So last time I caught you up on the first half of my vacation at what my mom has termed, the Fit Farm. I had to give you the crazy first day in detail and then tried to truncate the rest of the days to bite sized nuggets of insanity, but Once I realized how long this post was going to be I decided to break her up a bit. Here is part two of my craycation. Yeah, write that one down people, it’s going in Webster’s one day.
Day five was a rest day. Well, most of the day was a rest day. Okay, some of the day was a rest day. My mom had a meeting at her work in the morning so I got the opportunity to catch up on my sleep, thank the lord, and then leisurely have my coffee and breakfast.
We had a nice lunch after she got home and then ran to the post office to send a package of gifts to my other niece, who lives in Canada with her mom, for her birthday. All I have to say is, damn it is expensive to ship things to Canada. We had a little down time when we got home and so mom got caught up some Day’s of Our Lives and then my sister came over, sans kids, and took us to Old Stone Vino for happy hour.
We shared a bottle of wine and a few appetizers and plotted ways to get my dad to eat healthier. We didn’t come up with many plots and I felt slightly hypocritical contemplating how to arrange this healthy food initiative which chowing down on pimento cheese dips and bruschetta. The wine was good though, Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz from South Africa, and quickly took my mind of my hypocrisy. The rain started to come down and as we had chosen to sit on the patio we took this as a sign that it was time to head home to make a quick dinner and then head to the gym with my brother and his girlfriend. He promised to show me how to lift heavy things and he did not fail on that promise. We spent about two hours putting a hurting on ourselves before we headed back home. The good news is that I found out I can bench press about 50#s and I can squat somewhere around 95#s. I was pretty shocked that I could pull either of those numbers because I haven’t got anything bigger than my dinky little 8# dumbbells at home. When we got back my knees were already screaming at me, but my muscles were begging for more.
Day six was helper monkey day. Usually every Thursday my mom heads to the two properties that my dad and brother are fixing up to flip, and she mows the lawns. This would not be so bad if she didn’t do it all, by herself and walks something well over five miles while mowing in the high heat, high humidity of summer in NC.
I offered to help and we loaded up the truck, with the one fancy self-propelled mower and the one not so fancy non-self propelled mower. We headed to the first property, the one with the smaller yard and knocked that one out in no time. I used the not so fancy mower, because I am just hard-core. The second property had a HUGE backyard and I was fairly intimidated, but a we managed to get both yards done in record time and pick up some fresh pears from the tree at the last house that I could use to make a pear tart for the weekend.
Once we got home, we got cleaned up and got dinner on the table just in time for my sis and her family to get there. We all ate, then mom got ready for work. Yeah, did I not mention that she was working night shift that night? Well, she was and she would have done all that work all day all by herself and still gone in to the hospital to work all night. She crazy!
Once the dishes were cleared and everything was wiped down from dinner, I got changed and my brother, his girlfriend and I headed out to the gym again. I couldn’t quite pull the numbers I had the day before, but I offset that by doing more leg work than I had the previous day. Two hours of bringing the pain later we headed back home and I was DONE. Second shower of the day and pj’s and BED, with just a small piece of lasagna in the middle there somewhere.
FRIDAY! WOOT WOOT! I know I was on vacation so technically I had no real reason to be excited that it was Friday, except that this was the end of my honey’s work week and he took that extra day off to drive all the way out from Nashville with Emma to come and spend the weekend with us all.
I got up early and tried to get the dishes put away as quietly as possible so that I wouldn’t wake my mom. I then started a little ironing, because I had to do one of my shirts and figured I could polish off the other few from my mom’s pile pretty quickly thus relieving her of one more chore.
Before I could even get the second shirt ironed though, here comes mom down the hall in her lawn-mowing gear, again. I was barely even 11 AM and she had only just gotten home at 8 AM. I asked her what she was doing up so early and she said this is how she rolls every Friday morning. She gets up early and heads out to mow the lawn. Her lawn is almost as big as the second property and I know that she has to be exhausted, but there goes that red pony tail bobbing out the garage door to do two more hours of heavy-duty lawn-mowing action. UGH! Did I mention, SHE CRAZY!
I took the opportunity to make the pear tart I wanted to try. I set about peeling and mixing and rolling, while I watched my mom from the kitchen window to make sure she wasn’t going to get heat stroke. She had finished the yard just as I was sticking the pie in the oven. She headed off to shower and change while I waited for the tart to finish baking.
We had a little lunch and tried to come up with plans for the night. Mom had to work, again, and my BF was late getting on the road and wouldn’t be there until mid evening so my sister offered to get the fire pit going at her place so we wouldn’t have to do anything strenuous that evening. Mom and I spent the afternoon getting a few things done around the house and then I showered and she helped me make risotto for dinner.
