Since I was so busy reliving my wedding day with you guys yesterday, I didn’t even get to tell you about all of the anniversary fun we had! We treated ourselves to a lazy morning and slept in nice and late – 8:30! We didn’t have much of a plan, other than to spend the day together. We tossed a few ideas around and ultimately decided on doing something fun outdoors. I suggested we check out the USA National Whitewater Center – something I’ve heard about since we moved here almost a year ago.
We took our time getting ready and took the dogs for a long walk before we left, then headed up north about 30 minutes until we reached our destination.
It was the PERFECT day to be outside – 70 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze.
We found our way to the trailhead so that we could figure out where to go. Our plan was to run along some of the hiking and biking trails, and do a little exploring.
We made our way down to the main whitewater area – where the giant pool and river simulation takes place. The pathway down had all these motivating banners that said things like elevate and inspire. How did they get that kayak into the trees?
The rafting area and kayaking simulation area is so beautiful! Definitely like nothing else I’ve seen before..
The water flows from one side of the giant pool to the other through this dam, which creates a flow from top to bottom down the rapids.
Since it was such a beautiful day outside, there were lots of families and adventure folks out braving the rapids…
Our plan was to check it out and stay dry, sticking to the trails and hiking spots. We made our way (accidentally) down a mountain bike trail. We kept wondering why hikers and bikers would be allowed on the same trail – whoops!
The first trail we explored was mostly UP hill – quite the climb! It was so pretty to be back in the trees, with the Catawba River down to our right…
We ventured off the trail a few times to explore paths that led down to the water. We took our time and decided to mostly walk instead of run, since the terrain was pretty loose and bumpy.
Once we realized we were actually on a mountain bike trail, we quickly turned towards the exit to get out of the bikers’ way. After 2.5 miles of hiking, we made our way out to the whitewater area again.
This time we walked all the way around the perimeter of the whitewater course, so that we could check out all of the different classes of rapids. Some of these were class IV – totally scary!
I went whitewater rafting once 3 years ago, and I thought it was TERRIFYING! The entire time our guide was yelling paddle, I was clinging to the boat for dear life trying not to fall out. I think it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done!
Happy to be on the safety of the shore. :)
These facilities are amazing – so much that the US Olympic Team trains here! Pretty cool.
There was also a gigantic facilities building with an outdoors store and a bar & grill, but we didn’t end up going in. There were families everywhere, just sitting by the water and enjoying sunshine and the sound of the rushing waves.
We hung out and watched for a while, before making our way to the next trail.
On our way back to the trailhead, we stopped to check out this huge outdoor climbing area. Now THIS is something I totally want to try!
I feel like it would be exciting and fun, plus a great workout – double score! Definitely going to come back and try this before we leave Charlotte. I am always looking for fun new ways to get in a workout or activity.
We made our way out of the water zone and over to an area with several different hiking trails. The scenery was breathtaking!
A little over two hours and 6 miles later, we headed to the car ravenously hungry and slightly sunburned. We stopped for lunch at Health Home Market one our way home, and loaded up on more bulk goodies.
At home, we made a yummy lentil dinner and mixed salad. Afterwards we had the most important part of the meal – dessert!
Because we had seven different individual cakes, we over-ordered a bit, not knowing if people would want to try multiple flavors (they did!). But we still ended up with one ENTIRE cake left over, which we have had in our freezer since last May, and even moved all the way from Ohio to North Carolina!
The people who wrapped it up for us at the reception also gave us the white chocolate plaques from the other cakes too, mmmm. Since we have so much cake left, we’ve actually tapped into it for other occasions. We ate some on our 1 month anniversary, and each had a piece on my birthday this year too.
We also had this teeny tiny little nub of carrot cake leftover – just enough for two people!
I cut a thin slice of each – this cake is SO rich. You don’t need much!
Seriously, the Bonbonerie makes the best cakes I have ever had. Even after a year of being in the freezer, this cake is as moist and rich as it was on our wedding day.
My body isn’t used to having much sugar, and by the end of this plate I felt like my face and my teeth were twitching! It was totally worth it though, and the perfect way to end a wonderful anniversary.
Neither one of us found it necessary to make a big production out of gifts, since I think we both feel that our marriage is a gift every day. Even so, it was nice to spend a day away from our phones, computers, laundry, etc. – and get the chance to simply celebrate the first of many, many years to come.