Plus it was brought to our attention that the last time we had been to Asheville to visit him was amost a year and a half ago (!!!), when marcelo was still an infant.
Soooo, we picked up Mateo from school on Friday and headed for the hills. Ok mountains of Asheville.
As if on cue, both kids fell asleep and it was smooth sailing. (3.5 hours) In the rain.
We just bought some new [to us] appliances on Craigslist (oh yes I did!) and we donated our old ones (that were just 3 years old) to the cabin. Brrrian's rehabbin' cabin. Mateo and Marcelo were big helpers in the whole switch out process.
It was chilly outside, but you wouldn't know it sitting in Brrrian's little cabin. It is heated by this little wood burning stove.
The heat from a wood burning stove is different. It envelopes you. For me it is very nastaligic too, we grew up in a house heated by a wood burning stove. Its a job keeping the fire going. Mateo was fascinated by the fire and wanted to help tio Brrrian with bringing the wood in and piling it in the stove too.
Thank God both he and Marcelo understood that the stove was very hot and they could not touch it. Marcelo held his hand up and said "hot" 5 million times (actual number).
Just 10 minutes outside of downtown Asheville, Brrrian's place feels remote. He is at the base of a mountain and this is his back yard view.
He collected a bunch of rocks/boulders from his property and created an awesome raised patio with a firepit. Totally rustic. Totally Brrrian.
The front "yard" is used as a garden in the summer since it is the only area with full sun. He recently added a chicken coop and was getting fresh eggs which I think is sooooooo cool.
Unfortunately, right before he came to work with us a hawk attacked and there was just one left. Pobreceito el pollito. He gave the other to his friend since they really need a partner to keep warm in the winter. He will get more in the spring.
Mateo was confused that there was coop since there were no chickens.
Saturday morning was cold but we wanted to get out early. Asheville Gymnastics has an open play hour at their facility and it was perfect for these little acrobats.
Yeah, he's up there pretty high papi, can you please get ready to catch him?
Trampolines, foam pits, bouncy floors, high bars, balance beams...all the stuff you want to try after watching the olympics.
The had to practically kick us out at the end. So fun. And yes, they were tired. Mission accomplished.
That wasn't enough though. We drove most of the way up a mountain and parked so we could walk [at least part of the way] up to University of Asheville's Lookout Observatory. I would love to visit this place during an event. They retract the roof and you are able to use the telescopes. The view is spectacular. What better place for a family photo.
Mateo was running on the trail and Marcelo did a really great job too. He didn't want us to pick him up and would barely hold my hand.
He's a tough little cookie that Marcelo. And so gosh darn cute!
We stopped for acorns....
and pee pee breaks
but otherwise we were movin' along pretty good...climbing on fallen trees
and up rock walls?! Oh these mountain boys.
The wind was blowing pretty good up there and I was wishing I had brought a coat! Ha. My new wool and mohair sweater looks pretty though, doesn't it? A warm hat and gloves made all the difference.
Tio Brrrain eventually scooped this guy up so we could high tail it back to the truck.
Finally it was nap time! Marcelo didn't last 2 minutes in the car, but that 3 year old had a little more will power. He thought he could just squeeze in this twin bed with tios Brrrian y Kyja. "Yes, I will close my eyes mami, I can sleep right here!"
Suprisingly that didn't work, but he did fall asleep pretty quickly once in his own bed. Later he was up baking a cake with "tio Kyja."
He was all over that hand mixer. I kind of regret saying that I have one of these at home.
That night 6 of Brrrian's friends came over for a carne asada. So 10 adults and 7 kids! Yikes! What was so cool though was that the kids were outside running wild. Like Free. Free. Range. Kids!!!
It was amazing and just made me think of how lucky I was to grow up in the country. I was running free my whole childhood. I don't know if my mom knew if we were a mile behind the house in the woods, across the street in a corn field, or down the street at the horse farm. Ah those were the days.
Mateo was having a blast! They had flash lights and were running with sticks and who knows what else. Yes, I was inside having a beer. What ?! Even as I write that it sounds crazy to me. Mateo has definately not had a night like that before. That being said, there were a couple 10-tween year olds looking out for him. But mostly, he and little 5 year old Max were best buddies. The night ended calmly with trucks [that we brought] by the fire.
Mateo was asleep when his head hit the pillow...at 10:20pm! (Marcelo went to bed at 8:30pm) A peaceful night at the cabin!
The ride home on Sunday afternoon included a long nap. By the time they woke up we were at the Tanger Outlets just one hour outside of Atlanta. Yeah! We took a little pit stop there. I got a few bargains at the Gap Kids and we stopped for a little treat. (Note to self: one mini blizzard should be split between the boys lest you have soup. And soup is not a really good car food.
I love how even a short weekend trip can feel like a vacation. Thanks tios Brrrian and Kyja for having us!