Halfway Home, or Better Check Me For Ticks

July 4, 2011


A few weeks ago I asked my mom if she had any J4 plans. She said they didn’t, but that Larbs + Matt were moving to NC just the week before. Since neither group had the energy for a 6.5 hour trip over the weekend, it was decided that we’d all meet halfway for a hike and picnic.



I literally opened Google Maps and looked for green halfway between Cville and Hillsborough! The result was Twin Lakes State Park, where there was a nice 4.5 mile hike, swimming, bathrooms and picnic grounds!


Matt and I did a poor job packing lunch in the car, but we were surrounded by food so I portioned some out for us to snack on to tide us to our picnic early dinner.

Homemade potato salad – made with roasted russets, fresh dill, yogurt, mustard, and mayo – incredible!!


Nine Grain and almond butter


And watermelon!! Yum!


When we arrived we left on our hike – a scenic trek around the second of the two lakes. The path was VERY overgrown at times – lots of poison ivy and my dad found a tick! Ick! Had it just been Matt and me I would have turned around and read my book on the beach, but mom and dad always make me feel safe! I was really surprised we did not see a snake though.


I wore my camelbak – a lifesaver – and a new firework tattoo!


I picked it up from Stinson yesterday : )


When we finished our hike – which was great despite the bugs – I drank 5 cups of iced tea + lemonade mix. Still so thirsty!


Snacked appeared – some chips, salsa and p-nuts


We had hoped to dip into the lake, but just as we arrived, so did the thunder :( Storms were a’brewin


Luckily we came prepared with family fun entertainment! Mom made a game of Americana Charades! She just printed famous books, TV shows, movies, places, events and people onto computer paper and we took turns acting them out for points.


[In that last one, Dad is acting out a duck with a tail feather!!]


Mom even brought prizes – ones she knew we would all love!


Guess who won? MATT!! And guess who came in second? ME! Wheee! We each one a brew


We were able to do a little lake playing, but still no swimming – the storms were hovering too close


Yeah Matt! Catch that frog



Finally Larbs and I cleaned up for dinner. I attempted to rinse off in the showers, but found myself alone, in the dark, with spiders when the lights turned off on me. I quickly dressed and got the heck outta there still partially sweaty!


We did have a little bit of wine – don’t tell the rangers!


Our dinner was a collaboration of Great Harvest breads (of course!), garden greens with dressing, potato salad, greek pasta salad (mom’s), fruit salad, cheeses and smoked salmon. Excellent selection all around!!





Cookies + Savannah Bars for dessert. Having been a daily taste tester, I can vouch that they are not quite as good 2 days old as they are fresh, but they were still good enough to enjoy bite after bite!


Just as we started on dessert, the clouds finally opened up. We were the last folks at the park! We said goodbye to the fam and drive the 1.75 hours back to Cville. Thanks to Matt for driving so I could READ!!


Today felt like a vacation, and our 2-day weekend a full week off. We’re ready to rock and roll tomorrow!

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Looks like a great day! I’m listening to a giant storm now – no fireworks for ATL. :(

This title made me think of that cute country song here he sings “I’d like to check you for ticks.”


2 Matt July 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm

That would be Brad Paisley, Mud on the Tires!


3 Sharon July 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

I think that’s actually Brad Paisley, Ticks :]


4 Green Groats July 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Yes, indeed what a great way to spend the 4th! I love that you play charades! Now, that looks like a whole lot of fun :)

The potato salad does look quite incredible!!


5 Emily July 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I LOVE that dress on you! Sounds like it was a fun day :)


6 Baking 'n' Books July 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Perfect day I think. Bread, wine and family.


7 meghan July 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

So much great harvest goodness in all your posts, I really feel like I am missing out!! Looked like a wonderful day with family, fun and food. Happy 4th!


8 Jessica @ The Process of Healing July 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Sounds like the PERFECT 4th!


