Slept in till about 7:30 just in time to see the morning mist beginning to lift out of the meadow. It was quite cool and the sun was beginning to rise over the mountain tops. Fixed myself a cappuccino and waited for Judy to rise and shine.


morning-grapesWhen she got up about an hour later, we hiked over to the vineyard, ate some fresh Concord and Chardonnay grapes and then gathered up a bowl of fresh, organic raspberries for our cereal. When we came back to the “cottage”, we made a feast fit for royalty. Bacon, eggs, ciabatta rolls, natural cereal smothered with organic, fresh strawberries and the raspberries we had just picked. It was awesome.

We then drove up to the top of the mountain, still on the property, and got out and hiked around for a while before venturing down the mountain in search of more adventure. It was on the way down, that I discovered we had an unwanted guest in our car. Don’t know if it was a yellow jacket, honey bee or wasp. What I do know is that it flew into my ear, startling me as I was coming down the steep gravel road. Instinctively and without mercy, I beat the living daylights out of my ear, swinging wildly to fight off a rather angry insect. Don’t know if I got him or not, but I do know he got me good. Stung me on the top of my ear and it still hurts all these hours later.

That’s when I thought it would be a good idea to get in the cold Little Pigeon River, (east fork) to take the heat out of the sting. It’s our own private swimming hole on the property. Awesome!

Did a rope swing into the water and began tubing down the gentle rapids. It was so much fun that my precious Judy Ann wanted to try it, despite the water being quite chilly. She did great and had a blast doing it. I had so much fun just watching her have fun…

After swimming, tubing and swinging off a rope into the river it was time to walk back up to the cottage. Can’t tell you how wonderful it was to have this whole place to ourselves. Our own swimming hole, river, meadows lined with flowers, berries, apples and a vineyard. Not to mention being surrounded by mountains. Wow!

So we get back up to the cottage and it’s time to grill out. Organic hamburgers. More berries, a brownie and some au natural chocolate and vanilla ice cream, chased by another cappuccino. But this time, Judy was playing Louis Armstrong’s, “It’s a Wonderful World” as I grilled the burgers.

We slow danced and held each other tightly, so in love and so grateful to God for His goodness. Sure, the burgers were overcooked, but the “moment” was well worth it.

Time for some afternoon rest on the hammock by the river before heading out to the store for hot dogs and marshmallows. Yes, we had a weenie roast and burnt up some delicious marshmallows as well, as we enjoyed a big fire at the fire pit by the river’s edge. Also brought my portable, blue tooth speaker and we played some favorite music (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) along with “our song”, Up On The Roof by James Taylor.

Night fell softly as the fire slowly ebbed away, so we headed over to the open air game building where we played a lot of ping pong and foosball. What an incredibly full day.  To my memory, this is only the third vacation of my adult life and I finally figured out how to do it right. What a blessing. I am so happy to enjoy this with my Judy Ann. I am going to make a habit of doing vacations a lot more often.

But in the meantime, it’s my birthday on Friday. We bought two incredible steaks to grill out in the fresh mountain air. It is dry aged and priced more per pound than I have ever seen a steak sell for. Can’t wait for tomorrow!