Our mountain vacation was wonderful. I’m trying not to let myself slip into the post-vacation blues and am hoping recapping our time in the North Carolina High Country will help me relive it a bit!
We arrived at the house we rented for the week in Banner Elk early Monday evening and were greeted by the most brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red on the surrounding trees.
After we had such a good experience using VRBO.com to rent an adorable house near the Gettysburg battlefield back in June, Ryan used the site again to find a cozy mountain retreat called Stoneledge Manor, which was large enough to fit the two of us, Chase, my sister and brother-in-law, my parents and two energetic dogs.
We planned to do a lot of cooking at the house, so we were thrilled with the giant kitchen.
The kitchen opened up into a large yet welcoming living room with expansive views of the fall foliage, a fire place, TV and bookshelves stocked with games, DVDs, magazines and books.
Since we arrived rather late in the day on Monday, Ryan, Leslie, Ross, Chase and I went to the grocery store to stock the house with food for the week before my parents arrived an hour later. We ended up grilling out on the patio and enjoying burgers for dinner and ice cream by the fire for dessert!
Our second day in the mountains began with frittatas and hash browns! We gave ourselves time to digest while Ryan set up a workout in the backyard of our cabin. It was a neat way to sneak in some exercise in a very fun way. He had us going through stations that were awfully creative!
My mom was kind enough to watch Chase so I could join the gang for the workout and I am pretty sure I thanked her a million times for bringing WubbaNubs into our lives on this vacation.
Just in case you are in the dark about WubbaNubs like I was, they’re pacifiers with adorable plush toys attached to them, making the both easier to find around the house and more likely to stay in your baby’s mouth. It was so nice to have a pacifier stay put a little better since I feel like I’m constantly putting Chase’s pacifiers back into his mouth after they fall out again and again.
After our backyard workout and showers, we changed and headed out in search of barbeque for lunch.
Thanks to your recommendations, we made our way to Old Hampton BBQ and Country Store!
While we waited for our meals, we browsed around the adorable shop and each bought a piece of candy from the candy barrels for dessert.
We all agreed that our meals were absolutely delicious! If you’re searching for good barbeque and happen to find yourself in Banner Elk,definitely check this place out!
The pulled pork and mac and cheese were my personal favorites.
After lunch, it was time for a trip to Grandfather Mountain and the famous swinging bridge.
It was chilly and windy at the top of the mountain, so I’m glad I packed warmer clothes for Chase. I ended up wearing him snuggly against me in the Baby K’Tan to cross the bridge. He didn’t seem to like the wind, but he did well once we started moving!
The bridge is suspended a mile above ground but I didn’t look down as I walked. My goal was simply to cross is as quickly and safely as possible. It was pretty freaky!
Before we left the state park, we went on a short one-mile hike on the trails and visited the animals on the property.
There were bears, otters, bald eagles, deer and even a cougar to see!
By the time we made it back to the house, we were all pretty pooped and ready for a relaxing night. We changed into pajamas, ate fish for dinner and spent the rest of the night out by the bonfire making s’mores and chatting away.
I’ll see ya soon with more of our mountain adventures!
Hope you all had a great weekend!
Linz @ Itz Linz says
wow looks like an awesome hike!! i love hiking, being in the mountains, and anything outdoors!! family is also always the best!! 🙂 xo
Molly Rose says
seriously mountain trip getaways are the best. something about being in the fresh outdoors and little to no cell service. bliss. 🙂
cannot wait to read more!
What an awesome family vacation! That house is so pretty and those fall colors, gorgeous!
Mary Beth Richardson says
This house looks like a perfect Thanksigiving getaway rental!!!! Might have to look into this option for my family 🙂
Dietitian Jess says
OMG to that bear and the bridge- you were brave! Looks like an amazing trip so far- that house looks beautiful too!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
So much fun! We almost went to Grandfather Mountain this weekend too! We did a really cool hike near Linville instead. I highly recommend it. I’ll be posting about it Wednesday!
