October 30, 2013

The 1st Choose your own Adventure Link up!

Welcome to our first month of Choose Your Own Adventure, a new dating link-up! Be sure to recap your date this month and join the link up below.
October theme: Fall FestivalGet out there and tackle your fall bucket list. Football games, pumpkin patches, and haunted hayrides are just some of the great fall fun to be had.
Budget: $40
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The rules:

1. Follow your co-hosts.
2. Create a date with our theme and budget in mind.
3. Post your date write-up.
4. Grab a button and link up during the last week of each month!

I am so, so excited about co-hosting this linkup! I love every single thing about fall except for the fact that it means winter will soon be upon us. I cannot get enough of all of the fun fall activities going on right now. Unfortunately for me, my dear sweet boyfriend has been out of town every single weekend  except for one since we first decided to host this linkup so time to fit in dates has been limited, in lieu of the fact that I haven't actually had a fall date this year with him, I am going to do a recap of a fall date from years past.

We started the day with a hike to a waterfall. Falls Branch Falls is about 2 miles from the cabin--actually the perfect walking distance. So we took the pup and made our way down the road and up the mountain to the falls.
We hadn't had rain in such a while there was very little current pushing down the falls, and we stood right in front of what trickle it was. My B. 
After our little hike, we set out on our adventure. As I mentioned a few posts earlier, every year we go to the Apple Festival in Ellijay. It's easily one of my favorite things to look forward to in the fall. Admission to the apple festival is $5 per person. We perused the rows of vendors for hours and purchased a fresh squeezed lemonade ($3), because neither of us can walk past free lemonade without resisting. Billy, the child, also found an apple canon which I didn't even bother talking him out of ($1). The good news about the apple festival is that even though we love all of the crafts, we have no where to put most of it so we don't feel too drawn to purchase anything.

Horrible cell phone picture. sorry
Typically we get out without buying anything, like I said, but we actually found a small pumpkin patch nestled in the back of the festival where we purchased a few pumpkins to carve. I believe we paid $5 tops for our pumpkin. We already had  pumpkin carving kit back at the cabin, so we were in luck! This is our finished product with the cutest little fuzzy blonde girl ever.

All in all, we spent about $20 which was well within our budget! Easy, fun, cheap date that I wish his schedule would have allowed us to have this year. I pinky promise now that baseball is over we'll have a real date this next month to go along with our theme.

Stay tuned for our post announcing next month's theme soon!!

October 20, 2013

Check giong to a Rod Stewart concert off my Bucket List

I grew up listening to Rod Stewart with my dad. I always loved hopping in his bronco and popping in his Rod cassettes. My favorite was always "the one where he's wearing the pink pajamas." He was one of the many, many artists my dad introduced me to as a child. I always listened to classics with him. He founded my love for Johnny Cash, The Eagles, Alabama, CCR and everyone else in between. He has always been one of the artists I associated with my childhood

I found our Rod Stewart was coming to Atlanta way back in the spring. As soon as I did, I begged  for our company tickets to Philips Arena. Fast foward to about 3 weeks ago, our CFO showed up to my desk and handed me two glowing, sparkly tickets as the angels sung. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but that's how it felt to my fluttering little heart.

Saturday night I finally got to check seeing him off my bucket list! It was everything I ever imagined it would be! I have never been to a show at Philips Arena, so getting there was a chore. With there being another show at the tabernacle, everyone trying to get on the Ferris wheel, and the road construction, it was a disaster. If you've ever been to an event in downtown Atlanta, you know that there are always road blocks on the most direct routes and you'll have to detour at least twice, so it's best to research. After trying to go in 4 wrong parking decks before finding the right one. We finally arrived and found our seats, got drinks, and the best pretzel I've had in years.

I wanted to take a good full length picture of us so I could share my outfit, but since we didn't get a chance, here's my outfit inspiration here. Except, not to toot my own horn, but my skirt was much much cuter than either of those as were my shoes.

I can't say enough how thankful I am that Billy went with me. With the big FSU game getting rescheduled for the same time as the show was starting, I almost thought he was going to bail on me. He didn't and he was so patient throughout the whole night.
Steve Winwood was the opener. I honestly had never heard of his name before until last night. We've all heard his music in commercials, we (or at least I) have never heard of him before--gimmie some lovin' and higher love. For those of you who didn't recognize him, apparently he is Amish and his lead guitarist is pirate.

After we realized we were the youngest people in the arena by a good 20 years, Rod finally came on, and it was all I had ever dreamed it would be. He sang all of the classics that I know and love. I loved his backup singers and their outfits. I am so glad he stuck to the songs everyone was paying to see, and not too many off his new album. 

little known fact, I played the saxophone in high school. I was more than impressed with this lady being able to play and dance around in those heels!

Have I told you lately that I love you was always mine and my daddy's song
Rod's daughter, Ruby, sang a few songs with him

Maggie May! 

Balloons dropping at the end of the show. Too freaking cool!

October 18, 2013

Sorry I'm not sorry

Sorry I'm not sorry that my road rage has got a smidge out of hand this week. In my defense, Atlanta drives has officially lost their mind. Left means fast; Right means slower. Blinkers mean, "I'm coming over". On that note, use a blinker. Drive or die!

Sorry I'm not sorry that I've shown up a little late to work every day this week. It's not like I have anything to rush into work for. That being said, I also have done my hair and makeup at my desk every single day as well..

Sorry I'm not sorry for pretty much wishing away this week. I'm ready for a weekend filled with shows and sleeping in.

Sorry I'm not sorry that I drove around for 30 mins last night because I was too lazy to cook, only to come back empty handed because I couldn't decide on anything. I ended up eating ravioli instead. What is wrong with me?

Sorry I'm not sorry that I'm having cookies for breakfast

Sorry I'm not sorry that I am beyond excited to see Rod Stewart this weekend. I know I am going to be the youngest person at this concert, but I don't care. I have loved that man since I was in light-up shoes.

Sorry I'm not sorry that I have been obsessing over my shows this week. For those of you that watch Vampire Diaries, you know how crazy last night was! Oh, and the Originals--Shut the front door! Can I get a woop woop from my scandal peeps too?!

October 14, 2013

I hope fall never, ever ends

This weekend was, hands down, one of the best weekends I've had in quite a while. Unfortunately Billy was off playing baseball, but his family was so gracious to still let me join them for a fun, packed weekend of touristy things.

Thursday night, I made a pair of boot cuffs out of an old sweater sweater. I think I can honestly say that I nailed it! What was even better, was that I had a great place to wear them to just as soon as I finished. I met Billy and his mom and we went to the Cumming Fair and pigged out on fair food at it's finest and saw the adorable Mrs. Kellie Pickler.

Not flattering of me at all. 

Friday, I took the day for myself to relax and catch up on a few things I've been putting off. I was initially informed that Billy had a half day at work, but unsurprising, he got his weeks messed up. My plan of spending our time off together was foiled yet again. That night, I met his mom and we went to a football game while we waited for his aunt to arrive from Birmingham and his brother from Raleigh. As soon as everyone got there and the football game was over, we loaded up and headed north to the cabin! {I've told you about the cabin before here.}

Saturday morning was the most perfect weather anyone could have imagined. We opened up every single window and door in the house and let the fresh, brisk autumn air flow through the cabin. I absolutely love opening the french doors that open out to the deck when the weather permits. I wish I could hold on to days with weather like that for cold winters or hot muggy summer days. Our morning was filled with football and a nice hike with the dogs.  Later, our afternoon and the rest of our weekend was filled with the most touristy things we could think of.

PopPop always gets mums to decorate around the cabin in the fall. These were gorgeous!! 
Diesel loves hanging out on the desk

After all the important games were over, we went into Blue Ridge to visit Art in the Park, one of PopPop's favorite fall activities. There were so many wonderful artists and pieces. I wanted all of them, but unfortunately I don't have the money or space to properly display all of them. I just enjoyed looking at everything instead. We even strolled into a few shops downtown while we were in town. 

After leaving downtown, we stopped and got some (a lot) of firewood for our nightly campfire. We love buying firewood from this sweet mean on the corner of Aska. We have became quite good friends with him because of how often we stop and get wood from him. After we were all stocked up,  we headed our way to another one of our favorite mountain things, Rib Country. 

Billy's sweet cousin Ashley

If you have never been to Rib Country in Blairsville, or any of it's other North Georgia locations, you HAVE to.  It's one of our mountain trip staples! After dinner, we took the scenic route home through Suches and Van Zandt's. This is the route that I always take if I'm going to the cabin from my parents. If you follow me on instagram, you've already seen thousands of pictures of sunsets over these mountains. I can never get enough of watching the painted skies over the ridges. 