9 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food July 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

What a great idea to meet up! So glad you two got a full 2 days off, you deserve it! :)

Hope you have a great nights sleep before the week starts! :)


10 cathy July 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

love that you played charades! we did that as a family when i was little, and your photos bring back fond memories.
always fun when you blog about your family – i started reading KERF last summer when y’all were on summer vacation – so glad you could all meet up today (despite the rain!).


11 Tina July 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm

What a great way to spend the 4th! The food looked delicious as always. I see you’ve developed some guns from your body pump classes, too :).

I even saw my little town on your map!


12 Julie H. July 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Looks like you had a blessed day….. Body pump is workin for you, Kath!


13 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Love the post!
Just yesterday I posted about Bugs! And bug bites and all kinds of creepy crawlies. Ick. Hate em and I woulda bailed early on that shower if I were you, too!

Homemade potato salad = the lighting in the shot is awesome. Perfect focus on the overhead shot. Sometimes my camera wants to focus on the container RIM not the contents when I’m shooting in aperture-priority/AV. Geek speak, sorry.

And Firecrackers. I just posted a post called Firecraker. And I have massive amounts of tattoos. A half sleeve on one arm. I think you should get a real tat!

HIllsborough. Have been there when we used to live in NC. Ahh. memories.



14 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

You just have to adjust the focus point and you can have it focus on the center of the food instead of the lid! The little red dots you see when you focus?


15 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 5, 2011 at 10:29 am

I know it’s a weird little thing how the camera sometimes wants to put the highest height object,i.e. the rim of the lid into focus, rather than the contents which are a few inches below the lid, into focus. I have a massive photography adventure coming up and I will ask my mentor and teacher why sometimes it does this on autofocus and sometimes it doesnt. Still sooo much to learn about it all :)

Thanks for your tip too!


16 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

You have it set on auto, so it will always focus on the closet thing to the lens. (ie, the rim). If you manually change it to center focus, it will always focus on the center (ie, the contents of the jar)


17 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

Thank you for pointing out the obvious which wasnt obvious to me…I need to flip the switch to manual focus for some shots…obviously :) And now I will.

I shoot usually in aperture priority/Av mode on autofocus b/c I dont trust my own eye enough when shooting fast and taking lots of pics to shoot all on manual focus, but on my overheads, need to go from AF to MF and trust my eye that yes, I can tell a focused shot from an out of focus one. haha!


18 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

I’m not talking about AF vs MF. I’m talking about just the focal point. You have the focal point on auto verses manually changing which red dot focuses first


19 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

And I just realized that I wrote a comment about AF vs. MF

And re-read what you wrote…which is autofocus vs. centerfocus

Two separate things. I need to do the later for sure. And the former if I am feeling brave.

Thank you :)


20 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) July 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

How FUN!!! Your mom saved the day!


21 Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey July 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Sounds like a lovely day with the fam!

Our outdoor cookout plans got rained out down here in Clt… Grass-fed local beef burgers aren’t quite as good cooked in a skillet! But I did manage to see a beautiful rainbow this evening!



22 Holly @ The Runny Egg July 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I love that your Mom is posing with the salad — what a pro!


23 Jennifer July 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

What a fun time and fun family. :) You couldn’t have picked a better way to spend the 4th!


24 lynn @ the actor's diet July 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

y’all are adorable. and are rockin some muscles!


25 Meaghan O'Connor (My Spoonful of Inspiration) July 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Wow- busy day! A great way to enjoy company, keep active, and relax in the outdoors away from the bakery! :)


26 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey July 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

What a lovely day with your family! I love that you got in a dress – I would have stayed in my sweaty nasty clothes. You’re a rockstar. :)


27 Mrs. Fish July 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Looks like a super fun day! Loved that you played charades!


28 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn July 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I NEVER leave for a run without my camelbak!! Especially in the summer. Holy goodness. In virginia we always check every inch of ourselves for ticks it’s crazy how tiny they are!!!


29 Krissy @ Shiawase Life July 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

Katelyn – I have been running with Camelbak but have horrible chafing on my shoulders and back from it, no matter how much I adjust it. Do you have any secrets for keeping it from attacking?


