Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activities’ Category

Southern California

Posted by: Frances

November 6th, 2010 >> Concerts, Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities, Travel

Well, so much has happened in the last 3 months I don’t even know where to begin.  First, I am no longer in Greenville, SC.  I was just not myself there and feel like now that things happened the way they did, I have found myself again.  I am unbelievably happier now and making more steps to improving my life and my future.

I am currently in Southern California east of Los Angeles.  I am doing a travel assignment out here and really enjoying it.  I am hoping to be able to start a fresh contract again after this one is complete so I can stay at this hospital.  The people are wonderful there.

Since, I have been in California I have not done too many things except head out to Crestline almost every weekend with Matt for some Hang Gliding excitement.  My lessons are at a halt at this moment, but I am planning on getting back into things come next Spring.   Matt and I have done some very exciting things besides the awesome Hang Gliding weekends of flying and fun.

We went to see Gary Allan in Universal City, which was sooo much fun!!

gary-allan-gibson-amphitheater-universal-city-ca-21Gary Allan

matt-i-gary-allan-concert-2Matt and I at Gary Allan Concert

We also went to the L.A. County Fair one weekend.  They had the Worlds largest Outlaw BBQ Grill there that was pretty neat.  We had a really nice day celebrating 3 years of meeting on the airplane.


Worlds Largest Outlaw Grill



Matt and I as lemons


We also made it out to the ZZ Top and Tom Petty Concert!  I just love Tom Petty and he put on a great show.  That was a lot of fun and a last minute decision to go.


Then, for Matt’s Birthday my sister Jackie came into town and we went to Universal Studios for a day, then made our way to San Diego to the Stone Brewery.  You can see pics of that on Matt’s website.

Lastly, we went back to Austin for my birthday to celebrate with all of my family and friends.   We went to the Oasis to see LC Rocks.  It was a blast as always!  We also ate out at Kerby Lane Cafe and Mighty Fine Burgers, some of Matt’s favorites.  It was a fantastic weekend with everyone.  You can see pictures from this weekend on my facebook page.

Chattanooga, TN Riverbend Festival and Hang Gliding

Posted by: Frances

June 21st, 2010 >> Concerts, Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

This weekend we went to Chattanooga, TN and the boys flew twice on Friday at Lookout Mountain Flight Park.   Then, on Saturday it was rained out so we went out that night to the Riverbend Festival and heard Charlie Daniels play and watched the fireworks show.  Finally, on Sunday the boys flew twice again at Henson’s Gap this time in the Sequatchie Valley.


Frances, Matt, Barry at Riverbend inDowntown Chattanooga, TN


Smiley Face Fireworks!




Matt and Ricker Soaring in the Sequatchie Valley

Bell Mountain & Triple Falls at Dupont Forest

Posted by: Frances

June 7th, 2010 >> Outdoor Activities

This weekend a few of us went to Bell Mountain in Hiawassee, GA.  There is a paragliding launch site at the top that is gorgeous!  It used to be a quartz mine and has rose, yellow, and black quartz everywhere.  The road to the top is a forest road that is in HORRIBLE condition.  I still can’t believe people could drive all the way up it.  There are 2 1/2 foot deep snakelike trenches the entire way up.  We did have an opportunity to watch a tandem paraglide flight.  They actually had to stop in the middle of launching because there was a knot in the line.  That was scary.

Here are some pictures from the top of Bell Mountain.  On one side at the top you look out a a group of lakes and mountains in the background and on the other side is just rolling mountains.  There is quartz rock all over the top and there is spray paint all over them.





Then, a few of us went to Triple Falls in Dupont Forest.  Wow, the falls are beautiful and very entrancing.  We took the dogs with us and that was interesting.  Natasha does not like the water at all.  I pulled her into the water and got her out on a rock in the middle of the river and she just stood there.  Then, when it was time to go back to the shore I tried to get her to swim back over and she refused!  Literally!  I called her repeatedly and she just stood there looking at me.  Finally, Matt gave her a good pull and she swam back to the shore.  It was very entertaining though and we tried for about 10 minutes to get her to swim back.  I think I am convinced she HATES the water, but I love her.



Then, on our way out we stopped at Bald Mountain that overlooks Table Rock.


Great Smoky Mtns Nat’l Park & Blue Ridge Pwy / My NEW HARNESS & 9m Pulse

Posted by: Frances

May 30th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Holidays, Outdoor Activities

This has been a very eventful weekend!  The weather was awful, raining and dark so flying was not really looking good for the weekend at Lookout Mountain or Hensons with the Tennessee Tree Toppers.  Matt and I drove to Lookout Mountain Flight Park to pick up my new harness.  I bought a GT cross country harness from them.  It fits perfect!  It is snug and very comfortable.  I also finally had the opportunity to set up my Airwave 9m Pulse hang glider!



my-harness-pm-pulse-7 my-harness-pm-pulse-9

We also went to Maryville, TN to visit one of Matt’s College friends.  We went to Aubreys for dinner and hung out.  On Sunday we took the long route to Asheville, NC to see Matt’s mother.  We drove thru the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and made some fun stops along the way.

We also drove down part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The weather was cool and slightly sunny with lots of clouds.  The views were amazing.






