Story by

Elise Lawrence

March 13th, 2015

With the weather dreary and cold lately, we have all been feeling in need of some sunshine and exercise. It's important to us that Makayla stays active and doesn't spend all of her time in front of a screen or cooped up in the house. We try to keep our family healthy and moving by hiking, walking and exploring whenever we can. Seeing a sunny day in the forecast provided the perfect opportunity to schedule a family fun day to Triple Falls In North Carolina.

Makayla is an excellent passenger in the car (I, on the other hand, always get carsick). Along the way we chatted about how far the falls are from our house. To a five-year-old, anything longer than a five-minute drive feels like forever. In order to deter her from asking if we're there yet the entire way, we opt to use our car trips as a learning opportunity. We encourage Makayla to talk to us about whatever she sees out her window – from signs to trees. We even created a family car game. We challenge each other to find every letter of the alphabet on signs or license plates. If there aren't any signs, we keep an eye out for objects that start with each letter instead.

Makayla has always been a very curious child. Once we parked the car, we started on the trail leading up to Triple Falls. The hike inspired great conversation along the way. Makayla was curious who made the trails and where the falls water comes from. She wanted to know the names of different shaped leaves and wondered what wild animals lives in the area. (A curiosity prompted by a sign at the start of the trail featuring local bugs and birds.) Since her daddy is a hunter, Makayla was also curious whether deer lived in the woods. A group of fly fisherman even prompted a family conversation about how fly fishing works and whether the fishermen could eat the fish they caught.

Though we visited Trip Falls when Makayla was a baby, it was like she was seeing it again for the first time. We got to climb on the rocks and walk around the falls. We we even had a misty picnic beside them (a first for me). On the way down the mountain, we treated ourselves to boiled peanuts and wild honey from a little roadside stand. It was an awesome day – and we're all looking forward to our next family adventure.