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Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28, 2007 - Chiaha Festival - Rome, GA
This was the 43rd Chiaha Festival, and I'm really surprised we had never heard of this festival before.  We enjoy going to country arts and crafts festivals, but they are quite often the "same old thing" with lots of bird houses, walking sticks, and cloggers.  This festival, on the other hand, was very professionally done with real artists and wonderful music ranging from blues to blue grass.  I'm amazed at the talent that comes from this area.  I'm also very impressed with Ridge Ferry Park where the festival takes place.  We have brought the kids here a few times before to enjoy the large play ground, but now we want to come back to take advantage of the walking/bike trail that runs for miles along the Oostanaula river.  I wish I had more pictures of the art, crafts, and jewelry that were displayed at the festival, but I had Roxy's leash in one hand, and at least one child's hand in the other most of the time.  The lines for the food were long, so we ended-up eating 1/2lb cookies for lunch on Saturday.  They were so yummy that we got more on Sunday.  This is the first time, by the way, that we have ever returned to a festival for a second day as we did for this one.  It was that great!

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - The pumpkin patch - Adairsville, GA
It was a beautiful day, so we decided to make our annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch in Adairsville, GA.  We arrived at 12:30, so we beat the church crowd.  I need to get used to the fact that everything is expensive when you have four kids, but I felt like the $38.00 (after taxes) was a bit steep for what you get.  The hay ride was very dusty and brief, and most of the animals in the petting zoo are kept out of reach so the kids could only pet a couple of animals.  The swings that the kids enjoyed last year had been removed, and almost all of the pedal tractors were broken.  The kids had a pretty good time, regardless of the condition of the place.  The things they seemed to like the most were the ring-toss game and the Hay Maze (Haize?).  maybe next year I'll spend the $38.00 and buy some hula-hoops to make my own ring-toss game.  We spent the rest of the day at home riding bikes (Heath learned to ride without training wheels this weekend!), our own peddle tractor, and Herbie, the monster love bug.


October 11-15 - in and around Maggie Valley, NC

Thursday and Friday, October 11 & 12, 2007
We had been planning this trip since our last visit in June.  On our last visit, we were rained-out at Ghost Town in the Sky, so we got rain checks.  That alone more than paid for our gas on the trip.  we'd also enjoyed Stone Bridge campground for a number of reasons, so we made reservations well in advance.  It was a good idea because the campground was packed.  We arrived late on Thursday night, and Super Dave and crew were already there with a camp fire.  The forecast was for very cold weather, but, as usual, the weather man was wrong.  It was cool, but not so cold the kids couldn't ride their bikes and play in the creek.  On this trip, I brought our large tent so the kids could have a place to play if it was cold.  Turns out, it was a big hit.  The kids were able to play play play!  We rode bikes a lot because the interior roads of the campground are paved and level.  It was great for our kids to have Diana and Carson to play with for a change.  We actually kept a fire going for the entire trip.  We hung around our campsite all day Friday while the kids played.

Saturday, October 13 - The historic Pressley Sapphire Mine (and a Bar-B-Que joint called Bottoms on the Creek, or something like that.
On Saturday, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch that Mommy had been wanting to visit, simply because of the name. It actually turned out to be pretty good.  From there, we headed for the Pressley Sapphire mine about 30 minutes away.  We've been to several "mines" in the past, but this one is the real thing.  We were able to dig and sift our own material from the tailings of an actual mine.  We found several sapphires, and now that I know what to look for, I believe we could have done much better.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we had our fill of the fun.  As in the past, the kids had a blast playing in the dirt.

Sunday, October 14 - Ghost Town in the Sky
On Sunday, we left Super Dave and Carson at the campground and went to Ghost Town in the Sky.  Not much has changed there since our last visit, except some of the displays were gone.  Lee Thomas and I rode the chairlift up to the park, and everyone else rode the shuttle van.  Heath and I rode the chairlift back down at the end of the day.  Needles to say, the kids had a really great time.  As I mentioned in June, the park is a bit pricey for what you get, but our free passes made up for that.  I think we would like to come back, but after they open all the attractions.

Monday, October 15 Going Home!
Midday Monday we headed back home.  En route, we stopped at the Nantahala Outdoor Center to eat lunch, wade in the river, and pick up a few rocks.  I'm not sure why, but the water is FREEZING in that river.  After watching the kids for a while, I took off my shoes and waded in.  MAN!  It was painful!  We got home at a reasonable hour, but it took a long time to unload and get the kids bathed and in the bed.  In all, the trip was a lot of fun, and we're very pleased that Super Dave, Carly Sue, Diana, and Carson were able to join us.

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