MetamorFit

Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.


2. August 2015 11:26
by jennifer
2 Comments

Push Away the Screen: Haunted Asheville Vampire and Occult Tour

2. August 2015 11:26 by jennifer | 2 Comments

On an overcast Friday evening in July, my family had the opportunity to experience a little known side of Downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Their website described the tour as THE tour for intellectuals. During the 2 hour tour we were going to learn about the local vampire scene, tribal rites in Pritchard Park, dark spirits on Church Street, Native American mysticism, and much more. This tour includes late-night access to the Asheville Mystery Museum where you'll see artifacts Joshua P. Warren brought back from Transylvania, including a sacred crucifix and a piece of Vlad the Impaler's Castle.

Our group of 9, plus our guide Tadd set out just after 8pm. It was a small group since my family was 6 of the 9! The walking ghost tour was MUCH busier.

So off we went. We walked up and down the downtown street, learning stories about the weird things that have happened in Asheville. Tadd was very knowledgeable, friendly, engaging, informative and funny. He was able to keep our group engaged. The tour had creepy stories, but nothing that was too scary for the children. Maybe he toned it down since we had the kids? I don't know, but we enjoyed it.

 

One of my favorite stories was a story about the creation of the FIRST vampire. He stopped our group and began the story in front of the Central United Methodist Church. He explained some of the legends behind why vampires can't see their reflections, why they dislike garlic, etc...

And then began the story of the first vampire. Why the church? Because his story involves the biblical sons of Adam and Eve: Cain and Abel. I don't want to spoil the story of the vampire, but needless to say if you know the book of Genesis, you know that Cain killed Abel and I will leave it at that. It was quite an interesting theory.

We also visited the "Witches Tree."

There is a TON of history behind this tree, and it was nearly cut down about 10 years ago, but was saved thanks to the local Wiccan community who uses the tree as part of their traditional ceremonies.

There were a few other interesting stories involving the occult and a demon (maybe...no one knows what it was, Ronin thinks that it was a Tasmanian Devil) that terrorized a few inmates in the 1800's.

And then we went back to the Museum.

There was a lot of really cool artifacts to look at!

Overall we really enjoyed this tour. It gave us the opportunity to see a different side of Asheville.

You can find out more information about the tour HERE. Adults are $20, and kids 8 and under are FREE!

 

Have you ever been on a ghost tour? In what city??

8. June 2015 10:29
by jennifer
2 Comments

Push Away the Screen: Summer Vacation 2015 Preview-Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains

