NOTE: May turned out to be the busiest PB&J month
yet. There are lots of pictures. Please be patient and let them
30 thru June 1, 2008, Scouts Camping Trip: Fort Mountain
(Sorry, no Legendary Creatures this time)
First, let me insert a legal disclaimer here:
Technically this was not a Scout camping trip. We had a Scout "day outing"
Fort Mountain State
Park, after which, the boys and their parents camped. Had we camped
as Scouts, we apparently would have been breaking the rules since none of us
has been properly trained to camp with our own children. That said, I think
the boys, their parents, and their siblings had a great time.
With the news that the bears were active and had been spotted in the
campground, we were very careful not to leave any food, garbage, pets, or
small children unattended for long. First, the kids went swimming at fort
Mountain's beach for quite a long time. After supper, we took a walk
around the lake in the dark. We heard lots of frogs, but I think we scared
most of the other wild animals away with our own wild "Bear Cub" sounds.
On Saturday morning, Mommy, Heath, Lainey, and John Micah had to leave to
attend a T-Ball game and sign-up Lainey for ballet camp. The rest of
the crew visited Ms. Ruby
the naturalist in the park's "Naturalist Area" where we all panned for
gold and grubbed for Gems. In our opinion, Ms. Ruby is one of the
greatest assets Fort Mountain has. She always has something happening to
entertain the campers. We got to meet her hubby Don on this trip.
He also helps out around the park considerably.
After short ceremony for the kids
and lunch at the campsite, we all did our own thing. Some fished, some
went swimming, and some went back to look for more gold. Some of the
group had to leave Saturday afternoon, but the Tribe, Pamba, Parker Jon,
Calbert, Tanner, Ms. Brandy, and Adam hung around for Saturday night.
Adam and Ms. Brandy made us a delicious dinner of chicken (of which Daddy
ate too much).
A real bad storm came early Sunday morning, and that chased Ms. Brandy and
Adam off. We sat-it-out, and left around 11:00 am to head home.
The Tribe invited Calbert for some swimming at nanny's and Paw Paws pool for
the remainder of the day (they stayed in the pool for about 5 hours).
We were especially pleased to see Nanny and Paw Paw enjoying their pool.
Daddy spent most of the afternoon cleaning out Homer, getting him ready for
our next adventure on July 4.
May 23 thru 26, 2008, Memorial Day Weekend: Stone Mountain, Georgia
(with 5 Legendary Creatures)
The last time we visited
with Super Dave and his clan, we made reservations for this weekend because
it's the first weekend after school's out for summer, and because it was a
long weekend for Daddy. This time, in addition to Super Dave, Carly,
Diana, and Carson, our camping group also included Parker Jon, Pamba,
Calbert, Charlie Brown, Jules, Olivia, and Buster. John, Suzanne,
Emily, and Luke also joined us for part of the weekend, but they stayed at
the Marriott's Evergreen
Resort instead of camping.
Our plan was to leave around 2pm to beat the
Memorial Day weekend traffic, but we ended-up leaving at 3:15. A drive
that should have been a little over an hour turned into 3 hours. It's
ok though, because it rained right up until we got there. Parker Jon
and Super Dave were almost set-up by the time we got there. It wasn't long
before the kids were riding their bikes and playing along (and in) the
water. As the sun set, we visited around the fire and made plans for
Saturday morning was beautiful. We started the day with a visit to the
pool, along with a lot of other people. The pool at the campground is
really nice, but the water is cold. The kids had fun. They also
had a small RV show, and we enjoyed fantasizing about winning the lottery
and moving into one of the big coaches full time. Mommy really liked
the trailer with four bunk beds in the back. Daddy really liked the
31' Class C with the slides. After drying off and getting dressed, we
hopped on the Water taxi and headed for the park. We rode the gondola
to the top of the mountain, enjoyed the view, and bought some
a train ride and some other activities, we headed back to camp for more bike
riding, fishing, campfire, and mussel collecting.
Sunday was a PB&J picnic day for us. Some of the group rode the Ducks
while our part of the group had a picnic on the large lawn in front of the
relief sculpture. This is where thousands of people gather nightly
throughout the summer and watch a spectacular laser and firework show.
We walked to the plantation, but discovered we had to pay to get in (we had
turned-in our second day's tickets and gotten our arm bands yet). We
decided to save our tickets for another visit. Anyway, we headed back
to camp for yet more bike riding, fishing, campfire, and part of a movie at
dark. With the days getting long, I'm not certain the outdoor movies
will ever be watched in their entirety. Around 10pm, we gathered at
the dock area to watch the fireworks over the water and discuss how glad we
were that we were not on (or leaving) the viewing lawn with 30,000 other
Monday morning was pack-up and move-out day. We got out of the
campground around 11:30 and headed North. That afternoon we visited
Nanny's and Paw Paw's pool, then we went to see the new
movie. Everyone loved it, but Heath slept through the second half
Needless to say, everyone was exhausted by the time we got home.
May 17, 2008:
B&B Farms and various other places...
This day was full of events, mostly good, one
or two not so good. We started the day with a T-Ball team photo-shoot
at 8am. From there we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then home
to load-up Herbie on the trailer behind Willie B (the Jeep) for a trip to
B&B farms in the afternoon. But first, we had a T-ball game at 1pm.
