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North Carolina

It was nearly a month ago, but I’m excited to finally share some of my phone photos from our July trip to North Carolina! Our family of five drove out there (including Zuzu) and we stayed in the Asheville/ Black Mountain area. As a bonus, we were able to stop in Illinois and see/stay with my family on the way out there and on the way back home to Hudson. Anyway, here we go!

Our first two days of the trip were the toughest. The kids’ car stamina had not been built up yet and they started asking “How much more longer?” (those words exactly), about 20 minutes into the drive and every 20 minutes thereafter. Anyway, it felt good to arrive in Oak Lawn and get some playground time in before we had to continue another 11 hours to our final destination.

Our Airbnb cottage we stayed in was perfect for our family and cute as can be. Which was great because I had debated just moving in, instead of getting back in the car and returning to the Midwest. The inside was charming and minimalistic which gave me inspiring thoughts about cleaning out everything that’s in our own home. It had a lovely screened-in porch as well as a jacuzzi which the girls thoroughly enjoyed. And porch life sure suited Zuzu.

Our first full day in North Carolina was spent cheering on Joe as he ran the Asheville Spartan Super. Cece also ran the one-mile kid race (I think she’s still traumatized by the mud she encountered) and Rosie was on-deck to run the half mile but her race time got changed and we missed it (she wasn’t sad about it though, we were hot and all kind of ready to leave at that point anyway.) As per usual, I’m still always so impressed and proud of how well Joe does in these races! I hope his dedication, strength, and abs get passed down to all of our kids.

As mentioned earlier, the porch jacuzzi was a huge hit with our girls. I mean, they needed to relax after all that Spartan racing and spectating. I think Joe ended up taking a nap with Ares that afternoon after the race! We ventured to Black Mountain for some Mexican food for dinner that night and that was one solid day.

On our next day in Asheville we went ziplining! (At least Joe, Rosie, and Cece did… Ares was too short and I was too pregnant, but we still had to wear helmets). Cece easily was the one who had the most fun, probably because she had the least amount of fear and was small enough that the harness didn’t bother her.

After another afternoon of lunch, jacuzzi soaking, and porch relaxation, we headed out to Catawba Falls to hike around. I have more photos from these waterfall-chasing hikes on my photography blog if you’re interested in seeing more. It was so fun and scenic and Ares still talks about going back to the waterfalls!

We spent our last full day in North Carolina strolling the city of Black Mountain. The girls deliberated on what souvenirs to spend their vacation money on. Zuzu was thrilled to tag along and visit a boutique pet store (she definitely came home with a bunch of goodies). And I enjoyed popping into a photography exhibit too!

We spent that afternoon hiking at Linville Falls where the different overlooks were breathtaking! It was a less technical hike than the previous day, which I appreciated. But still absolutely beautiful.

From there we checked out and headed back in the direction of home and spent a couple days in Oak Lawn, IL too before settling back home in Hudson. Highlights there? Joe and Ares getting epic haircuts, visiting my sister Robbyn at Creative Cakes, and of course hitting up lots of playgrounds and seeing my longtime lady friend Sarah!

Overall, it was a fun, exhausting, and wonderful vacation experience. I don’t know where we are going next, but I can’t wait until we narrow it down and figure it out!

Onto finishing up summer! See you around here soon!

<3 rachel