This is only a couple of miles from the cabin in the Dial community.

Sunday, we got up early (thanks dogs) and went to the Annual Apple Festival. We go every year, but this was the first year that we were able to take Billy's Aunt and Cousin, as they are typically in Ft Lauderdale this time of year. The apple festival is one town south (a quick 15 minutes) from the cabin in Ellijay, the apple capital. The festival draws thousands of people from all over the south two weekends in October a year. It's so exciting to see some busy excitement in these sleepy little towns. The apple festival celebrates all things apples and many other local vendors and clubs of North Georgia and the surrounding areas. 

After our "shopping legs" got tired, we headed across the highway to Colonel Poole's BBQ. This little place has been here for ages! The walls, rafters, and hill behind the restaurant are covered with pig cut outs with names of past customers. It's fun to read all the names and see if one may belong to someone you know. 
If you ever visit I highly recommend the brunswick stew--and the biggest one they have! Everything I've had on the menu is great, but the stew is some of the best I've ever had. 

We promised Ashley that we would visit a corn maze while they were in town, so we tried our hand at finding one we found online. We went to the orchard that the website said had a great corn maze and a few other fun things. Once we arrived to the zoo of apple pickers, we were politely told by the nice, slightly confused manager of the packing house, that they didn't have a corn maze. Upon further review, that website was last updated in 2009.. #fail 

How adorable is this little packing house we passed right outside of Cartecay?!

We decided to drive some more towards the nearby pumpkin patch and Amicalola falls. On the way, we found signs directing us to a corn maze! Bucks corn maze is just a few miles from the falls. We were slightly confused when we asked for a map of the maze, and they said they didn't have one. Corn mazes are supposed to have maps, aren't they? We headed in, and found out why they said we wouldn't need a map. There were only like two dead ends, otherwise all paths lead right back out. It was really disappointing compared to all the other corn mazes I've done in the past. It took us all of maybe 15/20 minutes to make our way through the maze. On the upside, that meant we were that much closer to dinnertime.

We were going to be getting back rather late to a cabin with an empty fridge and pantry, so PopPop was so nice to offer to take us all out to another one of our favorite restaurants, The Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, which is literally about 2 miles from the front door of the cabin. We were seated out on the deck over the river. It was such a perfect night to eat outside and the ambiance was lovely with all of the lighting and great music.

We got back to the house and made smores in our campfire that we almost didn't get burning. The first bonfire means it is officially fall in my book!!

I took an additional day off Monday, because everyone else had the day off too. I guess that's another perk of being a teacher. We ran a few errands, like stopping by the co-op for dog food and grabbing a quick lunch a Wendy's. Of course, a weekend full of all things touristy and apples, we had to stop by our favorite orchard for fried pies and apples. 

Merciers is a place Billy's family has been going for years. We have seen this little orchard evolve from their little shop to the huge business it is today. Billy even used to work here every summer while he was up from Florida over his breaks, so we literally know the place inside out. His family became very, very good friends with the lady behind all of the legendary pie recipes. Unfortunately, she has not ever let her secret recipes slip, but I do believe she has finally agreed to "one day" give us the instructions for her beloved fudge pie. 

I bought two 1/2 pecks of Stayman Winesaps, apple cider, and muscadine cider. I love heating up cider on cold winter mornings to take to work with me. Since I don't drink coffee, it helps warm me up on those chilly days. I haven't tried muscadine cider before, but I love muscadines and their muscadine flavored slushies. I'm sure the cider will knock my socks off. 

This is the original tractor the Merciers started with back when they first started growing apples. It was restored recently.
You can tell it's apple festival weekend based on all of these makeshift lines that were put up. This new addiction was added on in the past year just to handle the masses that come up on weekends in the fall. 

I am a faithful fan of the peach pie! It runs circles around the apple. You should also try some of the cold cream cheese pies, they're very different and very good too. 

part of my haul.
I cannot wait for another cool morning or night to open this baby up. Yum!

It was so hard to leave and come back to Atlanta this afternoon, but I got to see Billy, so at least it had it's perks. On the way back over the valley to the highway, we saw the leaves starting to turn the lime green and yellow. The peak leaf season is getting close. I hope they can hold out 2 more weekends till Fall Ball is over and we can get back up to those beautiful hills. I'm already anxious to get back!