After the game, and a couple of hours of play at the farm, we went to a
end-of-year festival for Gordon County employees in Sonoraville. That
was a lot of fun, especially for the kids. After eating our fill of free hot
dogs, Mayfield Ice Cream, and cotton candy, we headed back for the
farm and more fun rides on four-wheelers and Herbie. We stayed until
about 10pm. Unfortunately, the day wasn't without accident.
Super Dave (AKA Disco Dave), briefly forgetting his age, almost broke his
collar bone on his four wheeler. After a visit to the e-room, it looks like
he may be just fine (or at least as good as before).
May 9 thru 11, 2008: Fort Mountain State Park, near Chatsworth, GA
The current price of gas is but one of reasons
Fort Mountain State
Park is quickly becoming our favorite state park to visit.
Homer gets less than 10 miles per gallon, and Fort Mountain is close, so it
saves us a lot of money. There are many other reasons to love Fort
Mountain. They have a wonderful campground (no full hook-up though,
it's a state park),
a beautiful lake, a beach, boats, miniature golf, lots of hiking trails,
history, and mystery.
On this particular PB&J Adventure, Pamba, Calbert, and Parker Jon joined the
Richardson Tribe for a fun-filled weekend of camping. What you can't
tell from the pictures is Daddy, Lainey, and John Micah had a 10am Saturday
T-Ball game to attend (Heath had a suspected case of something contagious
and couldn't go) Daddy also had a wedding (Nephew John Mark) to
go to Saturday afternoon. Also, a bad storm was predicted to hit late
Saturday night. We chose to ride-it-out, and I'm glad we did. It
was beautiful till well after bed-time, then it began to rain hard with some
lightening (nothing too close), but there was no real wind. The kids
slept straight through it. I'm not so sure Jon and Pamba slept quite
as well. I'm sure that rain was a lot louder on the top of their
While at the park, the kids got to swim and play on the beach, and go on a
hike around the lake. During their hike, Mommy ran into a friend that
was working with a group of people placing signs along the trail. The
signs identified certain plants and sometimes their medicinal/therapeutic
purposes as used by the Cherokees. Volunteers like these contribute
significantly to the state parks here. Most residents and visitors
have little idea of the value of educational & recreational resources like
this and Georgia's other state parks. We visited the parks so many
times last year that we decided to purchase the yearly family membership.
Benefits from the purchase pay for the membership almost immediately (free
camping or golf, 10% discounts on camping/lodging and gift shops, a free
train ride, no parking/entry fees for the year, etc.).
Centennial Park/Hard Rock Cafe', Downtown Atlanta (Sorry, no Legendary Creatures)
Some people race cars, others sky dive, we walk around
downtown Atlanta at night. In reality, the
Centennial Park area feels very
safe. It's well lit, and very much a family atmosphere. Mommy
was attending a reading conference at the
Georgia World Congress Center, and was staying at the
Embassy Suites Hotel just a cross the street. So, after school on
this fine Wednesday afternoon, Daddy loaded up the papooses and headed for
"Big A Town", Hot'lanta, Funk Rock Georgia, the capitol of this great state!
The Tribe spent the afternoon playing in the
Centennial Park fountains, then
swam in the pool at the hotel (We were disappointed it wasn't a little
cleaner). After cleaning-up, we headed-out for the
Hard Rock Cafe'. The kids have never been to one, so they really
loved the music and the memorabilia, especially Elvis' Harley Davidson
Sportster. Exhausted and full, we headed back to the hotel. We
came across a playground in front of the
World of Coke (which closes
at 5:00 pm?). It's just as well because it was going to cost around
$70 to walk through a live Coke commercial and gift shop. Anyway, once
we were back in the suite, we watched
National Treasure 2 until Midnight. The kids were troopers getting
up at 5:30am to make the journey back to school. We all paid with a
little sleep, but the kids will remember it well.
Note: One thing of interest here is the apparent damage from
a recent tornado that ripped through here. Check out the windows in
the Peachtree Plaza and CNN Center. I'm very surprised they're not
5 (Cinco de Mayo), 2008:
Dunaway Gap, Near Armuchee, Georgia
(Sorry, no Legendary Creatures)
The tribe hasn't been able to go exploring as a
family in "Willy B" the Jeep.
Daddy ordered is not due to be shipped until May 19. On this
particular week, Mommy had to attend a conference in Atlanta, which meant
the remaining Tribe members would fit in Willy. Daddy loaded-up the
papooses and took them for an adventure.
In the olden days, Daddy, Charlie Brown (Olivia's Daddy), and Super Dave
used to ride motorcycles all over the pocket area and Floyd Springs/Everett
Springs Roads. There's an old petroleum pipeline that cut's across a
ridge that Daddy used to ride on. One day Daddy, Uncle Mark, and
Charlie Brown (Olivia's Daddy) almost
"bought the farm"
on that pipeline, International Harvester Scout, backwards, downhill, no brakes, rocks, sweat, white knuckles, whew! Anyway, there's a great
view to the East and West at the top of the ridge, a great spring for a cold
drink of spring water, and the beautiful Cherokee foothill farmland in the Armuchee
As we continued North through Armuchee Valley, Daddy noticed a road named
"Richardson". This is near where Paw-Paw grew-up. Maybe we can
find a cemetery with some relatives in it near here, but no luck today.
We called Mommy on the way home. We sure missed her on this adventure,
but soon we'll have the third-row seat and we can all go.