after a delicious meal the night before, we were glad to have the extra hour of sleep. we woke up sunday ready to go and were packed up and out on the road by 10 (which is really good for us, trust me!)
we decided to give grandfather mountain a shot again. it was drier on sunday and it looked like the sun was trying to break through. we made it up to the nature center and stopped in to see the animals.
the bears were awake and alert, waiting for the treats that could be purchased to feed them. they could catch them in their mouths--and can we talk about this tongue here?
this guy learned that people thought it was cute when he held his foot and balanced on his backside. he got a decent number of snacks from that...
and it's just hard to imagine what it would be like to meet one of these guys in the wild. i mean, they're just so cute and cuddly and furry up close...
the eagles were also hanging out in the foggy morning air.
and then the otters. oh, the otters. my favorite. i've loved these guys for a long time and would sit at the aquarium and would watch them for hours if i could...
caught this one in action as he came up from his swim!
but really, we were there for the bridge. you know, the mile-high swinging bridge? so we drove the rest of the way to the top of the mountain and checked it out.
yup, that's a mile.
even though i did like the way the fog looked, the view is SO impressive on a clear day. we're going to try and visit again in the spring or summer when we can take in the full experience.
one last picture in the middle of the bridge.
oh yeah, you can feel it swing when you stand still on it. okay, maybe i'm over-dramatizing it a bit, but there was definitely some movement!
so once we leave and head back down, of course it starts to clear up...
but it's okay. i had other visitors to see :) like this guy.
yup, since they are on our way home, we made sure to stop in and see matt, patrice and jonah around lunchtime. i could not believe how big he had gotten! seeing him in pictures just doesn't do him justice.
this was a fun capture :)
and the mohawk just completely did me in. i love this kid!
but i think the best part was seeing matt and patrice and hanging out and feeling like old times again. there are only a few friends that you can easily pick up with like you just saw them last week, when it was actually several months ago. and it had been far far too long since our last visit, but it didn't matter. thanks to the amazing blog world and the connections we have, it felt just the same. they are amazing parents and wonderful friends and we're so blessed to have them in our lives.
the drive home was long. it always is, but it felt particularly long this time with more rain and annoying mist that isn't quite rain but is enough to aggravate you and stick on your windshield. it was dark way too early, and i just wanted to get pepper-dog (who had an awesome weekend with her buddies saydee, sophee and stanlee) and fall into my nice, warm, comfortable bed. which is exactly what we did about 4 hours later.
so. how was your weekend?
14 hours ago