Cabrewing

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Saturday was my very first time to leave Luna ALL day and even though it was so so hard, it was good and needed. I joined a bunch of friends (our 6 house guests plus 80 others),for the 5th annual Cabrew Fest on the Harpeth River. I’ve been either out of the country, in another state or pregnant every year so it was my first one to attend. I was very close to making an excuse to stay home with Luna but thankfully Husband convinced me to take the day off.

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Cabrew Fest is just a huge group of people taking their time rowing slowly down the river, having some drinks, chillin’ and basically having a party on the river. We took a two-hour trip that took seven hours to complete. Husband and I typically do everything fast and furiously so it was kind of nice to just take our time, stop on many riverbanks, eat and hangout (minus the whole not being able to pump/engorgement problem).

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I don’t know how we could be so exhausted from barely paddling and relaxing in a boat all day, but that night we had just enough energy to eat and play a couple rounds of taboo before passing out.

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Luna ended up having a wonderful day full of naps, Starbucks and walks through the park. Separation was much harder on me than her! Luckily I get to take her with me most places.

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So far our summer has been pretty perfect! Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

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cheers!

Baby’s First Waterfall

Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!
Ready for our first hike to Cummins Falls!

After Luna had her first swim last weekend we figured we might as well take the next step and take her on her first hike/visit to a waterfall. Last summer we discovered Cummins Falls, one of the US’s top ten swimming holes, when my friend Sara came to visit. Ever since that day we have been itching to go back.

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I was a little concerned about the slippery, winding, wet and rocky hike with a baby, but I carried her in the Ergo carrier for most of the hike and when she got tired of it Husband carried her. It turned out to be very doable and while I couldn’t be quite as adventurous this time around, I was happy to be sitting with friends, holding my baby and watching the beautiful waterfall. Even Belle had a good time running through the water, chasing sticks and barking at every stranger we passed.

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I still got a chance to swim and walk behind the waterfall while Luna napped with her Grand-dude, but Husband really got to explore and climb around the big rocks surrounding the falls. Most of the afternoon, I relaxed with my friend Donna on a large rock set in the side of the hill. We brought tons of snacks and had plenty to talk about as “the boys” did every dangerous thing they could think of. The swimming hole was unbelievably crowded! Apparently word has spread about the beautiful falls and excellent swimming hole. The dozens of people sitting on rocks, eating packed lunches and taking dips in the water made it seem more like a day at the beach.

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Miss Luna didn’t get to play in the waterfall, but I did let her sit in the cool water for a bit.

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I absolutely love all of the beautiful scenic places to visit in Tennessee, and I cannot wait for the many more adventures that summer holds!

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Cheers!

First Swim

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It’s summer time!!! Summer is my favorite season. I love hot weather, the beach, swimming, snocones, tans, bare-feet, tank-tops, shorts and the natural blonde streaks that appear in my hair. If it were up to me I’d live on a beach somewhere near the equator and have summer year round. Summer is also the season when we do the most traveling, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, swimming and whatever other crazy adventures we can plan. This summer is extra special because it’s Luna’s first summer, which means lots of other firsts too….like her first swim.

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SUCH a diva

Last weekend we took Luna to the city pool with her Grandparents and you know I had the perfect pool outfit and accessories for the occasion.

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Luna loves bath time, but I didn’t know if a pool would bring the same joy. After all, her bath is warm and in a sink with only her Dad and I there. The city pool is slightly different. She didn’t look exactly thrilled in the big cold pool with a hundred other people around her, but she didn’t get upset either. I think it was a success.

first dip

After a short swim, lunch and a nap time, the baby pool was empty and calling our names. The life guard was nice enough to let us drag the large umbrella that was meant to cover him into the shallow pool to keep us shaded. Luna is too young for sunscreen so I didn’t want her in the sun for very long. The water in the baby pool was warm and the big umbrella kept us protected from the sun. It was perfect.

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straight up chillin'
straight up chillin’

Luna definitely enjoyed her time in the private baby pool. Can’t wait to take her swimming again!

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Cheers!

 

Skipping Rocks on the River

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A couple Saturday’s ago, while in Chicago actually, my friend Sara messaged me and asked if she could come visit. “Of course!” I said, “When do you want to come?” Her response was basically, “I’m leaving tomorrow and I’ll see you on Monday!” Classic Sara.

We love Sara and have had so many random adventures with her since we met in Albania. When we heard she was coming to stay with us we immediately began making plans for some wild Tennessee adventures. We decided that our first “adventure” should be slightly easy…we didn’t want to scare Sara immediately. We took her to Cummins State Park .

This park is a new state park. It has hiking trails, an overlook to the waterfall and one of the top ten swimming holes in the United States. When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly park ranger. She told us we could take an easy hike to the overlook, or a difficult hike through water and slippery slopes that leads to the bottom of the waterfall. We obviously chose the latter. The ranger took one look at my sandals and suggested we try it when we all have on tennis. We thanked her for her suggestion and made our way to trails.

