Friday, June 15, 2012

Fun Times on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Since I was a kid my family has loved going up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to a little picnic spot in the woods called Smart View.  In addition to picnic tables, there is a 2.5 mile loop hiking trail, and an old log cabin nestled on an overlook. 

My brother, Taylor, had the idea to regather the family up there, as it had been years, for an early celebration of Pop Pop's retirement.  There was lots of food.

And matchbox cars.  And more food.

And demands.  From the cranky one who likes to be carried everywhere.

And lots of hugs too.

And after we got tired of all the food, there was this to reinterest the appetite.  Chocolate raspberry mousse cake in a triple decker.  Mmmmmhmmmmm.

The newest addition to the family, baby Dean, didn't cry.  Not once.  All day. 

No children were harmed in the flipping of the hammock.

I found a little orange salamander.  Isn't he (she?) cute?

Cort, temporarily over the grumpies, was happy to blow bubbles for his cousin Grady to make him laugh.

And my brother John and I debated whether this was a rat skull.  We decided yes.
It was a beautiful day, filled to the brim with family fun, and I hope we have many more like this.  Readers, what traditions do you have with your family?

40 comments:

cat said...

Wonderful blog!
And I think that is a squirrel skull.

andy said...

I love the parkway! We love it! Have a great weekend

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What wonderful family gathering! I love the cake!

Joy said...

What a beautiful day you had! We just love going to the Blue Ridge Parkway for picnics. Our favorite things to do is to pick blueberries on the BRP. It is something we do every year!

My Journey With Candida said...

I love family get togethers. So much fun being with the people who know you best.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

What a wonderful day with family!

Judy @ daily yarns said...

What an awesome place to have a gathering.

Hanne Bente said...

Lovely "family photos" you show - it looks like it was a really nice trip. Wishing you a good Friday :) Hanne Bente

Jill said...

Love that cabin! It looks like the perfect setting for such a fun family gathering!

Emily said...

What a wonderful day! But yikes! Is that a tooth hanging off that skull? It looks enormous!

Out on the prairie said...

I agree with cat on the skull.Love the little salamander.You had a nice area to play.

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

Looks like Pop-Pop had a great and relaxing "retirement party". LOVE that cabin too

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

What a great family gathering! I love the Blue Ridge Parkway--breathtaking views.

When I was growing up, my extended family gathered together a lot--my mother had 9 siblings and my father had 7, so I had lots of cousins to play with.

Every summer there's a big family reunion "down on the branch." It's a place in the woods by a branch (smaller than a creek) that's been fixed up with a nice pavillion, bridge, etc. I used to go every year.

Valerie said...

I love the Blue Ridge Parkway! I've been there many times, and this post makes me homesick for the east coast.

Your brother Taylor had a great idea gathering all of you there-it looks like you had a lot of fun!!

Have a great weekend Lisa!

Barbara said...

That looks like such a fun family gathering!!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Looks like a grand time was had by all! Love that orange salamander.

TexWisGirl said...

sounds like a great time. :) love that salamander!

Mom of 12 said...

One of the things we always do is plant a garden. And we love to camp. OK, the kids love to camp...me? not so much.
Sandy

Sandy said...

I am not sure what that skull is but I can't believe you touched it...ewww. The little orange guy is a cutie though.

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful place for a picnic! One of our family traditions is a picnic at the lake - complete with swimming and boating and skiing and fishing! Love those summertime memories:)

Ginny said...

What great pictures!!! And the cake looks very special! How many were there? I have never heard of this place...the little Salamander is adorable, it looks like a colorful toy! And I bet the weather was perfect!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Ah----just nothing better, Lisa. I love the Blue Ridge Parkway ---and I can imagine having a family get-together up there... Awesome!!!!

Great pictures.

Have a great weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Aside from touching the rat skull, it was wonderful! Being with family is really such fun!

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Our family really has no traditions because we are spread from one side of the U.S. to the other. There is however, one family reunion that is held in the midwest each summer... if it were in a cool month like October I would consider going, but August in Iowa just doesn't fall on my 'list of things I want to do".

Maple Lane said...

Congrats to your Dad! What a lovely place to gather with family. Thanks for sharing the photos. I've never seen an orange salamander! Wishing you all a happy father's day weekend.

Jen said...

That sounds like an awesome tradition. So, did you keep the orange salamander? It's kind of cute!

Sarah said...

What a great family gathering! Looks beautiful and very peaceful! What a cool salamander too.

Sarah from The House That Ag Built

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Sounds like a very nice place to have a family gathering.

Grandma Bonnie said...

Looks like you had a lovely family outing. It is always so nice to gather a family together. Just stopping by to check out your blog. I hope you have a great weekend.

Amy Burzese said...

What a nice get together. Cute little kids and Salamander, even the skull.

Betty Manousos said...

i always love family gatherings, looks like a great day had by all.

i really like your shots, lisa.

Betty Roan said...

What a great way to have a retirement party, reliving good memories. Our family, my mom's side, have a reunion at the local park once a year. Now that my Grandma, Grandpa, and several of their 14 children are gone, fewer and fewer come each year. It will be sad to see such a wonderful tradition end.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh what a wonderful time for you to all spend together!
More memories to be stored in your hearts!
love
tweedles

GardenofDaisies said...

Getting together with family, to celebrate, or just to hang out for no reason, is always the best time!! The little orange salamander is sooo cute!

Michaele said...

What a neat little family reunion. Perfect summer fun : )

Kim said...

That really does look like so much fun! Well, except for the rat skull *shudder* ; )

Jenn Jilks said...

How sweet! Your salamander looks like a Red Eft!
Sweet times, beautiful memories.
Greetings from Cottage Country!

SweetMarie said...

Looks like so much fun! Traditions are wonderful!

Kim said...

We have a few yearly gatherings too and I am really learning to embrace them!

Rita said...

What a lovely place to have a get-together. I'm sure it was a great time had by all.