Without really trying, we had some fun around our sweet town and our sweeter ‘hood. I am just in love with this picture of the kids at Rock City. Rock City is just a few miles from our house and Joel hasn’t been inside since we all snuck in at night back in college. So, Joel was excited to get us a family pass for this year. Today was a little grey outside, but we had a great time finding the gnomes everywhere, enjoying the coolness of the big rocks, and saying witty and strange things with tourists standing nearby. I think Joel took pictures for the same couple three different times with their iPad. It was a banner day.
Some Fridays we have free time. Some Fridays we invite friends over to the house, but this week we were all ready to be out of our house. I couldn’t convince the kids to go hiking, so the zoo is always a nice option. We grabbed up a membership when we went to the Atlanta Zoo this fall. It made the trip cheaper then, and now we get to enjoy animals! This Friday was also beautifully cool and sunny. In this golden age of parenting, all my kids walk at a good pace on their own, they can survive with little to no snacks, and they all enjoy what they are seeing. They can read the signs, and have a bit more roaming freedom. These things sound silly I’m sure for others with older kids and teens, but man, I am really loving this stage. Josiah takes off to see the crow and get him to say, “Hello” and the girls can still giggle at my side at the prairie dogs. One of my favorite parts of the zoo is the jaguars. They are almost always awake and roaming. I am hypnotized by their size and pattern. So, so beautiful. This go around, he was pacing back and forth and the kids positioned themselves at different places along the viewing window and the big cat just paced between all three of them. So fun, and wonderful.
My parents are in the throws of trying to find a new house and sell their huge one. They have a very specific punch list, and we have been giving our advice and perspective when asked. When we were scoping out listings that they have been seeing, we found this place that was around the corner from our mountain home. We noticed it was huge. 3 kitchens, 3 floors…why have we never noticed this spot? So we went on a little walk. This place is enormous, but it needs so much work. The owner had divided it up into three separate apartments and none of them are very nice. But it butts up against national forest and a bike trail. It has an incredible view. It is almost completely sided with mountain stone, and it has so much space. It would make an incredible lodge. Joel and I love to check out these properties, and especially since we are so in love with where we live, we are fascinated by the little places tucked away in the woods.
Our Snow White cottage. It is owned by the Parks Department and it neighbors the historic Craven’s House. It sits stripped and empty. Not much left of architectural merit on the inside. But it is so magical still. It has a slate tile roof, little rock constructed garage and storage areas, pretty porches with that haunting sage green perfectly peeling and rough. I am always drawn to it. I want to take more pictures of it, I want to pose my children in it, and it has an amazingly large ginko tree in the front yard that makes the whole yard turn to gold in October. Unfortunately, this house will probably be torn down by the Parks Department in order to keep the historic relevance of the grounds. This house isn’t Civil War era, and so it’ll go bye-bye in order to bring the battlefield back to it’s original form.
We live down the street from the Incline Railway. It’s the World’s Most Amazing Mile right? You can drive under the railway on Shingle Road. There is also a little stopping point at this point where you used to be able to get a “half way pass”. I would love to that pass, it would make our location so much fun! We could bop down to get ice cream or go to Grandma’s. We are in a wonderful location and it is really fun to still have railroad tracks down the street, just like we had in Jefferson Heights.
There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy our spaces. I have always enjoyed those little pathways that are less traveled and less publicized. I want to have these little special places that will fill up our Saturdays and Sundays. I love to learn what our city holds and learn more about it, from that place of discovery with my kids and my husband. If you get to enjoy your places, and are willing to share, I’d love to see them. The places we share become like a special ‘show and tell’ we want to share what is ours, but in order to love those things and places more, the sharing part is oh so necessary.