MetamorFit

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


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 Wink

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 Laughing

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!?!?! Tongue Out

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? 

 

23. June 2013 12:08
by jennifer
4 Comments

Changes in Latitude Changes in Altitude

23. June 2013 12:08 by jennifer | 4 Comments

We're HOME!!!  We spent the last 9 days on an AMAZING road trip! Our first "big" road trip with the trio! We drove from our home in Tampa, way up in to the North Carolina mountains. We had a big change in Latitude AND Altitude In honor of that, I play for you today Changes in Latitude Changes in Attitude (or my play on words...ALTITUDE!!) Ronin and Ella look miserable in this photo! We had just hiked to the TOP of Mt. Pisgah which is 5,721 feet ABOVE sea level, and considering we pretty much live at sea level, it was quite the hike for my gang! They actually really liked it! I have so many pictures to share with you all and such funny stories!! Have you taken a road trip with your kids? How far have you gone?  

10. June 2013 19:10
by jennifer
8 Comments

Music Monday: Carolina In My Mind

10. June 2013 19:10 by jennifer | 8 Comments

As our family prepares to take our summer vacation there is only one song I can think of: Carolina in my Mind by James Taylor. We're heading to the mountains of Hendersonville and Asheville, North Carolina. We'll be staying with my aunt for a few days where we will explore Sliding Rock, go gem mining, and hike.  Then we were invited to a VIP treatment at the Biltmore Inn. We are super excited! Over 22 miles of trails on the Biltmore property! They will provide us with bikes to explore the property as well as access to all the gardens, a Winerty tour and wine tasting!! They also have horseback riding and kayaking! It's a perfect vacation for an active family like ours! We'll have lots of opportunities to PUSH AWAY THE SCREEN!! We'll also be making a pit-stop to meet up with my peeps at Feetures! Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 After we leave the mountains we are driving south to South Carolina for 2 days. My husband lived in SC for 12 years and has some family there, so we are arranging a meet-up at a state park. I am really looking forward to this vacation! I'm even looking forward to the DRIVE! I love to drive, so I've agreed to drive the ENTIRE trip, as long as it's light outside, I'll be behind the wheel. I don't drive well in the dark.   Have you ever been to Asheville? Ever stayed at the Biltmore Inn?? Any activities we MUST do??Do you like road trips??