Isn’t VRBO the best??! I rented a small cottage when I was in Charlotte in September and will be renting a small cabin in Asheville in a few weeks. I don’t know if I”ll ever go back to hotels! LOL Looks like a great vacation! 🙂
Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy says
It looks like a fun family vacation! My daughter is always spitting out her paci too. I feel like it’s a game she plays when she’s ready to go to sleep :)!
Gwen @ Nutty G Fitness says
Ah that bridge looks awesome! Looks like an awesome vacation all around. My favorite type of trips 🙂 Can’t wait to read more about it!
What a beautiful vacation! Were you as close to that bear as the picture appears?! Also, please do a post about hair care. I have fine, straight hair like you and would live to see how you curl it and what products you use.
Susie B. says
What a great vacation!! Also, your skin looks awesome – I remember you posting a while back about dealing with hormone-induced acne. As someone who’s dealing with something similar (just went off the pill), I would love to hear if you did anything to get it under control and what worked/didnt work for you! Thanks!
Looks like your vacation started off perfectly! I can’t wait to read what else you guys did on your mountain getaway!
Samantha @ThePlantedVegan says
I bet Grandfather Mountain was so beautiful! Can’t wait to read the rest of your recaps!
Ugh. Isn’t Fall just THE BEST?! Love all the colors in your photos!
Chelsea @ SimplyChelsea says
What an amazing trip! We are using VRBO for our vacation to Hawaii in November. I’m excited to try it out!
Love WubbaNubs. We have the monkey 🙂
What a beautiful place to vacation! Also, our daughter just turned 5 weeks old and started using her elephant WubbaNub – aren’t they just the cutest!?!
Jessica @ Semi-Sweet Tooth says
It looks like you guys had so much fun – I can’t wait to hear more about the adventures!
And isn’t VRBO awesome! We rented a house for 23 people in Austin, TX for a friend’s 24 hours with the Stanley Cup and it was fantastic. So much so, that we’re actually renting a house for several of us to stay together during our upcoming wedding in Vail. 🙂
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
It all looks so lovely! The house is amazing!
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Looks like such a great vacation! This weekend I visited the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, so I got to see similar views. It was a gorgeous weekend and the weather was perfect! You all look so happy and I can’t wait to hear more about your trip!
That view and that house!! What a great vacation! I bet it was nice and relaxing. I’m excited to hear about the rest of your trip 🙂
Nicole L says
That house! and all of the scenic views! I can’t believe you saw so much wildlife. I hope you were using a zoom lens for that one of the bear! What a great picture!
Kim from MN says
Looks like such a fun time – and that rental house is fabulous, LOVE the peaked ceiling. Great pics in general, Chase is as cute as ever.
Love reading vacation recaps, so this was fun to read. I’m wondering about that fish recipe, looks so yummy.
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
My family rented a cabin a few years ago in Blue Ridge, Georgia — and it looked very similar to this!! Such a cozy and fun way to spend quality time. 🙂
WubbaNubs will be your heroes! I suggest keeping 4-5 around and they will become the best gang of friends your son has. Best part is don’t hesitate to throw it right in the wash and it’ll come out perfectly fine! Ours have taken bubble baths, swims, pretty much everything my son does his buddies do too!
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says
What a perfect family vacation! And wow – the views just look spectacular. I’m sure it was glorious being in the great outdoors with such amazing weather and views. That Chase of yours…he’s just too adorable. 🙂 I should try out the Wubbanub with Reese because she has no interest in pacifiers so far. Maybe she’ll take to that one!
Beautiful pictures! The picture of you and Chase with the sun rays shining down on you both is wonderful! “) I always like to think its because angels are present with you when you get pictures like that!
What a beautiful fall scene! I miss living in New England!!
