Monday, April 20, 2015

The Hills of Tennessee

A couple of weeks ago our family spent half of spring break in Tennessee with my family, and the other half of break in Virginia with Grady's mom. It was a great week with fantastic weather doing a lot of fun things!
While in Tennessee, we rented a beautiful mountain home. When we weren't outside exploring, it was a great place to spread out and relax. Spectacular views, a pool table, air hockey, a hot tub, table games... just being together.
The highlight of our time in Tennessee was a wintry walk to Clingman's Dome. Clear skies with snow-covered mountain tops made the slippery adventure uphill even more exciting.
Funny thing is that once we drove down and picnicked for lunch, the temps were back to the mid-50s and not a sign of snow. For my southern kids, driving to the mountains for spring break involved more snow than they saw all winter.
Unfortunately, on the last day of our time together, my parents were ill and unable to join the rest of us hiking and being outside. Crushed hearts and dampened spirits for sure.
While my parents drank Gatorade and napped, the rest of us explored Laurel Falls near Cades Cove. Once the tour bus of junior high kids cleared out, we had a great time. (!!) And, my boys and their cousin Landon won hearts and created a buzz all along the trail due to their coonskin caps.
While the boys explored every log, boulder, and possible caveat along the trail, Annalyse clutched my brother Jeremiah's hand and talked his ear off the entire time. Jax never made a peep and even took an awkward and uncomfortable nap for about 20 minutes. And Grady and I simply enjoyed the chance to talk with my brothers and sis-in-law during the hike.
Four days sure goes fast when you're having fun. I'm thankful for my family and still smile when I think about all four cousins enjoying a slumber party together each night. Or about my brothers high-tailing it up the deck steps when they spotted a bear sniffing our trash one evening. Or when I remember how hard my brother Joe laughed at Annalyse's silly (sassy?) comments. Or when I think of three mini Davy Crocket's running through the woods.
We said tearful goodbyes to family as they headed north for a long drive home, and we headed east to Virginia for a new adventure with Nana.

Up next: Colonial Williamsburg...

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