I’ve got the Monday blues today.

We had a fantastic weekend – a quick, impromptu trip to North Carolina that included mountain stream swimming, pizza by the rapids and culminated in horseback riding on Labor Day.  All in all it was a beautiful, perfect weekend.

We stayed in this sweet little cabin that was right on the banks of a mountain stream… I loved listening to the rushing water and was lulled to sleep at least once as I laid on the glider on the deck while SuperMan and the girls played in the creek.IMG_3728[1]

The girls weren’t too sure about the rapids in the stream and it took them a little while to get comfortable with the rushing water, but once they did, they loved it.

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I stayed clear of the 50 degree water – it was warm outside, but not hot enough to provide enough incentive to get me in that cold water!

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Sunday night we drove along the Nantahala River and had pizza at this road-/river-side pizza joint I’d seen on Yelp.  Little did I know when we set out to eat there that it was a really rustic place.  Bear in mind, it was raining… not pouring, but a steady drizzle coming down.

SuperMan got out to “check the place out” and told us to come on in, so we did.  And I got quite a surprise as I walked up and discovered that there were no chairs… and no tables … and virtually no walls!  It was, essentially, a shack on the river with a covered deck that went out over the river.  We persevered, though, because up there in the mountains your restaurant choices were limited and we figured at least we knew they were open!!

We ordered our pizza and settled in on the rustic deck benches to wait for it to be baked.IMG_3744[1]

The pizza was good and the ambiance (bluegrass music, rushing water, rustic place) was so typically Smoky Mountains.  I loved it.

Sunday was a lazy day, but Monday we were up bright and early and headed out for a surprise we had planned for the girls – horseback riding!  Big Girl has only been  riding a few times and never on a trail ride. Little Bit had only been on a horse once in a ring and never when she was “in charge” of the horse.  I was excited and anxious for them – hopeful that they’d have a good time and not be scared.

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We arrived at the stables and they were both a little intimidated by the horses and the prospect of essentially being on their own to guide the horse along the trail.  I knew they’d be ok – most trail ride horses are content to follow the one in front of it and the gentleman who owned the stables did a great job encouraging without “going there” and letting the girls chicken out.

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We had a great ride – up the ridge to see some awesome views and then back down through winding the trees and across a few tiny little brooks.  Even managed to canter a little bit.

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We headed home after our ride and meandered back down from the Smokies to our little foothill, filled with happy memories and making plans to do it all again soon.

Upon arriving home, we made a very sad discovery – we found that our sweet Gracie cat was no longer with us.  So, after unloading the car, poor SuperMan had to dig her grave and comfort three heartbroken girls.

Our hearts are heavy this morning. We really missed our Gracie girl as we got ready for the day. Normally, she’s following me step-for-step around the house and climbing on the girls, meowing and demanding attention.  This morning there were no demands only silent remembrance.

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Gracie was thirteen, a rescue that I saved from rush hour traffic one morning (while pregnant with Big Girl) and while demanding and obnoxious she was my constant companion.  My house is too quiet today and I’m really missing her.

So, while we had a great weekend, I’ve got the blues today.

Rest well, my sweet girl. I’ll see you on the Rainbow Bridge one day.

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