30 Katie July 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

What a fun looking day despite the rain! And I love that dress! You always have the prettiest dresses and it makes me wish I had more (or that I actually wore the ones that I DO have!) Happy 4th! :)


31 Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm

what a wonderful wonderful day!!!


32 Angel7 July 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm

That was a good idea to have charades!

Sounds like you had a fun time with the fam. :)



33 Jen July 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

WOW! Your shoulders look amazing! Those body pump classes are paying off! Or maybe it’s all the kneading and bread lifting…either way, it’s working!


34 Kat @ Cupcake Kat July 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Happy fourth! Looks like a a great day


35 rumfunandsun July 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

You are looking very buff!!!
I don’t do ticks either!!! I supposedly had Lyme’s Disease when I was kid but not completely convince but it still skeeves me out!


36 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) July 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Can your parents adopt me? Your family looks so fun!


37 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife July 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm

OKay your day looks awesome! What a fun idea for a game :)


38 Erin July 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Last December we spent the weekend with my stepdaughters before we moved to Japan. The 8-year-old wanted to play charades. Your dad totally reminded me of her acting out a bumblebee and using a ballpoint pin as her stinger. It was hilarious! :)


39 Hannah July 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm

That potato salad looks amazing! Give me mustard over mayo any day :)


40 J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Looks like a great day! Glad you guys got to meet up and have a fun visit. :)


41 Molly @ RDexposed July 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm



42 Christine (The Raw Project) July 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

What a fun day and cute tattoo. :-)


43 Khushboo July 5, 2011 at 12:08 am

I didn’t realise u had a tattoo!


44 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

It’s temporary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


45 Stephanie @ Love Life Project July 5, 2011 at 12:39 am

Love the firecracker tattoo!


46 caroline mili artiss July 5, 2011 at 3:27 am

Hello Kate, it’s Caroline here all the way from London! The people at ifood.tv sent me your blog details as I cook too, and I must say I am very glad they did :) I’ve only just started reading your posts and they are super fab! wishing you lot’s more success!! and Happy Independence Day for yesterday!! X


47 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thanks for stopping by!!


48 Danielle July 5, 2011 at 3:32 am

What a fun day! You and Matt definitely deserve some downtime after so much hard work at the bakery!


49 Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 5, 2011 at 4:17 am

Looks like you had a great day! Nothing like a mini-vacation to give you a boost :)


50 Balancing Sylvia July 5, 2011 at 4:56 am

That looked like such a wonderful day with the family :)
and Lady may I just say that your arms are getting ripped!


51 Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East July 5, 2011 at 5:22 am

Such a fun way to spend the 4th! And your picnic dinner looks so delicious!


52 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes July 5, 2011 at 5:32 am

Glad cha got to go the beach!! haha July 4th charades…love it! soo awesome haha
PS- love the tattoo 😉


53 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

No beach for me – I’m DYING to go though!!


54 Cait's Plate July 5, 2011 at 5:40 am

This looks like it was so much fun! Looking for “green ” on the map halfway through was such a good idea! I never would have thought to do that and would’ve driven halfway there only to find pavement around!

Your mom is so creative with the games + prizes. Reminds me SO much of something my mom would do :)

And agreed – no one in the world can make you feel as safe as our parents!

Glad you got some much needed (and deserved! ) R&R :)


55 Lauren July 5, 2011 at 5:46 am

Your family is wonderful! How fun that you guys were all able to come together and enjoy a lovely 4th of July. I love that your mom had games on hand and even with prizes. Mom’s are always so prepared like that. :)


56 Simply Life July 5, 2011 at 6:01 am

what a creative idea to meet there! Looks like a great time!


57 shannonmarie (rawdorable) July 5, 2011 at 6:14 am

You sure did pack well for the trip. Look at that spread.

Eek! Spiders. I might still be sweaty, too.