Jaime Hahn says
Wubanubs are the best things ever! My little 11 week old has a lamb and monkey and she loves them….except she likes to sometimes put the monkey’s ear in her mouth instead of the pacifier lol! But they definitely stay in better and are cute to boot!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
Such a perfect, easy vacation with a bitty baby! I love that your family all vacations together. Can;t wait to hear how the rest of it went!
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
What a fun family vacay! I always love mountain trips with love ones, there’s just something about them, they’re so cozy and different than hanging out by the beach 🙂 You and your sweet family look adorable as always!
That looks so beautiful!! I love that pic of you and your dad and the one of you in the rocking chair with Chase. Such a beautiful family! <3
I’m just gonna point out those amazing double ovens! How awesome are those?!?! Woohoo to seeing Leslie and Ross make an appearance on the blog! Always love to see pics of you gals together.
“Wubs” are the best. My 3.5 year old son still insists on carrying them around (they are his “lovey”) . Doesn’t suck the pacifier anymore and they are broken anyway but he is attached to the little critter.
On another note, what a fun beautiful family you have 🙂
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says
What a beautiful house you rented! And the trees look so gorgeous!!
Do you find that you are way more scared of things now that you’re a mom?! I have a 2.5 yo boy and EVERYTHING makes me nervous now.. it’s nuts!
Emily @ Sweet Summer Smiles says
I love the pic with you and your dad! You should frame that one 🙂 ! Looks like you had a great time! I love getting to spend time in the mountains, it’s so relaxing and cozy! Love your vest too! Where is it from?
I love Chase’s facial expressions, you really can see his personality coming through in the picture with Leslie and Ross. He’s like “oh hey, I’m just cooling it over here with my auntie!” Looks like it was the perfect fall vacation Julie!
Jennifer @ Tri Stuff I Like says
What a fun trip! We did something similar earlier this year – my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and my fiancee and I all spent a weekend in a cabin in Lake Arrowhead, CA that we found on VRBO. It’s such a great way to spend quality family time and get some fresh air!
the last time i was at grandfather mountain a could passed around us on the bridge. it was both more and less scary at the same time.
Could you please ask your sister where she got her booties? Thanks in advance 🙂
Sheena @ Paws and Pavement says
VBRO.Com is definitely the way to go! Your hike looked awesome too!
I should be commenting on your vacation but I have to say I think I am THE biggest fan of the wubbanub! I am a pediatrics and NICU nurse and now have twin boys myself, so I have learned over the years how awesome they are. I buy them for all of my friends for an extra surprise with baby gifts, and we have about 6 floating around our house. So glad you found them, or I would have probably commented before too long to recommend them anyway! ?
It’s crazy you mentioned the Wubba Nub in this post. My baby is 7 weeks and we just got one as a gift. That thing is awesome! I too was always pushing her other paci back in her mouth all day. She loves her Wubba Nub dog! If Chase likes “Shhing”, we also just got a “BabySusher” from Amazon that ssh’s for you for 15 or 30 minutes. Sounds silly but it’s awesome! Calms her down and helps her go to sleep. I highly recommend it. Glad you had such an amazing vacation with your family!
That one photo with the sun above you when you were holding Chase? God was shining down on your family!!! Wow. What a shot!
I still cannot get over how much you look like your dad and how Leslie looks like your mom … who do you think Chase looks like?
Did you find the house to rent online? would you share the site as it looks awesome …
Hi Janet! I actually linked to the exact house we rented in the above post! It was such a great place to stay. 🙂 And most people in our family think Chase looks a lot like my dad and me as a babies. 🙂
Sara @ Oats & Rows says
what a great trip! Grandfather Mountain is definitely a must-visit in NC!
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
Okay, I think all babies are cute, so this may not carry too much weight, but Chase is freaking adorable! Seriously, you have a sweet babe on your hands. The house your family rented was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I cannot get enough of it.
Ahh that sounds like such a dream vacation to me!
Megan Lindsay says
I LOVE the booties you have on in these pics! Where did you snag those at?
Sounds like my perfect vacation! 🙂