Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Orchard

When my mom and dad got divorced, my mom ended up moving into a house behind some incredibly fantastic people.  The girls have become like my sisters, the parents became close friends with my mom.  We shared a yard and I have many great memories from that house.  These people also own property in a beautiful area about an hour and a half east of my home town.  They invited us to visit that first summer and after that, we spent every single summer at what we call The Orchard.

You can tell it's no longer a real orchard.  It's never really been an actual orchard since I've been going (approximately 17 years), but they did used to grow peaches there.  Each summer we spend an obscene amount of time at our little home away from home.  There is no cell reception and definitely no internet.  We have to keep ourselves occupied the old fashion way like talking to each other, playing games, and making music.  And taking cheesy high-school-pose pictures of ourselves.

This picture is from Labor Day last year.

It's also located on the most awesome spot on the river.  There are rapids.

Also from Labor Day.

But there is also a quiet little swimming hole with a ginormous rock that is perfect for tanning.

This is from yesterday.

Yesterday was my beautiful mom's birthday and all she wanted to do was head out to the orchard.  Of course, when we woke up, it was pouring.  The forecast said that it was supposed to stop raining around 11, so my mom and I dilly dallied around until then.  It was great because I got my HIIT routine in before going and sitting around for the rest of the day.  It rained pretty much the entire drive out there.  I was nervous, but as soon as we got there it cleared up and it was HOT.  So that meant I had to brave the 20 degree water.

My brother and his friends were much more brave than I was and actually did our traditional trek across the river to float down in tubes.

Boyfriend was (still is) working, so he wasn't able to join us, otherwise he would have been over there with the manly men.  We finally made our way back up from the river where we did more sitting around before eating dinner.

After a fabulous meal of BBQ chicken, roasted corn on the cob, and three different types of salads, the ladies took a hike walk up to the "dump."  It's not really a dump anymore, but it used to be.  We were all sweating by the time we got to the top, but the view is so worth it.

Of course, since it was my mother's birthday and my brother's friend's birthday the day before, we had to have cake.  Flourless chocolate torte to be precise.  

Then we sat around the campfire looking at the stars and laughing at inappropriate hilarious jokes that the boys told.

I think I have this same picture from all 16 years.

In the morning we ate breakfast to fuel up for our big rafting adventure.  The Orchard is where everyone becomes insanely fashionable.  It's a good thing we are literally in the middle of nowhere because we would probably be too fashionable for everyone and they'd ask us to leave.

Keep in mind I was wearing water shoes...

Every year we make several rafting trips down the river to a designated spot where we leave a car.  It's about a 5 mile run with baby class II rapids.  Keep in mind, we are not professional rafters.  

In all of the years I've travelled down the river, I have never fallen out of the boat.  Until today.  We got stuck on a rock and out I plopped.  I had a split second of panic where I tried to remember everything I've been taught for the past 16 years about what to do if you fall out (feet first, float, don't hit your head).  Then I realized that I was stronger than the rapids and I just stood up and waited for them to get unstuck to jump back into the boat.  That's probably rule number 1 in the "What Not To Do While Rafting" class.  This is probably rule number 2.

Luckily, the group made it out alive and I stayed in the boat the rest of the time.

We spent the rest of the day in the water because it was way too hot to be anywhere else.  Then we packed up and went home where I promptly put on running clothes and PR'd my 5k.  But that's for a different day.  Today was all about The Orchard, where my heart belongs.


  1. That was the perfect 53rd birthday party for which any old lady could ask.

  2. I am so coming to visit you now and you are so taking me there! What a fun time!!!!! :)

  3. I will gladly take you! I love sharing The Orchard with everyone! Wait until August when you see my posts about the boyfriend's special place. I hate to say it, it's better than The Orchard.