Fitness, Food and Photography

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

From WordPressDo you have a photo which invites the viewer to look beyond? Are there hidden depths in the background? Is the focal point just a framing for the rest of the picture? If it’s not clear why we should look beyond, tell us! Lead us through the story in your photo.

In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means BEYOND to you!

When I think ‘Beyond’, my mind immediately went to the top of a mountain.  This past year, I was on top of a few different mountains.

mt mitchell 1

From the top of Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina

Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina  Visited October, 2012

mt mitchell 2

Another view from Mt. Mitchell


From the top of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN

From the top of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN

Lookout Mountain.  Chattanooga, TN  Visited September, 2012

Lookout Mtn 2

Looking down from the top of the trolley on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN


brasstown bald 1

From the top of Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA

Brasstown Bald, near Helen, GA.  Visited in May, 2012 after our trip to Helen.

brasstown bald 2

Another view from the top of Brasstown Bald


New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

From WordPress:

Foreign. While foreign (rightly so) often brings up images of things outside of your own nation, it can also apply to things outside of or different from your normal environment, or even something which is out of place in general. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great examples of this :)  My photo is from a recent trip to Bulgaria, where my inability to understand Cyrillic characters was one of the things which made *me* feel foreign. 

Share a picture which means FOREIGN to you!

Now this one is a real challenge for me.  I’ve only ever been out of the country twice in my life, and both times it was to islands in the Caribbean.  Not really all that ‘foreign’.

The hubby and I love exploring, but it’s hard to go too far with small kids.

Earlier this year, we took a weekend trip to Helen, Georgia.  If you’ve never heard of Helen, it’s a super cute, quaint little German town in the mountains of North Georgia.

helen, georgia

helen, ga

helen ga

helen ga

Enjoying German beer!


When in foreign land, ALWAYS play mini-golf. 🙂

I took about 1,000 photos that weekend.  I wish I could share them all with you.  This is just a small sampling of the ones that looked the most “foreign”.


Weekend Recap: Part 2

(This is a continuation from Part 1.  You can read it here.)

So, we’re still in NC and it’s Sunday morning.

Check out the gorgeous trees in the background.

Since the house they are renting now is a bit small, it’s become a tradition that we pitch a tent in her front yard.  Fine with us.  It satisfies hubby’s need to go camping, and I suppose can rough it for two nights.  🙂

This was our view from the tent on Sunday morning … so peaceful.

Both my kids love her dog!

That face is too funny, but what you don’t see is that she is actually looking at the fire and “blowing” on it.

Sweet pic of my kids.

After breakfast, we walked over to the field next to her house to feed the horses a few apples.

My kids kept picking flowers out of her yard.  Sorry, Joy.

Time to harvest some tomatoes!!  Look at that bounty.  Little Lucy couldn’t stop eating them.  I think she may have had about 12.

Then we headed to Downtown Bakersville to check out their new gallery.  Both my sister-in-law, Joy Tanner, and her hubby, Will Baker, are potters.  They are owners in this Gallery, Mica.

Will Baker and Joy Tanner

After a quick lunch in the park to let the kids run (sorry, no pics!), we drove up to Roan Mountain.  Yes, we are conquering two mountains in two days!


View from the top of Roan Mtn

Notice the hat, gloves and scarves??  It was very chilly up in the higher elevations.

We must have worn the kids out because they both slept the majority of the 3-hour car ride home.  (Hallelujah!)

I wish I could share with you all the photos I took, but I’m afraid I would exceed WordPress’s upload limit.  So I’ll just leave you with my favorite one…


Weekend Recap: Fall Break and Mt Mitchell

Hubby’s sister lives in Western North Carolina.  It’s been a tradition every year to spend a weekend at their house during the summer.  This year, she was too busy during the July weekends to host us, so we put it off til October.  Boy, am I glad we did!!  This was the most PERFECT weekend to drive to North Carolina!  The trees were at their peak, and the colors were magnificent.

(I took over 400 pictures during the course of the weekend, so it took me some time to go through them all, edit them, and get them ready for a post.)

We drove up late Friday afternoon and didn’t arrive til after 7pm.  The kids were pretty good little travelers.  My 7-year old falls asleep pretty much every time he gets in the car.  But my 2-year old doesn’t like to miss anything.  She got a little mad that brother was sleeping instead of playing with her.

The fall colors were beautiful!

While drinking our coffee on Saturday morning, we made our plans for the day.  The first item on the agenda was a short little hike to a gorgeous waterfall.

hiking trail

waterfall roaring fork falls

Roaring Fork falls, Western NC

family photo time

Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway

We stopped for lunch at little picnic table by the water.

My kids love Subway!

Random photo op at a campground

We drove up to Mt. Mitchell, which is not only the highest point in North Carolina, but also the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.  The temperature at that elevation dropped at least 20 degrees from the valley.  And the wind was fierce.  We were seriously FREEZING!

mt mitchell

We hiked pretty much the whole day on Saturday with some driving in between.  A LOT of driving actually – on curvy mountain roads.  But I didn’t mind – there was so much to see.

Spooky forest on top of Mt Mitchell

View from the top of Mt Mitchell


And that concludes Saturday’s adventures.  Stay tuned for Part 2!  Many more photos to come!!  🙂


Saturday Morning Ride in the Mountains


Before we had kids, one of our favorite things to do together was to go biking.  If you’ll remember on Friday, I was trying to decide exactly how we should make the most of this kid-free weekend.  So we decided to go biking!  We woke up early Saturday morning, loaded the bikes up and and headed out to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky National Park to do some biking.

biking at cades cove

They close the loop off on Wednesday and Saturday mornings till 10 am to allow bikers and hikers the opportunity to enjoy the little one-lane road with no cars and no exhaust fumes.
It was quite foggy and mostly cloudy, which made for a wonderfully cool ride.

foggy morning at cades cove

deer at cades cove

We saw plenty of deer, turkeys and other wildlife.  But no bears.  Not this time.

cades cove

It is so beautiful there.

biking at cades cove

That’s hubby in front of me.

The first half of the ride is nice and mostly flat, but towards the end it gets really hilly. I am proud to say that I killed those hills.  I took those hills with a vengance. I got to the top of the last hill and I thought my heart might explode it was beating so fast. I even had a slight twinge of nausea. I waited on my hubby at the bottom of the hill while I caught my breath. He then informed me that I missed seeing a huge 14-point buck, as well a field full of butterflies. Oh well.  I guess that’s the risk you take when you’re chasing that anaerobic high.  (Do you know the feeling I’m talking about?)

After we finished biking, we drove back into Townsend to get us some subs for lunch. We weren’t sure exactly which hiking trail we were going to do. The original plan was to hike to Gregory Bald, but Parsons Branch Road was closed from the recent storms, and hubby wasn’t too keen on the sound of hiking 10+ miles. So we decided to drive out towards Newfound Gap/ Clingman’s Dome area and pick a trail there. Funny thing is, we ended up hiking 11 miles after all. (More on that later!)

After our 11 mile hike, we headed back to Pigeon Forge to stay in a cute little suite by Twin Mountain.  (If you ever stay in PF, I highly recommend them.)

This was the view off our balcony.
We got showers and got cleaned up, but we were so tired we didn’t really want to get out for dinner. We saved our appetite for breakfast and went to the Apple Barn in Sevierville. One of the best breakfasts EVER!
apple fritters with apple butter and applewood julep at the apple barn

Mmmm. Apple fritters with apple butter and applewood julep! I ordered the Veggie Quiche with fruit.
quiche and fruit from apple barn

It was a wonderful, exhausting weekend.

Sevierville on Dwellable
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