We had a lovely time visiting Greg's Family in Hickory this weekend. His Cousin Tracy picked a beautiful day to get married and we enjoyed visiting with oodles of relatives and friends and got to snap some overdue family pictures as well.
The next day we took a drive into the mountains to take the kids to Linville Caverns. They had a great time even though it was pretty scary when the tour guide turned out the light to show them how dark a cave actually is. :)
The town of Linville also has a gorgeous waterfall that is a nice little family hike and a gem mine that is not too far away. We didn't hit the waterfall this trip but we did pan for gems at Emerald Village and the kids really like that.
For $10 a bucket you end up with quite a few nice rocks, minerals and gems. At the end a gem/rock specialist will sort your finds for you tell you what you found. The kids thought every rock was a special rock so we ended up taking home half of the bucket. :)