20. Go On An All Day Date With My Hubby & 28. Visit Grandfather Mountain and Walk on the Mile High Swinging Bridge(30 Before 30)

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*Happy dance!* *Happy dance!*  I knocked out TWO of the tasks on my 30 Before 30 list in one fell swoop!

Yesterday marked our seventh anniversary and since it fell on a Monday and Alec had to work, we decided to spend the day together on Sunday to celebrate.  This year was special because we have never done anything just the two of us to mark our special day.  Various circumstances such as finances, or work schedules, or having a young nursling, or a lack of childcare have always prevented us from venturing out alone.  This year we scrimped a little extra and arranged for our children to spend the day with Alec’s parents so that we could head out in to the world as a couple!  Very exciting.

I had no clue what we were going to be doing, as Alec had kept it a secret.  All I did know was that he had asked me to wear pants and tennis shoes.  I figured this meant we’d be doing something outdoorsy.

We dropped the kids off with my inlaws who were preparing to celebrate homecoming at the church my father in law pastors and we headed out and had breakfast together.  Alone.

We had conversations that weren’t interrupted by “Chew with your mouth closed,” “Wipe your hands on your napkin,  not your shirt!” and other such parent-isms. It was incredibly refreshing!

After we ate, we got in the car and we headed up into the mountains.  The weather was a little cool and gloomy, but I really didn’t care.  It had been so long since I’d had my husband to myself that it could have been hailing and I wouldn’t have even batted an eye.

Driving up the mountain roads is very relaxing to me.  I love to look at all the scenery and the rocky mountainsides. Eventually, I saw this sign and knew where we were headed:

Grandfather Mountain—home of that dreaded exciting mile high swinging bridge that I was terrified of slightly anxious about crossing.  The last time we visited there, I was pregnant with our oldest, it was a frighteningly windy day, and a hail storm kicked up right as we got to the top of the mountain where the bridge is located.  I took one look at that steel death trap structure swaying a little too much for my taste and heard the howling of the wind through the steel frame and decided that I would absolutely NOT be crossing that thing!

There it is in its intimidating glory

It has always sort of bothered me that I chickened out, ahem, opted out of making the trek across the bridge which is why I put it on my list.  This day wasn’t very windy at all, at least not when we arrived and there were no pregnancy hormones to blame for an overly emotional reaction, so once we made the drive to the top of the mountain, I took a deep breath, swallowed the large lump in my throat and decided to go for it.

The view off the side right before stepping on to the bridge

You can tell by my face that I’m not exactly thrilled. 😛

Did I mention that Alec doesn’t like heights??  He crossed as well, but he wasn’t exactly a solid source of comfort! 🙂

The halfway point

There was no one else on the bridge when we started across, but at the midway point, a few children RAN on, which caused the whole thing to start moving.  I almost had a panic attack right then and there, but at that point, it was the same distance to the end as it was to turn around and go back, so I pushed on.

I was so happy to make it to the other side!  Then….I realized that the only way to get DOWN was to cross BACK OVER.   So…..we lingered for a bit.

We noticed the fog rolling in, which was actually really amazing to see.

Here we are sitting on the steps after crossing

After I regained my composure, Alec decided to go exploring on the rocky path beyond the paved/rocked in standing area.  Apparently, you could venture pretty far out if you wanted, but I was nowhere near brave enough for that!

Alec stumbled once while out there and I almost passed out, but he made it safely back and we recrossed the bridge and headed down to hike one of the nature trails.

The trail actually ends up running underneath the bridge. 

The fog was getting thicker and thicker by the moment.  It was both beautiful and like something out of a horror movie.  I kept waiting for something or someone to jump out from behind a tree bearing a hatchet and sporting a long mountain man beard.  (I don’t watch too much tv, I promise).

After nearly forty five minutes of walking and exploring, the fog was getting so thick that we decided to turn back rather than finish out the trail.  Visibility was becoming very low and we didn’t want to be stuck in the woods because we couldn’t follow the trail.

We visited the gift shop, and the nature museum, but we didn’t make it to the animal habitats because the skies opened and it rained rather heavily.

We decided to sit down in the cafe and have a snack.  Note to self: do not sip hot chocolate without testing it first.  You will scald your tongue!  The rain didn’t really let up while we chatted and enjoyed a piece of pie and a cookie, so we decided to go and venture elsewhere.  We plan on returning in the spring with the children so that we can see the animals.

Our next stop?  Mast General Store, home of barrels of great old fashioned candy! The rain had cleared and

We may or may not have spent over $20 on nothing but candy.  I plead the fifth on that one.  Don’t let the saltwater taffy stuck in my teeth mislead you.

After our massive candy binge, we had a nice relaxing lunch at the restaurant where we went on our very first date.  TWO meals in one day that didn’t involve multiple trips to the potty and cutting up meat into tiny bite sized pieces.  What a blessing!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and we typically take them with us everywhere because we aren’t very big on utilizing babysitters, but sometimes, it is just really nice to be husband and wife. 

We rounded out our day perusing several antique shops.  I love looking at all the old treasures in the corners of those type of old shops.

We drove back down the mountain chatting about anything and everything and just simply enjoying each other’s company.

It was a great day and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I don’t feel like it’s been seven years since I walked down the aisle, but when I look back over all that’s happened, I am amazed.  I look forward to many, many more years with Alec. 🙂

It  was shortly after 6PM when we picked up our children.  I was brought abruptly back to Mommy reality when the first words that Lydia uttered to me when I walked through the door was, “Mommy, I pooped!”  Aah.  Welcome home. 🙂

Comments

  1. Oh Dusty, what a lovely blog post. So wonderful that you got two things crossed off your list thanks to your husband, and yes… two restaurant meals with no kids to take to the bathroom? Sounds heavenly.

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