Push Away the Screen: Biltmore Bonding Day 2

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. You can read part 1 HERE

After our fun first day at the Biltmore, I couldn't wait to get up and explore the property!! But after too much wine the night before, James was moving S.L.O.W. so I took the kids off property and out to breakfast and brought him something back. By the time we got back, he was up showered, and ready for the day!

We decided that we would go and tour the amazing Vanderbilt home: The Biltmore Estate. I should have realized we were in for a crowd when we had to park FAR away and take a pretty long shuttle ride up to the house. Not only that, but we had to wait in line for the shuttle and didn't make it on the first one. Oops. Already James and Ronin were grumbling under their breath about the amount of people there. I told them to suck it up, and off we went.

The girls thought the outside of the house was so cool, but just couldn't understand why one family needed something so large. They were especially impressed by the lion statues around the house.

Our tickets also came with a self-guided audio tour, so we picked up our headsets, we grabbed a kids scavenger hunt sheet and off we went to tour the house. And then we stopped. Lines. LONG LINES! We felt like we were at Disney. It was THAT crowded. My autistic son and his daddy don't do lines very well. Ronin doesn't have the patience, and James has a bad back and can't stand without moving, and folks we weren't going anywhere!! We made it through 2 rooms when we just hit a wall of people. I looked at James, the kids, and I said, "that's it, we're cutting our loses now, let's get out of here." And just like that an executive decision was made, and we politely said "excuse me, excuse me, excuse me" to the hundreds of people in front of us, dropped off our headsets, and high-tailed it out of the house. Tongue Out

As soon as we hit the fresh air, I heard a collective sigh of relief. Our family are such outdoor nature buffs, and that is where we really enjoy spending most of our time. It was 11am, I had packed my backpack full of water and snacks (a mom of Irish Triplets is ALWAYS prepared) and we had the entire day to explore! James and I decided we'd let Ronin be our navigator so he took the map and off we went!!

He had his compass set to find the Bass Pond and nothing would stop him. Except tadpoles.

My kids L.O.V.E. exploring and this trip gave them plenty of opportunities. Just days earlier we went to a series of beautiful waterfalls in DuPont State Forest and my kids found tadpoles in the water puddles.

Eh, whatever. Kids will be kids and they had a blast!

But again, we are on a mission to find the Bass Pond!! Through the beautiful gardens we went!

 

And we stopped to look at a lot of really cool things. Like this Cypress tree. I had never seen so many knees with only one tree!!

Ronin was ahead of us and kept saying "come on guys, let's get to the Bass Pond, LET'S HUSTLE." Hehe...he gets LET'S HUSTLE from me. Wink

But Haley had other ideas.

She found this cute little waterfall that she said must be a fairy waterfall. So sweet.

Finally we made it to the Bass Pond!! And they had a nice bench there, so James sat to reflect.

But Ronin wouldn't let us sit still for long because there was a WATERFALL up ahead at the other end of the Bass Pond and he had to find it NOW!!

But again, the girls had other ideas. Not sure why this one picture is so small, but this was the biggest stump we'd ever seen. The girls tried to count the rings, but Ronin was can you guess? Yes, he was in a hurry!!

 We found it and it was a pretty steep drop down!

By this time we were starting to get hungry for some real food and we still had to hike back to the house. Decision time. Do we go back the way we came, or do we take the challenge and go through some wooded trails. What do you think we did? Of course, we went for the challenge. Up and down mountains we went, but not a complaint was heard. It was beautiful. It was quiet. And best of all? THERE WERE NO PEOPLE on the trail!!

All together we spent about 4 1/2 hours exploring the grounds and along the way we saw trails marked for bikes. We decided that our next adventure would be to go to the bike barn and rent bikes. But first, we needed food!! We took the shuttle back to the car, went to Moe's for lunch, headed back to our room to refill our water and we were back out to explore!

Part 3 of this series will detail our adventures on the Biltmore bike paths!! Good times!

Does your family enjoy exploring nature?

Push Away the Screen: Firebreathers in Training

We are an active family. Our kids participate with us on our cycle rides, they often come with me on local 5K runs, and they LOVE to swim, and when we hiked through the North Carolina mountains, they were encouraging to each other and to us. It is nice to see that all our hard work to Push Away the Screen is working!

They're also CrossFit Kids. My box CrossFit En Fuego offers CrossFit Kids classes on MWF mornings at 9am (this is the under 7 group) and at 9:30 (for kids 7 and older.) During the school year the time changes to 5pm and 5:30pm.

Recently my trio were sent a care package by the amazing people over at Firebreathers in Training. Each kid was sent a super cute t-shirt, a sticker, a bracelet and this personalized letter addressed to all 3. The kids loved it and I loved the message that Carrie was trying to instill in the kids! So encouraging!

 Ronin LOVES his T-Rex HATES Wallballs shirt. He wears it often! It's so soft, I wish I had one!

 Here he is showing me how strong he is getting!!

Ella is a natural athlete. She's strong, she doesn't give up, and with those long legs, she loves to jump. Her shirt "What's Your Max Box Jump?" is so totally fitting for her!

She even likes to practice her CrossFit Kids skills at the park!

They also sent Haley a very nice tank-top, but she's going through a funny phase right now where she didn't want to be photographed working out, so I don't have any pictures of her. But her shirt is just as nice as Ella and Ronin's. Did I mention how soft they are??

Firebreathers in Training wants to help you Push Away the Screen by offering one lucky reader of this blog a gift pack for your CrossFit Kid! Your child can pick out a shirt of their choice, and will also be sent a bracelet and vinyl sticker!

It's easy to enter through Rafflecopter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Music Monday: We Don't Need No Education??

Typing a double negative just made the hair rise up on my arm. Undecided

When I was in school, this would be "the song" that we would sing on the last day of school. But for today's music Monday theme (remakes) I'm including a techno version!

The last day of school for MY gang is Tuesday, and they will continue to get an education throughout the summer. We will have reading and math time every day during break. The kids can't back slide during the summer months, and if I don't stay on top of them, they certainly will. Haley needs to work on improving her math skills and it's my goal to teach her all her multiplication facts before she starts 4th grade. Ella will work on those same math facts so that as she enters 3rd grade she'll be ahead and all three will continue to read read read.

We're taking advantage of the Pasco County Summer Reading Program: Dig Into Reading and will spend many hours in our local branch.

All three will also be participating in ONE week of summer camp of their choosing. Haley and Ella both chose an acting themed summer camp, and Ronin chose a sports camp. I will be keeping them busy busy busy!!

 What are your plans for the summer? What are your kids doing? Any camps??