"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch — what makes you go beyond the norm."
– Cicely Tyson
Happy Easter Everyone!!!
First, let me say that Steve and I hope all of you had a chance to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus with your friends and family. We are far from ours, but are happy that we at least had Darius and Diamond with us today. We began the day at 5:30 a.m. getting ready to go to a sunrise service at the summit of Stone Mountain. It was rather chilly but a very nice experience. It was amazing to see the number of people who came to this mountaintop service. As we pulled up (via cable car) to the top of Stone Mountain, it was already covered with people and the sun was just beginning to rise. The pink hues in that sunrise were spectacular over the mist-covered lower hills of North Georgia. Very nice way to begin such an important day!
So, okay, let me go back to the beginning of the week wherein we still had our grandson Jeremiah with us. First, Jeremiah and Steve did a little geocaching while I went to a Bible Study seminar. They were not very successful but did get to see some great ruins from an old textile mill. That evening, we headed to Roswell so that Steve and Jeremiah could experience the best Georgia barbeque that I have ever had - - at Slopes in Roswell, GA. MMMMMMMM. Some seriously good pulled pork with cole slaw, southern mac & cheese and fried pickles on the side. Yeah Man!
The next day, the three of us went to Stone Mountain Park to enjoy some outdoor time. Steve, Jeremiah and I challenged ourselves with the attraction there called "Sky Hike" which consisted of 62 obstacles on three levels (12 ft., 24 ft., and 36 ft. in the air). These obstacles were things like rope bridges, thin wooden planks, and other such challenges that you do while connected overhead via a harness. We all started out like gangbusters and then Lauren has a panic attack. I mean a full blown, heart racing, light-headed "going to pass out" panic attack. I was 12 feet up in the air walking across a rope bridge when I suddenly felt like I was going to fall to the ground and couldn't settle my nerves down. I finished the first level but then exited the Sky Hike as quickly as possible. My excuse was so that I could take pictures of Jeremiah and Steve going through the next two levels of challenges. I must say, I am VERY proud of my 55-year old husband for making it through to the very end. These challenges were a lot harder than you think and I wasn't the only one who left after the first level. Jeremiah, being the athletic 15-year old that he is, had no trouble with any of them. But for Steve to finish like he did, that was really something to watch.
We also had a great time taking the Sky Ride up to the top of the mountain. The view from up there is really something - - you can see Atlanta, Buckhead, and the Roswell/Alpharetta area so clearly. We decided to walk down the mountain on the designated trail, thinking that a downhill trek would be a piece of cake. NOT!!! Our quads were killing us after the 1.3 mile trek down those rocks and then to make matters worse, we realized that the 1.3 miles we walked took us in the exact opposite direction from our car. So we had to walk 1.3 miles back - - uphill - - which left the three of us exhausted (it was also in the upper 80's so the heat wasn't any help either). We also rode the train and took the Duck ride into the lake. Jeremiah even got to drive the Duck!!!!
The next day we visited the Georgia Aquarium and the Coca Cola Museum. I must say, the aquarium was very nice and did a nice job separating the exhibits into the different environments that the fish and other sea creatures are found in (i.e., fresh water, tropical, etc.). The best part about this aquarium was the dolphin show. That was just about the coolest show I have seen in a long time. I don't want to give you any more information than to say it is worth a visit to this aquarium just for that show. But in all honesty, both Steve and I think the aquarium in Chattanooga was a little bit better than this one in Georgia.
The Coca Cola Museum was interesting. They had on display some seriously cool Coke memorabilia. We watched a couple of movies there - - one on the "happiness factory" which was about what happens behind the scenes inside a vending machine when someone purchases a Coke. That was cute. The other movie was a 4-D movie featuring a scientist looking for the perfect Coke recipe. Also cute. The best part of the experience, however, was getting to taste all 70 Coke products that are sold worldwide. Some of the flavors were interesting but some were downright disgusting. Our last stop was watching a make-shift bottling factory. It was interesting to see how they clean and fill the bottles and cans (which they do 2,000 per hour in a normal bottling plant).
On Wednesday, Jeremiah went home. We didn't get to the Fernbank Museum as we had originally intended because our hot water tank wasn't working and Steve needed to get that fixed so that was our priority. We were sad to see him go home but welcomed the brief rest before Rounds 2 and 3 of our visiting family took place.
Thursday, Darius and Diamond flew in to spend a few days with us. In addition to that, our oldest son, Terry, and his girlfriend Jill (and dog Rooney) also arrived in Atlanta in preparation for the launch of their hike on the Appalachian Trail. We had a nice time together on Friday (all 6 of us and a big Weimaraner) and on Saturday morning as we took them to Amicalola Falls State Park and the start of the AT. We are so excited for them and their journey and said a prayer with them before they headed out. Here are their website addresses if you are curious at all about what this journey takes to both prepare for, and to stay focused through. Jill's website is: http://www.atraillife.com/ and Terry's is: http://www.anotheratadventure.blogspot.com/. Also, here is a link to a website that talks about the AT adventure: http://www.appalachiantrail.org. Terry has done this 2,184 mile hike once before, but for Jill and Rooney, this was a brand new adventure. Please keep them in your prayers as they traverse 14 states until they finish at the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine sometime in October. Today's quote was chosen in honor of Terry and Jill and their journey.
So, here we are back at Sunday where I started this blog. We just returned from Stone Mountain but this time it was Darius and Diamond tackling the Sky Hike. Steve and I stayed back to watch them and take pictures. These two did a great job and had a great time doing it too. After that adventure, we headed over for a train ride and then played some putt putt. A good time was had by all!
Okay everyone, Happy Easter and please take some time to think about what this day represents. We are all so blessed because of Jesus' sacrifice. Give Him and extra-special "thank you" today!
Talk to ya . . .