On Wednesday, we headed over to Lake Junaluska in western North Carolina where my family has a vacation home.
The house is over 90 years old.
My family has been coming here for decades and it's a really lovely place. Zach loves Lake J and finds it a perfect getaway spot. We wanted to bring Allie here again since she's only been during the summer time for the annual family reunion.
I have eaten at this oval dining table and on these yellow woven place mats hundreds of times.
And I have washed dishes in this brown ceramic sink hundreds of times since there is no dishwasher here. :)
Due to all the rain this fall, the leaves weren't quite as colorful as we were hoping for, but it was still a breath-taking sight.
Allie in leaves
Me in leaves
Boots in leaves
Allie and I made a few videos for a good friend of mine while we were on our Lake J adventure. Here are a few stills from the footage that I love of us together.
Us down by the bell tower on the lake shore.
Al, Zach, and Ian (Zach's brother who was also visiting us this week).
Iconic Lake J ducks
Allie feeding the ducks her ice cream cone.
Down by the lake in the sun (sorry for making you squint you guys. Ha!)
A trip to Lake J would not be complete without some shopping and shenanigans in Waynesville, NC, just 5 minutes away.
The Candy Barrel at Mast General Store
(You will notice that in the majority of these pics Allie has taken to only smiling without showing her teeth. Ha! Silly girl. :))
Playing with funny hats
A unique hat with attached gloves.
Seeing stuffed animals (as in once dead animals, not children's play animals) in shops is not an usual sight in Waynesville. I named this ol' chap Larry.
Late Thursday afternoon, we headed over to The Maize, a local corn maze and pumpkin patch. I will post more pics and deets on this later, but for now, here's a sneak peek at a photo I took of Allie in the corn maze.
A trip to Lake J would also not be complete without eating at Maggie's Galley, a fabulous seafood restaurant made out of five primitive log cabins.
Waiting for a table in the cozy cabin.
One of our most favorite menu items here is the alligator tail. It is delish and rarely in stock due to limited availability and it's popularity.
On Friday, we left Lake J and headed over to the Hendersonville area to go to Sky Top Orchard, a giant apple orchard. Our route through the mountains was full of twists and turns and gorgeous scenery.
I will also post separately about our adventure at Sky Top, but for now, I'll leave you with these two images-
Me and Allie with apples
Sky Top is not only known for their orchard, but for their apple cider donuts. They are amazing!
On Saturday, Allie and I headed to yet another pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkins. Again, I'm going to post photos of this separately later this week, but here's one adorable shot of Al with a tiny pumpkin.
I also threw a Fall Party for Allie and her friends. You will also have to wait for more pics of this later on, but for now here's two-
Me, making Jam Up cookies, one of Allie's favorite treats.
And Allie with her 3 fabulous friends at the end of the party.
In addition to all this fun, Allie got to play with Moose, our friends Justin and Jenny's new lab puppy. Allie is obsessed with this dog and will spend hours rolling around with him in the grass. It brings her so much joy.
As you can see, Zach is a little fond of him too. :) They were so cute lying down with Moose in the middle of the kitchen. Ha!
More pics of Allie and Moose coming soon!
And one final shot of Al on our way to the airport. I had this silly hat in the car from teaching on Exodus that morning and she decided to rock it leaving town. :)
This is always a hard time for all of us, and what's worse is the drive home with an empty back seat. All our hearts ache to be together more, but I am trying to be thankful for the amazing time we do have. Please pray for our family and that our relationships can continue to grow deeper, even at a distance, and that more actual time together is somewhere in our future. Even in our sadness when Allie is away, I will praise Him. God has blessed us so sweetly and tenderly by the special love we share.