We walked down a muddy trail that led to the river bank. Most of the hike involved walking down the side of the river, and a little bit of wading as well. Sometimes the bank was too steep and sometimes we had to cross to the other side. We started our trip trying to keep our feet dry…soon we wouldn’t even have dry clothes.

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Belle had the BEST time chasing sticks! She is usually terrified of water, but seemed not to notice it this trip.
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It was a little slippery on the moss covered rocks, but it was never dangerous.

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Finally, we spotted the falls. All of us were a little stunned at how big and beautiful they were. We had no idea what we were actually hiking to until we found it.

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Like I said, we had no idea what we were going to find, so we didn’t plan on swimming. None of us had swimsuits and we were envious of the people climbing the falls and jumping in the water.

“Take your clothes off.”

That’s what I told Husband, “If you will, I will.”. We all swam in our sports bras, leggings and boxers. We climbed behind the waterfall, jumped into the freezing swimming hole and had a great time.

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It was perfect! After we were chilled to the bone, we put our clothes back on, hiked back and managed to be mostly dry by the time we got to the car.

We stopped to skip rocks on the way back...so nice to have time to skip rocks.
We stopped to skip rocks on the way back…so nice to have time to skip rocks.

And this was just the beginning of Sara’s Tennessee adventures.

Cheers!

The People-Watching Train

One of the best things about living in a really big city is the people. I am a people watcher, and there is no better place to people-watch than NYC, except maybe Disney World. In any case, NY is full of interesting characters, enough to inspire thousands of hit movies, TV shows, and books, which is saying something.

Spend one day walking through the city and you are likely to find a celebrity, a lesbian, a Mickey Mouse, a dog-walker, a homeless person, a private school kid, an Italian, a Priest, a Hasidic Jew, a drug-dealer, a guitar player, a psychic, a police officer, a tourist, a nanny, and soooo many more!

When Cousin was visiting us last week, we were lucky enough to catch some crazy (and some not-so-crazy, but equally entertaining) people at their best. It was a people-watcher’s paradise, and I’m taking you along for the trip.

First stop on the people-watcher train: Central Park.

We ran into a group of people playing some intense Frisbee. They were throwing the discs under their legs, catching them upside down, and bouncing them off every part of their body. We watched for a little while and found out that two of them are the Frisbee-throwing world champions! They had just come from Italy, and were stopping in New York for a couple days. I guess they’re doing a Frisbee throwing tour? Maybe you’ll see them at a park in your own neighborhood.

In Battery Park, we (minus Husband) were excited to find that a free dance production was happening! This free performance gives a chance for young dancers to perform and practice in front of hundreds of people. It’s a really great idea, and we stayed for the first two numbers.  We got good seats and sat down right as the show started. The first act was mostly 14-year-old girls. They were not great dancers, but it was interesting, and I still appreciated the idea behind the whole recital. I could have watched a while longer, but we were on a tight schedule.

While walking around Time Square (where there area ALWAYS a plethora of crazy/entertaining people) we ran into this van.

That’s me in the pink skirt and heels standing by the window…I was trying to ask if this was real or some sort of gimmick, but I ended up eavesdropping on the boys next to me who were buying 3 weed-induced lolly pops for $10. Then, I chickened out and decided not to ask for fear of being persuaded to make a purchase, and then get arrested by one of the hundred police officers around me.

We also spotted a chipmunk making a purchase in one of the sandwich shops in Time Square.

Just down the street, near Rockefeller Center, we got stuck in a ton of human traffic, which turned out to be a parade for the Dominican Republic. There always seems to be some sort of parade happening in Manhattan. None of them, with the exception of the Macy’s Day Parade, are impressive. Impressive or not, the Dominicans were VERY excited.

A few blocks North of 30 Rock is FAO Schwarz, where we saw this adorable Dad and his daughter. This girl has got her Daddy wrapped around her little finger for sure.

So sweet.

Finally, my people-watching train is coming to it’s final destination: Washing Square Park. Upon entering the park, we saw the original bird lady from Mary Poppins. I tried my best to convince Husband to give her his toppin’s (I obviously wasn’t about to go over there), but he had no interest in feeding the birds.

Even though I am a bird-aphobic, I loved this scene and could not stop singing “Feed the Birds”. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we ran into this guy…

This man, who made sure to tell us he is NOT crazy, LOVES pigeons, and spend lots of time educating park goers, much like myself, about the history of pigeons. I stood as safe 30 feet away from him and his birds while he explained all of this to Husband, Zoey, and Cousin, for a good long 15 minutes.

His “pets”.

We almost left the park, when a crowd at the large fountain caught my eye. We ran over to find the fountain full of people swimming (literally swimming!) and splashing around in the shallow murky water. It was so hot out that before we could even consider the sanitary condition of the fountain, we’d already pulled our shoes off and hopped in with the crowd.

Still loving my Nook.

The best part was catching this sign as we exited the fountain…guess this rule isn’t actually enforced.

That brings our people-watching trip to a conclusion. Hope you all enjoyed the ride. Please watch your head and step as you exit, and if you don’t watch your head and your step, then watch your language. This is a family ride! Thank you, thank you, come again!

Cheers!