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Nana and Pop wanted to wait until the boys arrived to put-up the Christmas tree. But first, we have to cut down the tree, which means a visit to the tree farm. Once there, the boys are given a mission: Locate the Christmas tree…

Christmas Tree

Finally, among the hundreds of trees lining these hills, we find the perfect tree…

Christmas Tree

And with the pull of the cord and a quick swipe with the chainsaw, Pop cuts down our Christmas tree. The boys are pretty proud of themselves

Christmas Tree

Now, we’re gonna meet Mom and Nana for breakfast! Then Mom and Nana can decorate the tree 😉

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It’s always a GREAT day when the boys get to visit their GREAT grandfather (a.k.a. “Pa”). Pa was a sharecropper and a respected man among the other farmers in the area…around town they still refer to him as “Mr. Lee”

Mr Lee

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After a great 4th of July weekend with the grandkids, the boys and I are taking a road trip to Virginia to visit the grandparents (and great grandpa!). We arrived yesterday and after a good night’s sleep, headed-up the Blue Ridge Parkway for some breakfast at Mabrey Mill. We come here often when we’re visiting the family. It’s a great drive up the mountain and the scenery is breathtaking…

Mabry Mill

and the obligatory family-in-front-of-the-old-mill picture is…


They used to make molasses, apple butter, and cornmeal using the old farm methods, but in recent years, the health department said they couldn’t do it any more because it wasn’t “safe”. Of course, it had been done this way for more than 100-years…well, anyway.

You can still see inside the working mill…

Inside the Wheel House

and learn about moonshine, blacksmithing, weaving cotton, and playing checkers with little corncob checkers…

Checkers Checkers

and best of all, to stroll down memory lane remembering the boys first visit to Mabry Mill…(then and now)

Adam and Alex in the Wagon Adam and Alex in the Wagon

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Congratulations Jess and Emilo on the birth of Carter John! Here’s a picture of May-May holding precious grandbaby #3…

May-May and Baby Carter

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Today, the boys took Nana to Fernandina Beach for a little wave-romping and boogie-boarding. While Adam did most of the wave work…

Fernandina Beach Fernandina Beach

Alex explored the beach for shells, as evidenced by the sand half-dollar he’s holding…

Fernandina Beach

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Today, we’re heading back to Jax, but first, we stop by Poppy and Grammy’s house to say, “good-bye”. While there, the boys enjoy the homemade swings on Poppy’s magnolia tree.

Swings at Poppys House

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Cindy’s dad and the boy’s “Granddad Tom” has traveled from the UK for a visit. He had a nice visit with the boys…

Granddad Tom with the boys

who think he’s a nut! 😉

Granddad Tom with the boys

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Today is our last day with Nana and Pa. We decided to spend it quietly at home walking the grounds.

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It’s a beautiful day outside, so the boys took Nana for a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can’t take this ride without making a stop at Lover’s Leap…

Nana and the boys

Not too far from “the Leap” is Mabry Mill. Readers of this blog are with this landmark, as we’ve visited before, here and here. It’s a gorgeous spot and I love to walk the grounds.

Daddy and the Boys

One the way home, we stopped by a general store. While Nana picked-up some candy and soda pop for the boys, I walked across the highway to snap a photo of the old zoo. When I was a kid, this was a treat to visit, and we’d always cap-off the day with a ride up the river on the Dan River Queen riverboat.

Old Zoo

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Yesterday, the boys and I traveled to Virginia with Nana and Pa to spend a few days with the extended family. Funny, but judging from the boys behavior, it’s hard to see any difference. BTW, that’s Nana’s couch…

Nanas Couch

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