Last week was our somewhat-annual family vacation.

Somewhat-Annual Family Vacation: \ noun \ ; what my family does instead of exchange gifts for any holidays or birthdays; a vacation that is supposed to occur annually but periodically gets cancelled for the purposes of birthing babies, during which years nobody gets anything.  Except new babies.

Last year, two babies were born, so we skipped.  Which means that this year, we went from having three kids to five kids, five and under, all staying in one house, which happened to be hanging off the side of a mountain.


(I know.  Some of you have five kids five and under every day.  And I highly respect you for that endeavor.  An endeavor that I will never experience firsthand.  Except on family vacations.)

But despite the whole falling-off-a-mountain risk (which we managed fairly well), the view was the centerpiece of our vacation.


The house we rented in Saluda, North Carolina took every opportunity to take our eyes off the view and onto their garish mountain décor.

Like this exquisite piece of art…


Or this one, which kept us arguing the entire trip.


“I think it’s a path.”

“No, it’s definitely a stream!!”

“Could it be a luge track?”

“No.  It’s clearly a road!”

The light fixtures were also… special.


But my personal favorite was the bathroom art.  Because who doesn’t love a good bronze profile of a kid peeing?


The owners are lucky that I didn’t steal them.

But despite their fascinating choices in design, they were set up pretty perfectly for a giant group of kids, including high chairs, cribs, kid beds, and a more-than-fully-stocked playroom.

This gave Noah the opportunity to ponder,


and perfect his artistic leanings.


On our first family adventure, we took the kids to downtown Asheville, where they got to experience quite a bit of… um, culture.

But after Tessa awkwardly plopped down next to and intensely stared at one of the making-out couples writhing around in the grass rather grotesquely, the magic was lost and they wandered off, two by two.

Then the kids had a lovely time playing on that in-need-of-Lysol grass,





demanding refills,


looking pretty,


climbing on annoyed statues,


getting whipped by hair,


and hefting into giant bowls, just begging to be filled with children.


We found an impromptu drum circle, where they joyfully joined in with their dance skills,


which highly complimented the grown man break dancing, I must say. 


We were also accosted by a juggling demonstration,


And all oohed and aahed appropriately.


Ali was actually pretty taken with the dude,


But Noah scoffed at his art.


The next day, we took our adventures to the woods, where Ali was quick to find a new friend:



Her finding skills made her quite popular with all of the cousins.


We set off on a hike to find a Pearson Falls, thankful for obliging grandparents.


We enjoyed the fabulous architecture,


Beautiful streams,


and the kids loved the rocks most of all, of course.




We took the opportunity to take family photos,


Superheroes and all.


And once the falls were discovered,


We decided to make an attempt at our full family photo for the year.


Only after three rounds of setting up my camera on a rock, yelling for people to hurry up and get in the frame and for kids to look at the camera did we realize that our family completely eclipsed the background of the falls.

Thankfully, a not-making-out couple wandered our way and offered to attempt the shot for us.


…at least the women look happy to be there…we’re the only ones who care what we look like, anyway.

Well, most of us do.


These are memories we’ll all treasure forever, especially the lessons learned from older cousins.

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So, in conclusion, WHAT IS IT??

A woodsy road? An out-of-the-way luge?? A lumpy stream??  A pebbly path??

25 thoughts on “The Vacation Album.

    1. We did. Ali, my completely lacking-of-emotions child, cried Saturday night when she realized that it was only one more sleep until we all went home. The cousins thought it was heavenly to all live together.

    1. But if it were a luge track, wouldn’t there be snow in the scenery surrounding it? Or can you have a luge track in a non-frozen area? I’m not exactly an expert on Northern Sports.

  1. I say a stream but it is definitely open to interpretation. The view from your rental house was amazing though.

  2. What great pictures. A family that size in one frame is a victory, no matter how the faces look!

    I is definitely a path. And, I want the info on a rental house that comes with a playroom.

  3. What a wonderful vacation!

    Oh…I’m saying narrow path.
    Reason 1: The leaves on the outskirts. Leaves wouldn’t pile on a stream.
    Reason 2: The shadows of the trees on the path.
    Reason 3: It looks “pebbly”. Even the most beginning artist would at least attempt to make a stream look “swirly.” (like my technical artist lingo?)

  4. I say a bob-sled luge that hasn’t been properly maintained. I would have had to take a hit on whatever they would have charged for you to take that bathroom art- that is just great — can you imagine what that artist might have looked like?

  5. Definitely a luge track. It can’t be a stream because there are leaves lying on the part that would be moving water. It isn’t a woodsy path because in the distance it angles so the far edge is higher and the luge sled won’t fly off. Woodsy paths don’t do this. If anything their goal is to “innocently” plunge walkers, bike riders, whatever, off the side into something prickly. So, it must be a luge track.

    1. But are there that many luge tracks in the middle of the woods? And wouldn’t the surrounding area be snowy? Not that I’m an expert in Northern Sports by any means…

      1. Maybe, but I was queasy for an hour after watching that video…
        I rode that slide once! That was enough for me!

    1. I hate I missed you!! We stopped off and visited another blog reader in Greenville. Where are you exactly? It’s a beautiful area!!

  6. my first thought was a luge. nice photos. looks like fun. my favorite was the bronze profile of the kids peeing. how awesome is that?! WHY would someone make that? come on!

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