We took the boys camping for the first time this weekend. We went with some of our oldest and dearest friends in Atlanta, the Coleys, with whom we have many camping trip memories. Those, however, were all pre-children camping trips and thus we were long overdue for a trip together. We camped outside of Blueridge, Georgia at a camp site on the Toccoa River. This picture shows the view from our tent. We spent Saturday hiking a trail that led to a waterfall that, under non-drought conditions, would have been really beautiful. It was still fun. When we returned to the campsite our friend, Bryan, proceeded to teach the kids how to play "Kick the Jug" (otherwise known as "Kick the Can", but we only had an empty water jug). They loved it!! They begged the rest of us to join them in the fun. I wish that you could have seen the look on Aidan's face when I told him that I used to play this very game when I was a little girl. A golden thread of connection was woven in that moment.
As we were playing we kept hearing bluegrass music faintly in the distance. When we noticed people clapping at the end of each song we decided to investigate further. Turns out, the Bruce Weeks Family was camping just down the road from us. They tour around playing at churches and other venues but we were able to enjoy their music around a campfire. I taught Aidan some square dancing moves, which he thoroughly loved, and we just enjoyed the pleasure of listening to good music live. It was quite an unexpected treat.
Once they settled down enough to sleep, the boys did really well. We still managed to wake up at our normal time (about 7 a.m.), thanks to some Canada Geese that honked their way down the river. We spent the morning breaking down camp and leisurely enjoying the river, the nearby trail and nature in general. We drove around Blueridge looking for somewhere to eat lunch and finally ended up at the Village Inn, which had been recommended by a local. Wow!!! Delicious southern food at its finest. We then drove around Lake Blueridge, hoping to find a place to wade or play in the water but to no avail. This was where the drought was painfully obvious. It wasn't just that the boat docks were grounded. The water didn't begin until 50 more feet past the end of the docks. It was unbelievable. Needless to say, we didn't recreate around Lake Blueridge. After a brief stop at a little playground, we pretty much called it a day and headed back to Atlanta. The boys were exhausted but they still managed to stay awake the whole ride home and didn't fall asleep until 9:00 once we got home!!! We are still suffering from their action packed weekend, but we'll recover.