Sep 16, 2018

Asheville and Lake Jocassee 2018

During the last week of July, we went to Lake Jocassee, South Carolina with my dad's dad's side of the family.  The lake is special to me, as we went every summer from the time I was 6 to 18 and we have been back a few times since then, so I was excited to bring Haddie there for the first time.

The trip didn't quite go as planned, but we made the best of it.  A couple of weeks before the trip, my dad's boat broke down and it wasn't possible to get it fixed in time.  In fact, it might not ever be able to be fixed which makes us really sad because it was my grandpa's boat and we have so many great memories on it.  We had to rent a tiny boat which was expensive and just NOT what we are used to -- it only fit a few people on it at a time, there was nowhere to lounge, plus it was hard to get off and on.  First world problems, right?

My best friend from home was supposed to join us, but at the last minute he had to cancel because of work.  That was a major bummer since we have talked about him coming with us for like 15 years!

Then, the night before we were supposed to leave, Haddie spiked a fever and she was crying every time I changed her diaper.  We took her to urgent care at 10pm and she turned out to have a bad UTI.  They gave us some antibiotics which cured her, but it took her awhile to fully recover so she was pretty fussy and out of sorts during the trip. I spent a lot of the trip in our villa rocking, nursing, and singing to her.  Fun!

Before we joined up with our family, Bill and I went to our favorite city, Asheville!  We booked the best Airbnb.  I was so pleased with it.  Hotels and inns were astronomically priced, so I started looking at Airbnbs.  I wanted one where we had the whole place to ourselves, but couldn't find one that we could afford.  On a whim, I looked at "private room" ones and found ours.  While it was technically a room, it was more of an in-law suite and it was completely separate from the rest of the house. It had it's own bathroom and a kitchenette.  It was so clean, had the cutest decorations and amenities, and it was really just perfect.  If you're ever in Asheville, I highly recommend Michelle's place!

We ended up getting in pretty late so we just went to bed when we got in.  Over the next day and a half, we shopped, dined and hit some breweries.  On Saturday, we hit our most favorite shops:  Kress Emporium art store, Asheville Bee Charmer, Battery Park Book Exchange, and Bill's favorite coin shop.  I was sad to see that my favorite body care shop, The Laughing Mermaid, had closed.  We stopped into a hot sauce shop to find a birthday present for my dad and I had to sign a waiver called "The End."  My entire body was on fire! I bought him a bottle and it was a huge hit. We ate lunch at our old favorite, Wicked Weed and then finally tried White Duck Taco for dinner.  We ordered several different tacos and my favorite was the Korean Beef Bulgogi.  The next day, we tried The Rhu for breakfast where I got the best strangest-sounding thing - a jelly & bacon sandwich on sweet potato brioche -- YUM.  On Saturday, in addition to Wicked Weed, we hit the Funkatorium and Bhramari for sour beers (for me).  Bhramari also had a beer that was brewed with pizza.  It was... strange.  We finished off our short stay with a trip to New Belgium Brewery.  One of Bill's best friends is a rep for them in NY State and they also happen to make one of Bill's very favorite beers, Citradelic. I found a new favorite here, Passionfruit Foeder Saison, but unfortunately they only sell it on tap and you can't get a growler of it.

After a stop at Target, we made a very rainy drive to the lake, checked into our very own villa (!) and then settled in.  Seeing family was so fun and everyone was excited to see (or meet) Haddie.

It was cold and rainy the first few days.  We stayed inside and played cards, drank wine, and ate great food.  Each night a different family makes a meal.  Since we had our very own villa for the first time ever, that meant that we were responsible for one night.  We took the second night and made goulash, salad, and garlic bread.  This also meant that I had to partake in the world's longest grocery shopping experience with my mom and sister -- we were gone practically the whole day!

My final "complaints" are that the water level was up really high so a lot of the waterfalls and beaches that we normally visit were nonexistent and also that there were a lot of people on the lake.  In the past, it felt like our own personal paradise.  Well, now the lake keeps being listed in lists of "best secret lakes" or "hidden gem" which makes it no longer... secret or hidden.  I selfishly want to keep it to ourselves, but I am glad that other people get to enjoy it.

Once the weather cleared, Haddie was feeling a little better, and I recovered from cooking dinner (lol), things started to be a bit more fun!

Haddie loved swimming in the lake!  She had a couple of little floats that she was able to go in by herself and she cracked us up splashing around and kicking her legs.  She also loved to sit on a float with me.

Some of our highlights included Haddie's first boat ride (though she slept through the whole ride -- I'm not sure she was ever awake on the boat!  She fell asleep as soon as we got on the water!), hanging out at a beach across the lake, an afternoon just boating and floating, Haddie playing with my cousins' babies, jumping off the "Jumping Off Rock," splashing around in our lagoon, and my very favorite day was actually the day after we had to return the boat.  We swam and floated in the area below our villa and it was just so relaxing! We ended the last night with a party at our villa including smores over the firepit in our back patio.

People like to tell us that traveling with kids isn't a vacation, it's just traveling, so Bill and I tried hard to make sure we didn't feel this way.  We both made sure the other had time to relax and play at the lake, but it was definitely a different trip this year.

Here are some snaps from our trip:

Do you vacation on lakes or do you prefer the ocean? Have you ever been to Asheville? Any tips to make traveling with kids feel more like a vacation for the parents too?

If you ever want to visit Lake Jocassee, we stay at Devil's Fork State Park in the villas!

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