Baby’s First Snow; or Park 2 /22

165 169 174 175Baby’s first snow! Yes, that’s snow for central Alabama. We traveled to Mount Cheaha spontaneously on January 14, 2016, because the good people at Mt. Cheaha had posted pictures of snow on facebook. Middle son really, really wanted to go take his baby brother to see the snow.  So we did. Park admission has gone up to $5 per person, btw. Lucky we had enough cash, as we didn’t know that beforehand, and don’t usually carry cash. Anyway, we looked and looked and finally found the last remaining bits of snow. We also climbed the watch tower at the highest point in Alabama. We drove around and looked at the sights and cabins and chalets and decided we wanted to camp there, but not on a totally freezing night. We did see several campers set up with hammocks. Is that a thing?  I like camping, but I also like for my babies to be warm. We have a reservation for April. Mt. Cheaha is quite popular with the campers and I strongly recommend making a reservation as far ahead as you can. So, look for a more detailed post about the park in April.

On the way home, we stopped at the City Market grill and buffet in Pell City.  It’s a Southern food all you can eat buffet, with a cheese fountain, and a chocolate fountain! The chocolate fountain is a big hit with the kids. Okay, with the adults too. Then home for hot baths, pajamas, stories and hot cocoa, because apparently a chocolate fountain isn’t quite enough chocolate.

I am so, so thankful to have such a wonderful life, filled with amazing people, stunning natural beauty, the ability to be spontaneous and do things just for the pure joy of it, and that my sweet son would think enough of his brother to want to share a joyful experience with him. What are you thankful for today?  What natural beauty is surrounding you? What joyful experience can you share with a child in your life this week?

22 State Parks in 24 Months . The very first one.

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I’m finally feeling better and back to my awesome self, only better . With that renewed energy, comes the desire to pick up my personal goals, however random they may be. One super random personal goal is to visit all of Alabama’s state parks. So I’ve set the goal at 22 parks- all that are still open at current writing – in 24 months. I gave myself an extra two months to allow for Decembers, which are just plain busy.  The map is here  :  Parksmapfinal .

Today, the school kids were out for fall break. It was an absolutely beautiful day. October in Alabama really is fantastic. So since we spent most of yesterday inside having fun, today had to be an outside fun day. I spontaneously decided to visit a state park and chose Rickwood Caverns State Park as the first one. I chose this one because it was approximately an hour away, 47 minutes to be exact, and I hadn’t been since I was very young. A quick perusal of the website and facebook page, got the directions from mapquest and we were off. The Scenic Drive was , in fact, quite scenic.

No one was manning the gate, so we paid the honor box the $2 per person over 6 admission.  We had planned on doing the cave tour and gem mining. What wasn’t mentioned elsewhere is that these activities are seasonal too. Sometimes, spontaneous is impulsive. Oh well. We still thoroughly enjoyed the playground, hiking the nature trail (easiest with baby and no wrap) , climbing on the many, many rocks, walking over a bridge,looking for forgotten gems in the gem mining sluice (did actually find some pyrite and “gold dust”) and back to the playground. We will try again in season.