8. June 2015 10:29 by jennifer | 2 Comments

Happy Summer!! We are so excited for our upcoming visit to Asheville, North Carolina and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains!! My mom moved up to the Blue Ridge Mountains late last Fall and we haven't had the chance to go up and visit with her yet. We did go up in the summer of 2013 and we stayed at the Biltmore Hotel and also with my aunt and uncle. We had a GREAT time and we knew for sure we'd want to go back when Grandma got settled in her own house! For this trip I really wanted to do some activities that were new to me and my gang. Now that they are getting older, they are able to live more on the wild side, so I have planned a full agenda for us! I've tried to work it out that we spend one day doing an activity and then one day resting and playing it low key. So here is our agenda....no dates of course  Wednesday-drive up Thursday- Asheville Treetops Adventure Park and Kolo Bike Park. How cool does this place look?? 51 unique climbing, zipping, walking, jumping, swinging and rappelling challenges anchored to over 30 trees and towering poles tucked in a wooded area.  The park has 5 trails to choose from including 2 Beginner trails, “Blue” &” Green”, 2 intermediate trails, “Yellow” and “Orange” and 1 advanced “Red” trail.  Each “Trail” includes 10 to 15 different challenges to complete the circuit. We'll spend 2 hours at this park climbing and exploring, then stop for lunch. After lunch we'll head over to Kolo Bike Park.  Both parks include EVERYTHING! Including the bike, so that means we don't need to tote our bikes up to Asheville with us. Sweet. Watching this video made us ever more excited to go to Kolo! On Friday during the day we're relaxing at home, but on Friday night, WATCH OUT!! We're heading on a Vampire and Occult Tour with Haunted Asheville! THIS 2-HOUR TOUR is the ultimate for intellectuals who want to take a step outside the bounds of a usual tourist experience. Your knowledgeable guide will explain, in the library of the Asheville Masonic Temple, what masonry is all about, and explore the conspiracies with you. Next we'll pass through some alleyways where dark and tragic events have transpired. You'll then get the full scoop on our local vampire scene, tribal rites in Pritchard Park, dark spirits on Church Street, Native American mysticism, and much more. This tour includes late-night access to the Asheville Mystery Museum where you'll see artifacts Joshua P. Warren brought back from Transylvania, including a sacred crucifix and a piece of Vlad the Impaler's Castle. And just in case you didn't know, Joshua P. Warren is an internationally-recognized expert on paranormal research, he starred on every episode of the Travel Channel's Paranormal Paparazzi. My gang has done a haunted theater tour at the Tampa Theater and they like to think that they are quite the intellectuals, so I think they'll really enjoy this tour.  Saturday is a rest day  Sunday James and I are going to head to downtown Asheville for a grown-up afternoon out! What are we doing?? We're going on a tour of some of the local Asheville Breweries with Asheville Brewery Tours!  They'll take care of all the driving and we'll get to sample some of the best local beer in Asheville! Monday is a day that is all about the kids. My mom took Haley to this place 4 years ago and Haley still talks about it today, which is why I thought it deserved a visit with the rest of the #TampaTrio. We're heading to HOLLYWILD ANIMAL PARK! Hollywild is home to hundreds of animals and dozens of species that are native to five world continents. Hollywild animals have made more than 65 appearances in feature films and numerous national advertising campaigns. Some have come to Hollywild as retirees, some are still ‘working’ and others are actually born at the park. The name “Hollywild” refers to the link between Hollywood and wild animals as represented by the park’s connection with filmmaking. NONE of the animals are taken from the wild.  The kids are all super excited to visit Hollywild, and to be honest...so am I!  Tuesday....we'll rest up for Wednesday which just might be our biggest adventure yet! Wednesday. WHITEWATER RAFTING and zip lining!! That's right folks. The Tampa Trio is heading to the Nantahala Gorge for some Class I, II, III rapids.  We will be taking the fully guided tour which is eight miles of constant waves and swift, clear currents. The trip takes over 3 hours and contains numerous class I and II rapids, with a class III at the end.  All rafts have a guide in them on the trip.  Could you imagine me and James taking the kids on an UNGUIDED tour!?!?!  After the tour we'll have lunch, and then do the Zip Lining!! Well, let me rephrase that...we'll head over for KIDS ZIP! KidZip Nantahala offers ziplines and adventure park elements for kids 4-12 years old old in a scenic wooded adventure setting. With a continuous cable and roller system there is no clipping and unclipping for the participants!! They said James and I could go with them, but I think I'll stay on the ground and wave.    Thursday. Rest Day And I think we'll probably leave on Friday and take a nice slow drive home and arrive home late on Saturday afternoon.  And that's our vacation! Of course, we'll be visiting Sliding Rock, and I'm thinking a swim at Hooker Falls is also in order. But other than that we're just going to enjoy some (hopefully) cooler weather and some great family bonding. Have you ever been to the Blue Ridge Mountains? What are some MUST SEE activities on your list?   

12. May 2015 07:33
by jennifer
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Push Away the Screen: Color Me Rad 2015

12. May 2015 07:33 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Late last month, the kids and I were invited to head out to the Tampa Fairgrounds to participate in our third annual Color Me Rad event. The first year we did it as a family of 5, last year it was just me and the kids, and this year it was just me and the girls since Ronin was still healing from his broken leg. We had a BLAST!! As in years past, I tend to get to these events early. I hate the stress of lines, and we still needed to go through packet pick-up and we always enjoy the pre-race party. We got our goodies, and Haley immediately got herself radded out! And then we spent a little bit of time exploring what was going on around us before we headed back to the car to put our goody bags. And we made it back just in time for the pre-race activities to begin! Ella was chosen to come up on stage for a contest. We didn't know what type of contest it was, but she's a good sport so was willing to try anything! It ended up being a CHUGGING contest, and wouldn't ya know it...SHE WON!! She has to chug a kool-aide drink to win a prize. Her prize? A pom-pom that she could dip in color along the race course! And soon we were off!!  We walked, as we typically do on these events. We talked, laughed, and just enjoyed each other's company. New this year was the color gel. Honestly, I didn't love the gel. I'm more a fan of the power color. The girls didn't really care for it either, but we still had a blast! We saw quite a few friends out on the course, and before we knew it we were at the finish line! It was a short course, not quite a 5K which is 3.1 miles. I was disappointed that the course was short, but I figured by the time you factor in the walking we did to and from the car (Twice!!) that we more than walked the additional distance. We had a great time at Color Me Rad, and hope to be able to do it again next year!   You can more information about Color Me Rad HERE.  Have you ever done a color themed race? Did you enjoy it? Disclaimer: Due to my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was provided with 4 passes to participate in the Color Me Rad event in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.