58 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope July 5, 2011 at 6:18 am

That was such a great idea to meet halfway! Sounds like the perfect 4th of July with family, outdoors, and great food. :)


59 Hillary July 5, 2011 at 6:20 am

Love love LOVE your dress!


60 Sarah@The Flying ONION July 5, 2011 at 6:30 am

Such a fun day!!

And great post title! I’m a huge Paisley fan! 😀


61 Charise July 5, 2011 at 6:42 am

Aww, yay for a fun compromise to hang out with your family for the fourth! As usual, the food all looks delicious.


62 anna July 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

I love the picture of your dad with ‘tail feathers’– Priceless!! 😛


63 kaila @ healthy helper! July 5, 2011 at 6:56 am

Haha I love the patriotic charades! So fun! And that spread looks delicious! Love the smoked salmon!


64 Sophie July 5, 2011 at 7:09 am

Love your family’s game playing and togetherness. Really sweet.

BTW, I got my master’s at Duke while my BF was getting his Master’s at UVA, so I know that route well!! (we are no longer together, I live in Boston, he in Chicago — but those 2 years of doing that trek between the schools was a lot of fun!!).

Happy 4th!


65 Mom July 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

Go Duke!


66 Katie July 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

Are you still reading The House at Riverton? I picked it up at the library last week and I’m about 125 pages into it. Thanks for the recommendation. Looks like a fun day with your family.


67 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

I’m about 200 pages in!


68 Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 5, 2011 at 8:02 am

What a fun fourth – You remind me I need more hikes in my life!!


69 Katie July 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

holy muscle mama … you look great :-)

and I so love that your mom brought prizes!! moms are so awesome!!


70 Katie July 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

U look amazing Kath! All that hard bakery work, getting some major guns from that ; ) ha!

Glad you guys had a wonderful 4th!!


71 Doc (The Healthy PhD) July 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

Looks like fun and I’m jealous you got to spend time with your family! Way to make the best out of it!


72 Liz July 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

Love your dress! I ordered the version of that one with sleeves after you ran the promotion on your blog and have received TONS of compliments on it!


73 Margo @ Peanut Butter Trees July 5, 2011 at 11:05 am

Looks like so much fun and I love your matching themed dresses, so cute! And the food all looks delicious. Great idea to meet somewhere halfway!


74 Jane July 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

Looks like a lot of fun.

Do you think you might share the recipe for the potato salad? I am one of those people that needs a recipe to follow.

Thanks :)


75 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Matt made the recipe and the only info I have are the ingredients. If you just roast some potatoes, you can add the rest of the dressing to taste – give it a try, you can do it!!


76 Annie July 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

Kath! I LOVE YOUR DRESS!!! Where is it from??


77 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm
78 Erica July 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

What a GREAT holiday! Your family always does such neat things together and everyone always goes the extra mile, it’s so great to see.

And on a side note: look at those GUNS! Your firework tattoo shows off your muscles!


79 Lea @ Healthy Coconut July 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I love that your family still play games. We used to with my 4 sisters but now not anymore, we need to do fun adult games.


80 Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories July 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Oh what a genius idea! Wish I had thought of it myself and convinced my mother to meet me halfway for hiking and picnicking as well!


81 Caitlin July 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

no smoked salmon? that is my fave!


82 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Added it after I sat down – I forgot it at first!


83 Caitlin July 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

aha! good choice! :)


84 Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots July 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Looks like a great way to spend the 4th!


85 Cindy Lou July 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

You passed right by Farmville, NC? That”s where Duck Rabbit beer is made – they specialize in dark beer! I think you have to request a tour though.


86 KathEats July 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Farmville Virginia


87 Laurie July 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

What I want to know is who was watching the bears if their grandparents left them! Don’t let bear social services learn about this…..


88 Mom July 6, 2011 at 7:52 am


You’re sweet to be concerned about the Bears. They were invited to a special Fourth of July Ponderama event at the Ballerina’s pond. We were all torn as to what they should do, but in the end, decided it was a lovely invitation and they should accept.


89 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio July 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Too much fun!!! Looks like y’all had a blast!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: