My birthday weekend began with a Gnoming... akin to a flocking, but with gnomes!
This was a long-distance collaboration between my sister Sara in Ohio, who purchased the gnomes, and Mike, who had to surreptitiously set them up in the yard before I left the house. He did this on Friday, the day before my birthday, because he had planned a surprise overnight trip to the McMenamin's Edgefield for that night, and he wasn't so sure he'd be able to gnome me in the hotel hallway.
The Edgefield is my favorite McMenamin's property - it has beautiful gardens and lawns, the wall murals are plentiful and fantastic, and there are several buildings/places to explore while on the grounds.
A new place for us to discover was the soaking pool at Ruby's Spa. This is one huge outdoor tub, with heated saltwater and lovely flora surrounding it. We went in it twice, and it never felt too crowded. Another amazing plus to this hot tub - they have an outdoor bar and allow you to drink beer while in the tub - bliss.
On the morning of my birthday we had breakfast at the Black Rabbit (can't recommend their breakfast, but the dinner was lovely). After breakfast I opened presents on one of their many wide front porches, then we wandered out to the vegetable garden. Since our veggie garden is less than prolific this year, it was a pleasure to see theirs in full bloom (and to have eaten their carrots, figs and cabbage for dinner the night before).
Thirty-two, and all it's glory.
I loved this trellis and would like to replicate it in my garden next year.
I don't know what this plant is, but it was climbing up a trellis and I loved it and want it.
After our garden foray we met up with Alan, Anja and Lilly and headed East to hike to Tamanawas Falls.
Lilly did really well on this hike, as did Alan and Anja, who had to carry her most of the way in the ninety degree heat. But Lilly walked far more of it than I expected, and would have walked more except part of the trail had steep drop offs on the side. I think this girl takes after her mom in her love of the outdoors.
Sadly, I did not make it to the Falls, as about 1/8 mile from the top I was "sick" and had to head back down. Luckily, I felt better by the time we got back to the car, and it didn't deter me from enjoying my beer and burrito at Everybody's Brewing.
We ended our hiking day the same way we ended all my hikes of the last 32 years - with ice cream.