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It’s hard for the average person to not feel blessed by the surrounding beauty of Fall while in northwestern North Carolina. I was even more blessed by a family who picked up my lost cell phone and went out of their way to return it to me this past weekend.

I’d been trying not to think too much into how I could’ve lost my phone or why I didn’t notice it drop from my purse on that rainy Monday at the Asheville Fun Depot. The rain was so bad that we had to veer from our other plans to find this indoor place to pass the time. It definitely wasn’t on the original Asheville itinerary. The kids were ecstatic to find themselves in a place full of arcade games, go karts, mini golf, bowling, laser tag and more. It wasn’t an establishment that normally would put me in my happy place, but the kids were entertained, so that was good enough for me that day. I even took the time to play mini golf with my sons, which on a normal day I just wouldn’t do. But, It’s on that course that I lost my phone. I took this terrible picture and then I must’ve dropped it. I was too into my golf game I guess!

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All along I had a feeling that I couldn’t shake that my phone was going to make it’s way back to me somehow.  I went back to the Depot the next day to no avail and I called them a few more times just checking that it possibly had turned up. No phone. I’m not sure why after a a few days I’d never called AT&T to cancel it or put in the claim to have a new one sent to me even. I was trying my best to be still and patient. Obviously, the phone was no longer where I’d dropped it, so where was it?

My phone was not password protected and I questioned myself about why I didn’t do that to keep someone from getting into it and having access to all of my information. But, now I know if I had done that, I most likely would’ve never gotten it back. Ricky and his daughter, Lori, and her son were able to track me down through my Facebook app and by calling my favorites listed on my phone. We finally connected and made plans to meet up in a random Walmart parking lot.

I felt full of emotion as I drove along about to be reunited with my dear iPhone. Neither Ricky nor I are even from the area. He, on a family reunion, from Georgia and I, a long way from home on our family journey around this grand country of ours. I set off on the 45 minute drive through the glorious wooded trees on Saturday morning to meet up with this man who was in possession of my phone.

Tears came to my eyes as I took my phone from this stranger as we talked about our loved ones and our travels. I became overwhelmed with the fact that once again God had shown up in my life. Why me? Why does he chose to look after little ‘ol me like he does? It truly overwhelms me. I know that nothing is coincidence and everything that happens to us and everyone we encounter in this life is not by chance. I never prayed for my cell phone back. I honestly don’t pray for material things. I do pray for peace and wisdom to handle situations that I find myself in though and God once again blessed me through this family.

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I really wanted to ask Ricky if we could take a selfie, so I could have a photo of us together with my phone in hand to commemorate this divine moment in both of our vacations. Plus, I know you would’ve enjoyed the visual but it would’ve just been too strange! So, I just took a picture of the location as I waited for him to arrive. It’s really difficult when someone does something so incredibly selfless and thoughtful to not have the urge to repay them in some way. Should I offer him money? Should I send him a gift? Or do I just say thank you from the bottom of my heart? Thank you for having it on your heart to do the right thing. I hope Ricky felt how gracious I really was.

I am thankful today for continued faith in humankind and for proof that kindness and compassion still exist in people all around us every day, no matter where we may be. I am humbled at the fact that this family found me worthy of their time and efforts to see that I got my phone back. I am so thankful!

 

 

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No doubt that we are in the South! Fall is definitely in the air here in Asheville, NC! This mailbox made me smile and made me present to the fact that we are a long way from home y’all! This area has been on my list to visit for awhile so it was exciting that we were able to get here on this RV trip at the perfect time to see Fall in all it’s glory. Hopefully you don’t get tired of seeing my pictures of the leaves this week. I can’t stop taking photos! Living in Arizona for so long, I don’t get to see this type of autumn beauty anymore!

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Our first stop when arriving in Asheville, was Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest!

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This was not a warm day, nor was this water anywhere close to being warm. But, my family always embraces any time to get wet and wild in nature. This spot was amazing! It was so fun to watch them go up and down this natural waterslide until their poor bodies were too cold to go on. Here’s Sliding Rock from the top…

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All of the tourists bundled up in their fall attire enjoyed watching my crew as they were the only ones crazy enough to do Sliding Rock at this time! I, of course, had to take photos and couldn’t partake in the fun (glad for the excuse.) In the summertime, the lines are long for this, so if you get a chance to come in the fall, do it!

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During the weekdays in October, admission is free. If you come on the weekend or anytime in summer the cost is $2 per person to enter the recreation area.

