With the due date approaching for the first baby we lost this year, I knew I wanted to do something special as a family. When I saw a cool field trip opportunity for Benjamin, I asked my hubby to take the day off so we could go together. Then I booked a room at an inn and we made it a weekend full of special memories!
It's about an hour's drive to get to Dahlonega, Georgia from our home in Duluth. We met up with several other families from the Homeschool field trip group we belong to, at Consolidated Gold Mines. Benjamin had an absolute blast – we all did! He had the opportunity to mine an entire bucket for gems (which he was able to keep!) before we went on a tour of the mining caves.
Afterward, we explored Dahlonega. The fall weather was crisp, if a bit windy. We were exploring out near the water, when you'll never guess what happened. I took one misstep into quicksand-like mud and it was over! My sneakers where caked with it! I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Haha.
After that snafu, we checked into our room at Old Storehouse Inn and explored the historical downtown area surrounding. We stayed in the Stanton Room (*which has since been updated per photos on the website. 3/20/17). It was exactly the type of relaxation and family time that I needed. We even had a chance to walk some of the shops and buy specialty chocolates. Yum, yum.
The following day was perfect! The sun was shining and it was gorgeous. We drove 20 miles further, to Burt's Farm in Dawsonville. It's a local favorite this time of year, despite the distance from Atlanta (80 miles) and for good reason. It blows every pumpkin patch / farm I've ever been to, to shame. It's expansive and the offerings very from small gourds to large 60 pound pumpkins. Crazy, right?! Some of the larger pumpkins were nearly the height of Benjamin and weighing more! We also road the traditional hay ride, which was fun.
We we really just going with the flow this weekend. We were excited to come across Buck's Corn Maze just down the road from the pumpkin farm. None of us had experienced one before and were looking forward to the challenge. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!! This was probably my favorite experience of the weekend. We followed the map together, picked up fallen corn to teach Benjamin about the parts, saw cool bugs... it was just wonderfully fun and such a great learning experience too!
It took us just under an hour to make our way through the maze, and by then we were starving. I had seen a sign for a national park not too far off so we decided to see if they had a visitor's center. Well that park ended up being Amicalola Falls State Park -- home to one of Georgia's landmark waterfalls, and the Appalachian Approach Trail! I had just finished reading a book about the Pacific Crest Trail and was researching the Appalachian, so this was a pretty amazing coincidence. We ended up grabbing a snack at the visitor's center, letting Benjamin play on the playground, and hiking up to the falls. This was a completely unexpected excursion, but well worth it. I will treasure the memories we made this weekend, forever. It was such a beautiful way to honor and celebrate my family.