Monday, August 1, 2011

A Weekend in the Woods

In celebration of Mrs. Amy's 50th Birthday, our family of five plus their family of four made the 3 1/2 hour trek to a little cabin in the woods.  Becky and I headed up with the Tribbles after our pizza dinner Thursday night.  The ride was pretty normal (just long), but the real "excitement" came after we'd arrived. For starters, it was a little after midnight when we pulled into the Hideaway, so the empty county roads had long been gone of light.  After we'd unlocked the gate, we realized their was a long gravel/moss driveway leading up to the cabin.  It had rained earlier that evening; paired with our weighed down minivan pulling a utility trailer holding four kayaks, it should come as no surprise that we couldn't get up the steep hill.  All the passengers hopped out of the van hoping to lighten the load, but our efforts were to no avail.  After revving the engine countless times, Mrs. Amy eventually decided our only hope was to leave the trailer in an alcove until the kayaks would be needed.  This one moment completely characterizes the two Tribble boys:
The Bungee Cord Necklace
Jared, 13, was picking up coolers from the trailer's rear, veins were popping from his neck as he lifted our 40 pounds of food for the week.  Joseph, 17, said, "Hey Mom look at my bungee cords."  He'd gathered five or six and made the elasticy bands into a necklace.  About an hour later we finally had relieved the van of enough weight, and it made it over the hill.  The cabin was absolutely  too cute for words.  There was cozy furniture, rustic wall art, a huge dinning table, and enough beds to accommodate all 9 of us with a few to spare.  Becky and I even had our nook in the loft, just right for two girls.

Tubbing Down the Chattahoochee River
The next morning Mrs. Amy (or as we like to call her Mamy-that's the Mom/Amy combination) asked us if our beds we comfortable, but honestly no one could properly respond.  We'd all been so tired that I'm sure none of us would have noticed if we'd slept on rocks.  For breakfast, she made us delicious egg and cheese mcmuffins, and we were off for a day of adventure.  After lathering on the sunscreen, we went tubing down the Chattahoochee River.  For  almost three hours, I sat in my hot pink floaty.  Despite the river's low water level, I'd definitely suggest the outing to anyone searching for a way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon.  One lady even brought her pooch tubing.  Rose the River Dog was an adorable chihuahua who was beating the heat in style; she even had her own yellow life preserver incase the rapids got a little too wild for her.
Puppy Preserver
We ate a quick lunch at a shaded picnic area, then spent the rest of the day at the Helen Water Park.  While us kids lounged in the lazy river and went up and down the four waterslides, Mamy and Mr. Steve sat in rocking chairs and waved at us each time we walked by.  When we returned to the cabin late Friday night, I decided to embrace my outdoorsy side and walk the trails around the property.  I was sure to bring a can of pepper spray incase I ran into an enemies, but really I was more worried about slithery snacks.  The rest of our group arrived around nightfall.  After a long shower and quick dinner of wilted-romaine-lettuce, I was ready to snuggle up into my nice warm twin bed and call it a night.  Unfortunately, my brother discovered a new game...the I love you but you're not the smartest            in the          .  Here's a few examples of some of our best burns:

  • you're not the smartest scale on the fish
  • you're not the smartest sip in the coke can
  • you're not the smartest boob in the bra
  • you're not the smartest point on the antler
  • you're not the smartest cube in the ice tray
  • you're not the smartest leaf on the tree 
Saturday was deemed our official Mrs. Amy Birthday Celebration, so I set my alarm for 7:30 and decorated the cabin with hot pink steamers.  After our early morning meal, consisting of tomato quiche and scrumptious fruit, we set our sites on Helen, GA.  The tiny town wasn't nearly as nice as I'd remembered.  It seemed as though the only stores that survived the tough times were junky t-shirt shops, German inspired restaurants, and crappy dive bars.  But Helen's lackluster look did allow us to make Mrs. Amy's favorite dessert, banana pudding.  We used Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding Recipe."  With the total time only 30 minutes, this birthday sweet was super simple and super tasty.  

  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 7 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container of frozen whipped cream
Directions(complete with video link)-
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer sliced bananas on top.  In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix; blend using a handheld electric mixer then set it aside to let your pudding thicken.  Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding and stir until they're well blended.  Pour the combined mixture over the cookies and bananas; then cover your dessert with the remaining cookies.  Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

On Sunday, the four girls decided we needed some testosterone-free time, so we hit the lake and spent an hour kayaking.  We cruised around the lake, admiring the mountains and enjoying the fresh air.  Despite the temperature reaching 95ยบ, I certainly had a blast.  Who would have thought I'd have fun so much fun bracing the elements.  It certainly was a fun conclusion to a fabulous weekend.

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