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After Sliding Rock, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway back to our campground.  This was pretty much our view along the famous Parkway. Crazy fog but a fun experience nonetheless. We did end up on the Parkway at various other times and it is as gorgeous as everyone says! Glad we were driving our car and not the RV for this adventure though.

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Chimney Rock State Park was our next day’s destination and I was highly impressed with all that we found to do here! We did several of the hiking trails, including the main one up to Chimney Rock itself.

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There is a $15 adult and $7 “child” admission but it is totally worth it! I wanted to upgrade to an annual pass actually because I loved it here so much. Then the reality hit that we are a long way from home and most likely won’t get here again. It was wishful thinking anyway….

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The view of Lake Lure below is worth the hike up!  You can even take an elevator to the top if you aren’t up for the climb. It is very doable though and there are pretty views all the way. There is also a cafe and shop at the top where you can sit and relax to reward yourself after.

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Apple picking at a local orchard was high on the kids list, so we headed to Justus Orchard to do just that.

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The last time the boys picked apples was when they were in kindergarten and we were living in Minnesota.

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This is what I came for! Forget picking the apples, just give me the apple donuts and cider!

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This was the view leaving our Asheville West KOA. So gorgeous! I know I will make my way back to Asheville, NC hopefully sooner than later! For now it’s off to Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains we go!

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Because you know I’m all about the bikes. About the bikes. No driving….

You know the tune? The catchy new All About the Bass song by Meghan Trainor that consumes the pop radio stations nowadays- or out east here anyway? We now make up our own lyrics to the same tune.  I feel like biking has been the highlight of our time in South Carolina. See all six of our bikes all thrown down in the beautiful South Carolina sand? That’s because our Myrtle Beach KOA was only a 2 block easy bike ride to here! Now this is the life!!

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After beaching it, I set out around the campground to take pictures of the kids enjoying themselves as I always do. Daughter Morgan saw me and said, “why don’t I take pictures of you instead?” Ok. Why not? So, here I am enjoying the beautiful Myrtle Beach evening on my favorite cruiser.

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There’s something about riding a bike that just makes life feel simpler. I love any opportunity I get to cruise around on her. I think I particularly enjoy riding around on this trip because it is a chance for me to have some alone time. Just me on two wheels and I can go as fast or slow as I want to. Meaning I can keep up with my family or I can lag behind if I choose.

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Look at these beautiful tall trees throughout this Myrtle Beach KOA. We were all quite surprised how much we loved it here! It was so nice to come back to all of this shade after a sunny day at the beach.

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We rode our bikes to 2nd Avenue Pier every morning! We loved the breakfast at the restaurant there and highly recommend coming here if you are ever in the area! It had some charm about it that the rest of the main area is lacking.

Charleston, SC

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More biking shots….. I’m telling you our trip would not be the same without these bikes to hop on every day around the different campgrounds! The Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA Holiday has a 1.5 mile beautiful trail to ride along. I wasn’t too keen on this sign as you entered the trail though! Luckily, we didn’t encounter any critters and it was a gorgeous ride!

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The entrance to this KOA is so beautiful! We could ride to Blackbeards Cove Fun Park right across from here for a little mini golf and arcade action.

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This KOA is situated on the grounds of a real antebellum plantation so there’s no mistaking you’re in Carolina Lowcountry when you camp here. We took the free weekend wagon ride tour of the privately owned Oakland Plantation, which was a lot of fun!

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And then there’s fishing on the serene 30-acre lake.

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Or serene until you see this sign about the residing alligators! We were going to rent stand up paddle boards here until we read this. I think we’ll pass….

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This is the most beautiful tent camping site I’ve seen at a KOA yet. We thought the covered picnic area was a great idea! I think you might even be able to talk me into tenting here.

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And now to why we came to this area in the first place……Charleston! Charleston, SC is simply gorgeous. It embodies everything I love in a vacation spot…. great food along cobblestone streets, fun shopping, beautiful scenery and churches as well as many historical places to tour.

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Just walk all around here and get yourself lost in their beautiful neighborhoods!

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The horse drawn carriage rides are a unique way to start your day in Charleston! Wait a minute. Who’s on this carriage? Could that be me with a girlfriend and not my family?

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Yes! That’s because I was actually just in Charleston in April for a little girlfriend getaway celebration for my friend Judy’s milestone 50th birthday! She and I had a ball and honestly this is how I recommend visiting this beautiful city. With a friend or your spouse. It’s a little too leisurely for teens I think. I hope to come here with Keith alone next time. Cheers to you Charleston!

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Another reason to leave the kids at home…. There are rooftop bars and restaurants all over Charleston!