Monday, June 29, 2009

Randey and I did something we never do...we took a vacation without the kids! It was GLORIOUS! lol (Insultingly enough, I think the kids probably enjoyed being away from us as much as we enjoyed having our little getaway. Go figure.) Now since this was a "first" (being away from my chickens like that), we thought we'd stick fairly close to home. After much thinking and searching, I remembered a place called Turner Falls from my childhood. Turner Falls is where we used to go (back in the day) to camp, swim, cookout and generally have a great outdoorsy time. 'Course, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not what you'd call a Great Outdoorsman. So we found us a nice little bed and breakfast in the Turner Falls area to actually stay at. We chose to stay at Echo Canyon a bed and breakfast/spa. This is the entry into the main building (I look like I'm doing a Vanna White impersonation! lol): This is a separate building that houses all the suites. This is where we stayed.

This is the view from the back of the property. Our room had a balcony that overlooked what they called a canyon (Randey and I called it a gully).
And this is a view of the back of the main building. That wall of windows is the dining room, where they served a 2 course breakfast every morning (and it was good. Heck, it was better than good!). Dinners at Echo Canyon are 4 course affairs that featured triple entrees. Talk about a lot of food! Yowza! They served the World's Greatest Bread, too. I'm talking irresistible. That and the pesto was enough to make me crazy. I won't even get into how good the desserts are. I'm drifting off into a dream state just thinking about them now. lol (I gained 2 1/2 pounds on this little vacation. But, man, it was worth it!!)
Here's a picture of Randey and me in our room before dinner that first night. Randey got out the camera, tripod and remote control just so we could get a picture together to remember the evening (he's such a romantic).
This is me after dinner one night. I changed into shorts so we could walk around the property there in an effort to work off some of that delicious food we'd just eaten.
And here's Randey, relaxing on the porch after his dinner and walk. He looks good, eh?
This is the view from our room balcony.
This is a picture taken on the grounds of the bed and breakfast. It looked so peaceful.

We spent most of our time at either Turner Falls Park or the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This is a picture of Randey, taken at Turner Falls, as he contemplated climbing down thru the trees on the side of a mountain. He reconsidered after just a few feet. lol
And this is me, taking a break after the long walk up the mountain. You gotta love that hairdo - I looked like Cousin It. lol But at least my face didn't get sunburned. :)
On our third day, Randey decided to try his hand at some fishing at Turner Falls. Since fishing hadn't really figured into our vacation plans, he didn't have a pole so we took a detour to Wal-Mart and bought him a fishing license and some cheap-o gear. We also bought me a book, the latest Evanovich (Finger Lickin' Fifteen). That turned out to be such a nice and peaceful day...Randey finally getting to cast a line and me, laid out on a picnic table, eating rice cakes and reading a book. Ahhhhhhhhh........
Randey was taking pictures of me while I was taking pictures of nature. We both had to laugh at this shot...I look so professional. LOL
This is a great view of Turner Falls and what makes that place so special. There I am, standing on top of a mini-water fall area. If you'll look in the background (click to enlarge), you'll see people walking through the water - it's up to their chests! That's what's so cool about Turner Falls. The waterways just go on forever and the depths vary with every little "pool" you come to.
This is different view of the mini-waterfall I was walking across.
And shock of all shocks!!! Here's me in a bathing suit!! Eeeck! lol I haven't even owned a bathing suit in at least a decade, and even longer since I let anyone with a camera near me while I was wearing a bathing suit. That's how relaxing this vacation was. I didn't even care about pictures of me looking like this. ha!
This is Randey's "little" turtle buddy he met while fishing at the National Park.
Here's Randey - in the Castle, a weird little set of buildings some doctor had built at Turner Falls way back in the '30s.
And here's a view of Bridal Veil Falls. This was taken from an overlook area outside of the park. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's absolutely beautiful there. I sure hated to leave it.
And this is Randey at that same overlook. We stopped by there on our way home, just for a final look at paradise.
We had such a wonderful time - we spent every single day outdoors. Who'd a thunk? I rediscovered my love of doing things outside. I felt like a kid again and it was so much fun to introduce Randey to a memory from my childhood. He was an enchanted with the area as I was. In fact, we're going back next month, but this time we're bringing the kids. We came home from our vacation and went shopping the very next day....we bought a couple of tents, a cook stove, sleeping bags, etc., etc., etc. We're going to take the kids up there and show them just how wonderful the outdoors can be! I'm so excited. I'm driving to Florida in a week or so to pick up our oldest granddaughter and bring her here for a few weeks so she'll get to go camping with us. (That's probably a good thing for us, too! Maddy has more "recent" camping experience than all of us combined so she may have to spend a little time coaching us. lol).
So that was our vacation in a nutshell. It was a real life-saver, as far as I'm concerned. I needed a getaway like that just to save my sanity. And it just couldn't have been any better!!