I had to make two separate kinds of risotto because my brother doesn’t dig mushrooms. No biggie, he liked what he got and the rest of us enjoyed our creamy, mushroomy risotto. Mom headed off to work and about an hour later my BF pulled in. I got him and Emma settled and then he wolfed down some chow and it was off to my sister’s house to relax by the fire. We left before midnight and headed to bed because the last full day of my vacation we were headed to challenge two of my biggest fears and I knew that it would be a long night of listening to my BF snore away his exhaustion.
When we got up Mom had only just gone to bed and my dad had been at his work for hours. Since my dad works half days every third weekend we had planned to meet him at our destination after he got off work. My brother, my BF and I got our gear and drinks together and headed to the US Whitewater Center. This was the place where I would face two of my biggest fears, heights and whitewater rafting. How can whitewater rafting be a fear, you may ask. Well the last time that I went rafting, when I was about 12, we were in the Youghiogheny River and our raft got stuck on a rock and we began taking on water. I totally freaked out and started screaming. I mean, really screaming. Like, “OH-MY-GOD-WE-ARE-ALL-GOING-TO-DIE!” screaming. That was the first and last time I went whitewater rafting.
This place is all man-made and the whitewater rapids are a giant circle so if you do fall out of your boat you won’t disappear into West Virginia or anything. As our guide said, you will simply hit a quiet section of the course and wait for rescue. I thought this might be a better place for me to give the old rafting thing a try again, then to get back out on an actual river. Of course going with my dad and brother, who are the first people to give you a hard time about, well, just about everything, may have not been the best choices of partners for this fear factor challenge, but they are the most experience members of my family so it was worth a shot.
The Whitewater Center isn’t just rafting though. There are kayaks, rock walls, hiking and biking trails, zip-lines and even adventure courses you can go on too. I decided to kill two birds with one stone while we were there and make an attempt at the adventure course, where you climb and cable walk your way around a raised course which my dad said had to be over one story up.
Here are a few suggestions for those of you who wish to go to the center. Buy your tickets and reserve your rafts online. We had gotten our tickets online, but had failed to reserves a raft and by the time we got there at noon the earliest we could get a raft was 4:45 PM. No biggie though as we were planning on doing some of the other activities, but this would have been a bummer if all we wanted to do was raft.
My second tip is to grab a map. I know this seems kind of obvious, but let me tell you something, this place is large and very confusing. We spent at least and hour trying to find the adventure course. There is no signage at this place and the map can be a bit confusing, which hopefully they will fix in the near future, but just look carefully and ask questions.
My third tip is another that might seem obvious, but here it is anyway, bring a change of clothes and a towel. If you are planning to get in the water you will definitely want a pair of dry socks and shorts at least. The water doesn’t smell very good and you won’t want to walk around stinking all day long. They have lockers there, but I would suggest that you get a storage bin instead. The lockers are more secure yes, but they are also more expensive and can only be accessed once before you are charged again. The bins, on the other hand, are less expensive and can be accessed as many times as you want.
With my tips out of the way let me just tell you that the lines were long and it took a lot longer than we expected to get to the first adventure course. Once we finally found the entrance, we waited about thirty minutes before we even got our safety gear. Once you get your safety gear you can pick which level you want to start with, we chose the beginner level, because I am a big baby. We headed up the trail only to meet another line that we waited in for a good 45 minutes to get our opportunity to try out the course. So I guess another tip would be to be prepared to wait in line if you are going on the weekend OR to wait until school starts up again and go sometime during the week in the day time if you would like smaller line-wait times.
The course was fun and I was a little nervous even with my helmet and safety harness. My dad went first and my brother followed behind me so I wouldn’t be as scared. My BF wasn’t looking to overcome his fear of heights that day and so he stayed below and took a breather. It’s all good, maybe he will do it next time.
After all of that waiting and maybe ten minutes of getting through the course we headed back down to the main area. My dad and I were interested in doing the zip line, but when we got there the line was absolutely ridonk, we are talking over an hours wait, so we decided to send my brother back to the rock wall and grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant.
Unfortunately our food took forever to get to the table, and that is a lot coming from me because I am extremely forgiving when it comes to food service having been in the industry for years myself. There is absolutely no way in hell that a chicken quesadilla, an order of chicken fingers and some waffle cut sweet potato fries should take over thirty minutes to get to the table. So be prepared for sub-par service, because there was no apology from our server for the wait and she couldn’t seem to get away from our table fast enough the four times she stopped by in the hour that we were there. I am talking less than 10 seconds at the table each time. Even so we remained calm and ate our food when it finally got there. It was adequate, but not really worth the wait. We paid up and headed to the rafting area to await our guide and to go through our 15 minute safety course.
Our guide, Kristen, was awesome! She was a perfect blend of serious and funny that helps to put you at ease immediately. We got through the main safety briefing and then it was out to the raft to get set up with a group.
