The house was HUGE. It was spacious enough that it didn't feel like we were on top of one another. We had 13 people in the house and we still all had space to lounge around and feel comfortable. Our realtor gave us a flyer on a Thanksgiving feast offered at Brother's at Willow Ranch. It came highly recommended and it was delicious. Their Thanksgiving spread was amazing - turkey, prime rib, salmon, apricot-glazed ham with all the fixins'. We hit up the nearest grocery store and purchased food to make meals for the rest of the week and only left the cabin to go sightseeing and to buy more firewood and drinks.
The weekend consisted of sightseeing, lounging around in pajamas, sitting around the fire pit outside, drinking wine and beer, playing Scrabble and Cards Against Humanity, and chasing the kids and dogs around the cabin. It was perfect.
My brother-in-law, Noah, found out about a trail race in Helen, GA on Saturday after Thanksgiving - the Helen Holiday Half and 10K. Michael and I signed up before online registration closed. We were only about 30-40 minutes away from Helen. I looked up the details and because it's a trail race set up in Unicoi State Park, the race was cup-free and green. I didn't pack our water bottles and fuel so we decided we'd just run the 10K. The race was a lot of fun. It was Michael's first trail run and some of those hills were KILLER! I had to stop half-trek to take a breather before I could start running again. There were a couple of times where I tweaked my ankle, but not enough to do any damage. There were about 400 participants - some in costumes that ranged from reindeer to Captain America (he won the contest). It was a cold morning, but I packed my cold weather running gear. The run was definitely challenging, but I'm starting to love these trail races. It's just completely different from running the streets. You have to be more aware of your surroundings - roots, rocks, inclines and declines as obstacles, the beautiful scenery of tall trees and lakes, the serene sound of peacefulness and nature all around you. I loved every bit of it. I wished we could've run the half marathon! Note to self - next time we leave on vacation, check for any nearby races, register for it, and pack for it! Michael and I crossed the finish line at the same time with a pace of 8:47. I'm super stoked and surprised considering it was a challenging uphill run. Instead of medals, they handed out beer glasses! I love them! They gave us a free beer ticket for the after-party celebration in Helen at Big Daddy's, but Michael and I didn't go. We went back to the cabin to meet up with the family. We had already made plans to visit Anna Ruby Falls and check out the waterfalls. Gorgeous!
The day before, we went to Helen to walk around the Bavarian-themed town. We ate at the Hofbrauhaus restaurant. I was mostly excited to have a cold mug of their Dunkel beer and a Hungarian Bratwurst with sauerkraut. We then walked around the little strip and checked out the shops. We went and surveyed the area where the race was going to be held at - the Unicoi State Park - and picked up our race packets. We were told to go and visit Brasstown Bald - the highest mountain in GA with stunning views - but we didn't get a chance to. Next time! We plan to come back! Overall, this trip was a memorable one. We had a most relaxing time. It was great to get away and hey - I was able to churn out a run! Everything's better when you fit in a run! It felt so good that I went ahead and signed up for the 24-Hour Run for Delirium!!! What? Did you just give me that look? I gave myself the same look, but hey - it's going to be the last one and with some persuasion by my Moms Run This Town (MRTT) group, I couldn't resist!
But, let's talk about the next race - the Savannah Enmark Bridge Run! I'm running the Double Pump (5K and 10K) and will be dressed as Rosie the Riveter with my MRTT crew! See you there!