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.

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.

The Last Day Of My Twenties!

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Well we are finally almost here. The day before I turn 30. I never thought I would get here and for 365 days I have been dreading it. I have no problem getting older. I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life will bring but I can’t help but look back on highs and lows of my twenties.

  1. Turning 21- That was a fun night or what I remember was.
  2. Graduating College- Met some great people and worked my butt off for that degree.
  3. Falling in love- It happened a lot and I learned so much.
  4. My first “Big Boy” job- I hated every minute of it but Wells Fargo taught me a lot.
  5. Meeting my wife- Went in with pink eye and left with a date.
  6. My first apartment- Miss that Bachelor Pad including the smell and noisy neighbors.
  7.  Loosing my job- The best thing that ever happened to me.
  8. Finally getting my dream job- I love working in Advertising!
  9. Getting engaged- Still can’t believe she said Yes!
  10. My Dad died- I miss him everyday.
  11. Getting Married- The best day of my life.
  12. First time flying- Scary but fun.
  13. First time in another country- Mexico was the best honeymoon
  14. The birth of my kids- No words can describe how amazing this was
  15. Buying a house.
  16. Getting Fat- Pregnant wife + McDonalds= 300 pound me.
  17. Loosing 80 pounds– Working out+ no McDonalds= 220 pound me.
  18. Running my first 5k- Came in 3rd in my age division.
  19. Completing my first half marathon.
  20. Completing my first whole marathon

I am sure I am forgetting so other amazing moments of my twenties but these are the ones that mean the most to me.

I am excited to see what happens in the next 10 years of my life. I look forward to watching my kids grow up and getting closer to my wife. I also can’t wait to see where my healthy lifestyle takes me.

Here is to being 30! Lets do this!

29 Looks Real Good!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

So today I turned 29 years old. Besides the incredible doom of turning 30 that is now only a year away, I am excited. It’s hard to believe that I am this old. I sure don’t feel old.

Today I did what any good domestic husband and father does and went couponing. Harris Teeter had super double coupons this week so it gave me the opportunity to stock up on some All detergent. I got 6 bottles and 6 packs of pods for $0.89 each! Nothing like saving money to get you feeling like you are so on fire. Man what a rush!!!! More on that later.

After that I got my free birthday drink at Starbucks which was a iced Caramel macchiato and of course it had to be a Venti. So I sat there thinking about what this yer was going to bring forth in my life. What did I want to achieve this year and where did I want to go. Would it be a new job or maybe new physical challenges? So here is what I want to do this year before I am 30.

1. Run a half marathon.
2. Go to a new place.
3. Find a new job.
4. Add on to my family.
5. Cycle more.
6. Go camping
7. Go on a very long day hike.
8. Take my wife away for a weekend.
9. Lose more weight.
10. Get a handle on my nutrition.

So after coming up with this list I went and had lunch with my mom and she got me a red velvet cake. Did you no that there are no calories on your birthday? It’s true or at least that’s what I chose to believe. After lunch my wife took me to a nice and dinner with our little peanut and I have to say I can’t wait to see where 29 is going to take me.

Summer Adventure 8- A Safari In Our Own Backyard

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On Friday we had an awesome trip. We heard about this place here in Mooresville, North Carolina that is actually quite unique. It’s like a zoo but there are no cages for most of the wildlife. Thats right! No fences!

We went to this place called The Lazy 5 Ranch. It was almost an hour and a half away bit when we got there we were quite shock as to what we saw. It was about $11 for my wife and I to get in. The kind lady at the window handed us one bucket of feed and pointed us in the right direction to start our quest. The one thing about this zoo is that you have to drive through it. You just read that last part correctly. We started down the dirt road passing a sign that said “welcome”. Suddenly, I felt like I was in the movie Jurassic Park. The music never played and John Hammond never came out to greet me. I was a little bummed but kept driving forward.

As we started our journey we were greeted by ostriches. These birds are scary as they got close to our car and rammed their heads in our feed basket. I speed up to get by them as they reminded me too much of the raptors. I now called them “devil birds” for the rest of the tour. We then came to a section where pigs and goats were. They were so cute and even let you pet them. Then I happened to look up and saw a herd of zebras coming my way. When we arrived at the gate they gave us a list of animals not to feed and a zebra was one of the ones at the top of that list. We just drove up to them and let them come to us and we pet them. It was amazing and now I can say I pet a zebra. K-Dub loved it!

As we came to another section of the tour we were greeted by antelope, deers and rams. I now have a very vial hatred for rams now. Those things are scary and they are greedy when it comes to feeding them. We also saw a bunch of wilder beast cooling off at the water hole. The we came across one of the most scariest things about this tour. We got stuck in a herd of steers. You are not supposed to feed them so we rolled our windows up. Their big horns hit the sides of our car as my teeth grind with every loud thud, Now I know how those kids felt in the movie when the T-Rex was coming after them in the car.

The final area was where you pulled up to the only two fenced in areas in the whole place. One has a rhino in it. He was sleeping but it was cool to see him. I have never seen a rhino in person before. It was awesome! The next area was they kept about six giraffes. They were cute and we loved feeding them. After passing that area you came across where they keep the buffalo. I have never seen a buffalo before but it was awesome. They are huge.

After finishing the tour we got out and made a quick bathroom break before heading to dinner. That place was really fun and we will have to come back soon.