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Family, Family, & More Family June 6th-July 7th, 2018

June 6-10th, my dad, Uncle Fred, Aunt Wannelle, Cousin Joe, his wife, Kimmie, and their three precious babies, Lilli, Isaac, and Micah came to visit. We had a ball! They loved being here and Wiley and I loved sharing it with all of them. In our neighborhood, we played in the river and hiked to the falls. We went to the Bear Tracks Gem Mine, which was a huge hit with the children and adults alike. Friday night we had a ball with a picnic dinner, playground fun, and music at Groovin’ on the Green at the Village Green in Cashiers. Saturday, we all drove up to Highlands for the Motoring Festival, which is what brought my dad and uncle to visit from Memphis and Jacksonville in the first place. We saw the cars and walked around in town a little bit. Afterward, we had a fabulous visit to Dry Falls, followed by a picnic lunch and swimming at Cliffside Lake Recreation Area. We crammed in a ton of fun, but still had so much we didn’t get to. Can’t wait for them to return. Already making plans. Dad says he wants to see Fall here. He’s shooting for October. It is one of my favorite times in the mountains for sure. Hurry back, Family!

June 16-23rd, Wiley’s dad, Wiley Sr, stepmom, Jolene, his sister, Debbie, her husband, Jamey, their three grown children, Sarah, Clay, and Haley, Wiley’s stepbrother, Mark, Wiley, and I spent a HOT week on Pawleys Island, SC for our annual Wimberly family beach trip. Us mountain folk had a hard time with the heat, but survived. It was nice spending time with family, particularly with Debbie and her family, who live in Indiana, so we only see them twice a year. We ate a bunch of seafood, took lots of long walks on the beach early in the morning and early evening, made our annual visits to my beloved Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park, and drank several frozen drinks, out of necessity;) We were grateful to witness Haley battle a large stingray and bring it in on the shore early one morning. It was no small feat, quite an accomplishment. It was so cool to be a part of her big catch. We did not succumb to the heat, but were oh, so grateful to return to our cool mountains after a week in the heat. Sometimes you have to leave home and return in order to appreciate, why you love it so and what makes it home. Ahhhh, mountains. Definitely, a mountain girl!

July 3-7th, my older brother, Dick, his son, Harrison, my younger brother, Ben, his wife, Lyndsy, and their three boys, Abe, Henry, and Gideon converged on the mountains from Atlanta and NJ. Ben and company arrived first and made haste to get down to the river to swim and play in the falls. This was their first visit to Sapphire. They fell instantly in love. Dick and Harry arrived just in time for a quick dinner followed by the fabulous neighborhood professional fireworks show. It was quite a welcome for my family. Thanks, Burlingame! We hiked to Rockhouse Falls and Double Fern Falls, followed by a picnic lunch and river/falls play at Miller Falls, all in our neighborhood. Dick and Harry headed back to Atlanta for work. I was so glad they were able to come, even for just a short time. The boys loved all the rocks and stones they mined for at Bear Tracks Gem Mine. Always a favorite of our guests. We spent an afternoon at Fairfield Lake in Sapphire Valley, which was a huge hit. Everyone loved the sandy beach, swimming dock, and breathtaking view of Bald Rock. Will definitely take them back there next time. We got babysitters and took Ben and Lyndsy out for a belated Anniversary dinner at the Greystone Inn at Lake Toxaway. It was a lovely dinner followed by drinks at the fire pit overlooking the lake. it was the perfect kid-free evening. Their last full day here, it rained, so we made alternate plans. We went to Joccasee Gorges Visitors Center, followed by swimming at the indoor pool at Sapphire Valley Rec. Center. We did not let the rain dampen our fun. After swimming, it had cleared up enough for us to head to Cashiers for Groovin’ on the Green. We had a picnic dinner, the boys played football with the herd of boys, we enjoyed the music, there was even some dancing. Unfortunately, the rain returned, so Wiley and I headed home. The wild bunch stayed, rain and all. Cashiers even did their belated fireworks display in the rain. So glad my crew got to enjoy it. It was a fun-filled week with tons of activity. Again, we just scratched the surface of things to do in our area. They’ll have to come back for more adventures.