A few weeks back Jen and I were both dragging and finally agreed that we needed to take our first significant vacation in over a year. Although we LOVE getting out west, we chose to stay close and savor what our new home state has to offer. So we booked a great condo in the Echota development near Boone, NC.

We stayed 7 nights, which gave us lots of time to rest and enjoy the area. Some days we stayed close to home and took advantage of the amenities of the resort- swimming in the indoor pool and fishing in the stocked ponds. Between the three of us we caught 11 rainbow trout.

We also took in a couple of the big attractions in the area. We visited Grandfather Mountain– the highest point in the Blue Ridge range. All 4 of us walked across the mile high swinging bridge with 40 MPH winds blowing. We also spent some time hiking in the park.

We took the kids to Tweetsie Railroad, the High Country’s attempt at an olde timey amusement park. Even though it was a bit overpriced and slightly cheesy, we all had a lot of fun on the rides. Addy even rode the tilt-a-whirl and Colston asked to go on the carousel again and again.

We also watched the Olympics every night, often staying up until 12:30 or 1am to cheer on Phelps and the gang. One of the best decision things I made on this trip was to unplug from the cell phone and internet. I went an entire week without answering calls or checking email. I think it enabled me to really decompress. And I really enjoyed the time to just be a dad and be with the kids. They’re both growing so fast. Who wants to miss moments like this?

Not me. That’s for sure.