We had two young men join our four person team for this adventure. They seemed nice, if not a little timid at first and they were in the very front of the boat. My BF and I were right behind them, then my brother and dad were behind us. Our lovely guide was in the captain position. After a couple of minutes of paddle practice and more safety maneuvers, we headed to the family course which is a class 1 and 2 rapid.
I knew that if I could make it through the family rapids with out panicking I would do fine on the rest of the course. My heart rate did go up a bit, but after some kind reassurance from everyone in the boat, I began to calm. We got through the first course without any mishaps and I am proud to say not a single tear was shed. Quite the opposite actually as I was smiling and laughing and actually enjoying the rush. We headed to the class 3 to 5 rapids and I had an even better time. We even got to save four people whose raft had flipped on a rapid. It was a really awesome experience. I can’t wait to go back the next opportunity I get. Maybe I will even consider a real river, though it would have to only be a class 1 or 2 for me to sign up.
I would highly recommend giving this a shot if you are interested in a safe first-timers experience or even for veteran rafters. My dad and brother are real adrenaline junkies and they had a really good time, though they have informed me that next time we are going to the advanced adventure course first thing. Buy the all day pass for $55 and spend your day trying out anything you think you might like.
Our day wasn’t over though, we headed back home for dinner after our rafting session. Mom had made spicy Italian sausage and peppers for dinner. Was it hot? Heck yeah! Did I love it? OH HELLS YES! Mom had to work again that night but had been called off until 1 AM, otherwise she would have already left for work so it was nice that we could spend a little time with her. I was almost convinced that my BF wouldn’t get to see her at all until we were leaving the next day, but he got lucky.
That night I was supposed to DD and take all of us youngsters into town to hit the scene and show my BF some of the sights. He has never been to Charlotte before. We got dolled up and my brother’s girlfriend offered to drive because, “After last time, (at VGBV) I am never drinking again.” It probably hadn’t helped that we made her go to Carowinds hungover and had her on all the crazy-person rides from the minute she walked into the park. My definition of crazy person rides is anything above a kids level 1, by the way. I took her up on her offer and we all jumped into her car and made our way to Howl at the Moon to meet up with my girl Melissa.
We found an outside table and made the most of the $8 cover charge. I have always insisted that Charlotte is a beautiful city, but this wasn’t really the best view so after several rounds of drinks we decide to head further uptown to a club with a DJ as requested by my BF.
My brother suggested we hit up Prohibition Bar and we as we started the climb up towards the club I realized that I had worn the wrong shoes! All you ladies know what I mean. My feet were aching from having been on them all day and the five-inch platform heels I was wearing, while gorgeous, were helping the situation.
We made it to the club and waited to get in, UGH! So two guys with four attractive girls have to wait, but three dudes with one attractive girl get right in? That is how you play it Charlotte? EW. Anyway we paid the five dollar cover fee and headed upstairs, again the shoes were not helping, to the bar.
It was HOT! I mean it had to be 96 or 97 degrees in there with absolutely no fan or breeze. We grabbed a round of drinks and found a corner table. My BF, Mel and I held down the table while my sister, brother and his girlfriend hit the dance floor. And that is how it stayed until closing time.
I wish I had worn different shoes because the urge to dance was strong with this one, but it was fun to sit and people watch too. I had stopped drinking after that first round and so I was relatively sober. The benefit of being sober in those situations, you don’t miss a thing and you don’t have to run to the ladies every two minutes. The negatives of being sober in those situations, you don’t miss a thing and at the end of the night you have to herd drunken cats back to the car.
I was a wee bit exhausted and a wee bit grouchy by that point and I got quite snappy with everyone when they insisted that we take a bike cab ride when we were finally only a block from the car. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but I can say that they were all drunk and kind of annoying and so nuts to them. We said our goodbyes to Mel and headed home. We dropped my sister off at her house and that weeble wobbled but didn’t fall down so the rest of us went on our merry way back to my parents house. I think we got in some time around 3 or 3:30 AM. I was beyond beat. My poor feet were swollen and my nerves were frayed, but I was finally at my destination for the night so a good face and foot wash and tooth brushing later, I was in my PJ’s and in bed.
The following day would be our trip home. Nothing like a pending seven hour drive to make a girl want to sleep in, but when I smelled fresh coffee and bacon I knew it was time to get up. God love my mother. She was in bed after me and up before me making us all breakfast. My sister and her family showed up and we all had one last meal together before it was time to shower and pack the car for the big drive.
The drive home was probably the most relaxing part of the whole week. Don’t think that I am complaining though. I love a good workout and that is just what I got this week. When we weren’t running around running errands, we were catching up on chores, working out, making food, cleaning up that food, spending quality time together or occasionally sleeping. What a week. I can’t wait to do it again.
So that was my week at the fit farm. If anyone would like a hook up I know the owners. I can promise you three things, excellent food, fun times and a real workout. Let me know if you are interested!
Thanks for reading!