Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Family Fun!

Oh. My. Word.

How come no one ever told me about Hot Pickled Okra?

I'm seriously addicted now, much to my dismay.  I've never been a fan of spicy food....until I had Patrick. Now, I add hot sauce to everything, kick the heat up on my Asian dishes, dump an incredible amount of wasabi into my soy sauce and now this.

This past weekend, we took an overnight trip to North Georgia.  We got up to Dahlonega in the early afternoon, checked into our hotel and then headed downtown to check out the shop and perhaps sample some of the local wine.
After a quick circuit, we discovered there was only one place doing wine tastings on that particular night, so for $10 a piece we were able to try 5 different wines.  Well, actually 10 since we each tried different ones.  For dinner, we ate at an "American Italian" (aka pizza and spaghetti) place.  Bobby was reasonably well behaved and Patrick went ape shit over the menu.  I'm not kidding.  I have never seen this baby get more excited over ANYTHING!

Dahlonega always holds a special place in my heart.  When I was a kid I used to go camping every summer with my dad's second wife's family (confusing enough?). The whole brood would descend on the town and pan some gold.

And that's just what we did the next morning.  Consolidated Gold Mine is the site of the largest hard rock gold mine this side of the Mississippi.  There's a guided cave tour where you learn about all of the awful chemicals the mining company used to extract the gold as well as the different ways the miners were either maimed or killed.  It was delightful!  Oh and there were bats, too!

In the cave where thousands of men died from cyanide and mercury poisoning!

Since we got there right when the place opened, we went ahead and panned for gold (which is included in your ticket price).  I'm using the Royal We that Jacob loves so much.  He did all the dipping and swirling and I kept an eye on Bobby and nursed the baby.

dip and swirl, dip and swirl
My dad and Karen also drove up and we all met for lunch at The Smith House.  I remember this place as comfort food heaven.  First of all, it's expensive. $18 for all you can eat, family style, Southern food.  And it was ...ehhh okay.  Maybe I've been spoiled, but if I'm going to spend $18 on collards and fried okra, that shit better be awesome.

Next we drove over to Jaemor Farms, which one of my friends told me about when I asked for an apple picking place.  While they do grow apples there, you can't pick them yourself.  I was a little disappointed in that but there was a corn maze.  Jacob was ridiculously excited for it.  That excitement quickly dissipated when Bobby refused to walk and he had to carry him.  Our afternoon stroll through some corn on a cool fall day turned into a death march while we tried to find the exit.  Other activities included an apple gun, a big tube slide and inflated bouncing ponies.There was also a large farmer's market where we were able to stock up on locally produced condiments and staples, as pictured above.  It was fun, but I don't think we will go back. I would love to find a place where we can leisurely meander through an orchard and lift up the boys so they can pull the apple from the trees themselves.  

Death March

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