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A summer time sneak peak

by Juliemara
05.8.13

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The weather here is Georgia can’t make up its mind. A couple of weeks ago it was warm and sunny and we spent the whole weekend outside barefoot and coated in sunscreen. Now it’s chilly and rainy and really windy and has been for too long. I moved to Georgia from New York for the weather. No really I did, that and to be closer to my family. When I first moved to Georgia it NEVER rained, really, never. People joked about it but it was actually quite scary. It was the middle of a three year drought. The past three years have been a very different story, Atlanta is now ranked as one of the rainiest cities in the US. Even still the weather is better than in the North. For the most part our winters are mild, spring is beautiful and warm, fall is the same and the summers are sweltering, which I love. We spend our days outside every chance we get.

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When it did finally warm up enough to play outside I found a great new toddler activity, ICE!

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I emptied the ice from the catcher into a large bowl and set it out on the deck. The girls played for ever, until the ice was melted at least. When in does warm up again we will be playing the bowl of ice game again and again.

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A New Years Getaway – Traveling with Toddlers

by Juliemara
01.4.13

With the busy Christmas season behind us my husband and I wanted to get away as a family with our girls. We decided to spend the time off and go down to the gulf coast where we were hopping for warmer weather and could visit with my long time girl friend and her family. It was far from the relaxing family vacation we had envisioned, but more on that next week. In the end we had a fun adventure staying in a hotel with the babies for the first time and an even bigger adventure visiting with my friend Jaclyn and her family at their hunting camp in Alabama.

It was a long drive down to Destin, Florida we stopped in the quaint little town Eufala, Alabama, the road leading to downtown is lined with beautiful historic homes. We had lunch in the one restaurant that was open and peeked around the old building it was housed in which use to be a hotel with retail on it’s street level. Then we visited the biggest thrift/antique shop I’ve ever seen. I was in a little bit of heaven in this place and I think the girls enjoyed their window shopping experience as well.

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It was quite late when we arrived to our Hotel, the Hilton at Sandestin, we settled in to our room for the night and the girls got in a game of toddler bowling with the plastic toy balls we brought that bounced and made loud noises on the tile floor.toddler-bowlingtoddler-bowlingtoddler-bowling

Up early as usual we spent the morning at the indoor pool and after the girls naps went over to Sandestins’ Baytown Warf shopping village. We had lunch at a restaurant that came recommended to us, Acme Oyster House. Apparently they weren’t mistaken, the food was great and Emeril Lagasse was seated at the table right behind us! Sorry, no picture to prove it, my husband wouldn’t let me be that tourist.

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There was a playground that the girls played in for a bit, but even more fun was watching the ducks and running around the grassy lawn with a new little friend. It was too cold to go to the beach that day but out of the wind and in the sun it was nice to be outside in the village.

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The next day we packed up and headed north to meet our friends in Spanish Fort Alabama to follow them into the camp. We had lunch at a bass pro shop, an experience all in it’s self then let the kids get some energy out at Kangaroos, a kids indoor play place with a bunch of inflatables.

We arrived at the hunting camp just in time for the guys to get out to the deer stands to look for deer. hunting-camp hunting-camp

While they were off watching the trees sway Jaclyn and I entertained the kids, fed them and tried to make sense of this new environment. It was Jaclyn and her kids first time there as well. Clearly this was the ultimate man cave and was in dire need of a female touch. After a quick sweep of the floor and a little furniture rearranging it was family friendly. hunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camp

The camp is a private club of members who pay an annual fee to use the land for hunting and the facilities. There are about 40 members to this particular camp and about 1700 acres of land. There are rules to follow and respect of the property is expected from everyone who visits. Some of the members who have belong to the camp for several years have caravans parked on the property that they sleep in when they are staying the night. One member even built his own small cabin! hunting-camp

This place has so much character. Decades of people coming and going has left such a mark on this place, every inch of this place has been touched and retouched. hunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camp I felt like I was on a treasure hunt the whole time I was there. I wonder if anyone knows this full size jenny Lind style bed is worth about $150?hunting-camp

We stayed in the main cabin and were the only overnight guests for new years.

The main cabin has a covered and tarped porch to shelter it from the wind, a main livingroom/kitchen, a large bunk room with eight beds, a smaller bunk room with two beds and a full bathroom. It’s simple, rustic and perfect. There is nothing to fuss over, it’s a place for relaxing and enjoying nature and the people around you. hunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camp

I loved being at the camp and the girls did too. In the morning they played to their hearts content in the pea gravel and dirt. They loved having almost free reign to go and do and to have other kids around to play with.hunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camphunting-camp

Although they guys didn’t bring home any deer we had plenty of food and created a perfect new years feast. hunting-camp

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Goodbyes are always Sad

by Juliemara
05.24.11

On Saturday we spent the day with our dear friends who have decided to embark on a grand adventure and move all the way left to San Francisco. The are two of the kindest for generous people I have ever met and I am lucky to get to call them my friends.  I know they will love  it there and they will find a home among the culture and the people.  On Saturday we decided to send one last day (for now) together by going on our own little adventure,. We all hopped into the car and drove way south to a little place called Serenbe. I had read about this place, but I had never been there and always wanted to go. From the looks of it, it is a little slice of heaven in south Georgia and since there was a small chance in the minds of some that the world would end on Saturday, I thought it would be a nice place to spend the day.  We walked the small town, had lunch at the Hil, and just chatted about life knowing that days like this would be few and far between in the years to come. We relished in every minute, until it was time to go home.

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