Fly-In at Glassy Mountain

Posted by: Frances

May 23rd, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

This weekend was the Fly-In at Glassy Mountain.  On Saturday there was a good turn out of people that came to fly.  I believe John Ray had the longest flight.  Most everyone else had a sled run or flew for just a little bit then landed.  The weather was great even though the wind was not exactly giving us prime conditions to fly.  The last few days for me have been frustrating because my eye has been giving me lots of trouble.  As a result, I was not able to set up my glider or do any runs off the training hill either.  I was very bummed!  I met some great people though!  We also had a great confetti egg fight to end the evening between Matt, Noah, and I.

dsc08740 dsc08734

Matt on launch:


Sunday (today), the weather was not showing the right wind direction, but there are people flying from what I understand.  I stayed home because I am still not quite feeling up to my normal self.  Hopefully, I will hear some great stories later this evening.

Easter in Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities

April 2 thru April 4, my mom, sister, Rachel, Michelle, and I went to Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It was so wonderful to see all of them!  I miss my mom and sister a bunch and wish we could see each other more often.  The Cherry Blossoms were so gorgeous!  We took hundreds of pictures as usual and all of them were so good, it was hard to choose which ones to post.  We went to the different Memorials and Monuments as well as the Capitol and White House.

harriet-michelle-rachel-jackie-francesThis is my mom, Michelle, Rachel, my sister, and me


My Mom, my sister, and me


Rachel, my sister, and me (Totem Pole)

So… I loved everything we went to see and take pictures of and the great memories we made.  One that stood out the most to me is that Rachel can not stick her tongue out without raising her eyebrows.  This was hilarious to watch her try to hold down her eyebrows as she stuck out her tongue.

My most favorite part of this vacation other than seeing everyone and the SNEAKY confetti egg fight we had, was going to eat at the restaurant Matchbox!  They have the most fabulous food I have ever eaten.  Between the 5 of us, we ordered about 9 dishes each of the two times we went to eat there.  My top two favorites were the stuffed french toast with cream cheese and rum infused syrup and the waffle sandwich with pruscetta and gruyere cheese with rum infused honey mustard.  WOW, WOW, WOW! Highly recommend! Everything we ordered was just mouth watering.  You can find the menu here.

Here is a picture of the first day we went.  All the food we ordered is not on the table yet.


Michelle Visits

Posted by: Frances

March 31st, 2010 >> Outdoor Activities

Michelle came to visit me this last weekend.  She was my roommate at the Disney College Program in 2000.


I have not seen her in TEN years.  We had an excellent time.  On Saturday we went out to Pinnacle Launch for a work day cleaning up the site for the spring.  We both did a little bit of work to help out the boys, then sat in the sun and just caught up.  We got home that evening and it went like this:

1. I bought some sunflowers and cannas flowers to make a bouquet for me.


2. We made Ginger Halibut with artichokes on the side

3. had WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris WIllamette Valley 2008 White wine to compliment the fish

4. After dinner we opened a bottle of Chono Reserva Carmenere Maipo Valley 2007, wine of Chile with Naked Goat cheese: YUM!

5. Finally we opened a really cheap bottle of red wine to go with our Chocolate cake with white icing and a blanket of chocolate icing over that from Whole Foods.  WOW!!!


We had such a great evening!  It was a well deserved, relaxing, fun evening!

It was great to see Michelle!!


Posted by: Frances

March 13th, 2010 >> Outdoor Activities

Today has been very productive.  Matt changed his oil and brakes while I vacuumed the cars, brushed the dogs, clipped their nails, and cleaned up the yard.  And then we put freon in the cars for a nice cold A/C for the summer.  It has been beautiful here even though the weather said it was supposed to rain.  The sun is beaming down!  Now… time for some lunch.

9m Pulse Hang Glider and Camping

Posted by: Frances

March 9th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities

So this last weekend I went to Lookout Mountain Flight Park and bought a 1996 second generation 9m Pulse that is purple and yellow made by Airwave.  I also bought a harness that is going to be black with a 6 inch stripe from my hips to my feet that is black with silver hang gliders spread on it.  I am really excited and can finally start my lessons on the training hill AGAIN!  Now all that is left to buy is my parachute and helmet!  I will post pictures as soon as I pick them both up!

On Friday night, we camped in our tent.  It got down to the 20s!!! Talk about cold!  I laughed so much the entire night and don’t remember sleeping much.  I was laughing at how stupid we were for camping in a tent and sleeping on an air mattress with tons of blankets.  It was quite funny.  We were tucked under the covers including our heads.  When one of us had to move we would warn the other and count and move.  It was hilarious, but a fun memorable moment in time.

Fun day outside!

Posted by: Frances

February 28th, 2010 >> Outdoor Activities

Sooo.. for Christmas, Matt and I got some really great tennis rackets.  Today is one of the first beautiful days warm enough to go out and break them in.  We played for about an hour and got a great workout.  Nice frustration release!  Although, the ball that we were using totally sucked.  There will be many more tennis days for us that’s for sure.  Then, off to a game of disk golf.  Out of Matt, Jay, and Briggy, Jay won the game.  And the dogs got a great day of exercise.  FUN day!  Can’t wait for the spring already!