country cooking then this place is for you. We ate and got really full before heading back to Charlotte.

All and all it was a fun little day trip. We got rained on a little but it did not stop us. The kids had a good time and it was not very crowded due to it being a Sunday afternoon. We can’t wait to go back and have another adventure any Riverbank Zoo.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Operation: Rescue Daddy

This weekend I was very excited. I was going to have my first guys weekend in a while to spend some time with brother down at Carolina Beach. I was going to drive my truck that I just had lifted and got new mud tires installed. I was going to be a great weekend of camping, fishing, and just enjoying each others company.

Fate had a different idea. I was on the way down Friday night when just when I got into Carolina Beach my truck started to shake and my truck started to smoke. It turns out my drivers side front axle broke and my drivers side tire was slanted.

So my brother came and picked me up and I stayed the night at the camp site. In the morning I called around some auto shops only to find that most were closed for Easter holiday. I finally found one that was opened. I called my wife to tell her what happened and she stopped everything and said she was on the way.

After a couple of hours I was greeted by her and my beautiful girls. She helped me get the car towed to the auto shop. What started as a guys weekend ended up as a little family vacation. We played on the beach.

Me love to beat up the ocean!

We go doughnuts at the famous Wake and Bake Doughnut Shop.

We stayed the night at BrittWhitFun’s grandma’s house at Holden Beach and then got up Sunday morning and played a little on the beach before heading home.

I honestly would not know what I would do without my gals. I love them so much and I am thankful to be a husband and father in this little family of mine. I am a lucky man.

I hope to hear back from the auto shop this week. It looks like this Saturday we will be making another impromtu trip to the beach to pick up the truck… and maybe to a little beach bumming.