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I realize I have said this before, but this summer is flying by! In a lot of ways, our summer is slowing down a little bit right now because we don’t have anything major planned over the next couple of weeks… but man, the first few weeks of summer were jam. packed.
A few weeks ago, my family and I got to take a little mini-vacation to Grandfather mountain in Western North Carolina! I’ve lived in North Carolina seven years and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to really getting to know (and see!) the beauty that exists in the state which I call home.
My in-laws LOVE the mountains, and within the last couple years, got a little home near Grandfather Mountain and this was the first time John and I had the chance to take the kiddos up there for a weekend!
Now, traveling with two kids is a WHOLE lot different than traveling with just adults… or even one kid. (And, not to mention, my car no longer has functioning air conditioning… so getting around has been funnnnn this summer… haha!)
So, to make our family trip even MORE fun, I partnered up with Toyota to test drive a brand spankin’ new 2016 Toyota RAV4 for the weekend! My husband loves his Toyota Tundra and I have heard such awesome things about the new RAV4… so yeah, needless to say, I was PUMPED.
Funny side story… we went to pick up the car on Friday night and we pulled into the Mark Jacobson Toyota dealership and John saw the RAV4 with a giant red bow on it and joked that it was probably for me… and as we got closer, we realized it was and it had a sign on it. Then, one of the staff came out to introduce herself and tell me she was the one who made my sign because they told her a celebrity was coming. John hasn’t let me live that one down yet… Bahaha! I told her, celebrity, I am not… 🙂 it was really sweet of them, though!
ANYWAY! We got home and packed the car up and got ready to head west to the mountains!
We got to the house without much fanfare or trouble and were ready to just RELAX. Honestly, that’s what the whole weekend was about… just RELAXING.
John’s parents have such a beautiful view from their porch. They said that in the winter when the leaves aren’t on the trees, they have an even more clear view of Grandfather Mountain.
I love that their house has a little wrap around porch and they have not one, but two porch swings. I love porch swings!
About 10 minutes after we arrived, John totally fell asleep on the couch. Typical. 🙂 haha!
After some epic afternoon naps, we decided to hop in the car and go exploring before dinner. We came upon the prettiest park that had a little walking trail up the side of this mountain and a gorgeous little waterfall. Lilly LOVED it.
Seriously! This place was GORGEOUS and just off the side of the road!
Lilly thought it was the best “adventure!”
Finding wild mushrooms and ants and bugs and fun kid stuff.
Lilly walking with her papa.
Amos was, you know, taking it all in… hahaha 🙂
Then, like any kid wants to do, Lilly wanted to splash and play in the water. So, we let her take her shoes off and play a little bit. She loved it!
This is one of my favorite ages… she’s so imaginative and wants to explore and play and get dirty!
The next day, we headed into town to get lunch at the Old Hampton Store and Grist Mill. Pimento Cheese sandwich and fries? Yes, please!
The kids were so worn out from exploring and lunch that they even BOTH fell asleep in the RAV4. I HAD to document this because Amos HATES the car and Lilly hasn’t fallen asleep in the car in AGES. I mean, seriously. Car rides are usually so stressful and they both were PASSED OUT. I couldn’t help but laugh!
One thing I really wanted to do while we were in the mountains was take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I LOVE the Blue Ridge Parkway and have driven a lot of it in Virginia, but haven’t been on a lot of the parkway in North Carolina. There are so many beautiful places along the parkway to stop and have lunch or just stop and admire God’s creation!
So, we hopped in the RAV4 and decided to go for a drive and just stop whenever we wanted. It was SO fun! I wish the skies had been a LITTLE more clear, but honestly, I loved every second of it. I could honestly drive that parkway for hours.
Had to grab a picture of this cutie because… I mean… FOR REAL.
LOVE this view of Grandfather Mountain. It’s just SO beautiful! I want to come back in the fall when the leaves change because it has to be just unbelievable!
Got a picture of me at the overlook of Grandfather Mountain!
Some phone pics…
On the porch swing… Love this family of mine. <3
We had such an amazing time and honestly didn’t want to come home! It was so nice to just get away, even for just a couple days, and enjoy some time together.
Plus, not going to lie, I totally didn’t want to return our RAV4! THIS CAR IS AMAZING! This was the SE (sport edition) and not only is the car a smooth ride, but it has some amazing features! Backup camera, bluetooth capability (answering your phone and playing music through the speakers!), and so much space in the trunk! We easily fit two kids and all our stuff without any problem.
Strangely, one of my FAVORITE features about the car was the blind spot detector. When a car is in your blindspot, the sideview mirrors have this little icon / light that flashes and so you know someone is in your blindspot! This was especially helpful on those winding roads up the mountain!
I can’t say ENOUGH good things about this car, Toyota, the trip, the mountains, and well, you know… all the things!
What about you? Have you been on any summer trips lately? Have you been to visit western North Carolina or driven on the Blue Ridge Parkway? Shopping for a new car? Doing any test drives? Sound off in the comments! Let me know what’s up!
Welcome back to our regularly scheduled program……..we just finished celebrating Let It Shine’s FOUR year anniversary with a month of giveaways….and now we’re back to business. Each week we share a few of our favorite posts from the week before….
This week, we are loving: