Until Next Time…

My parents came for a visit this week. They arrived on Monday evening and were able to stay until about noon on Thursday. Time must know when we want it to slow down, because it always seems to go faster.

Tuesday morning was spent down at the river watching the rafts at the put-in. Lots of busses arrived at about the same time, but they had to wait until the power house released the water, so there was quite the traffic jam. We watched rush-hour for quite some time, and then it was time for Rob to take us on our own raft trip. My dad took pictures from the bank while the rest of us were on the water.

173 raft

We ended the day with dinner at a very tasty local restaurant and a movie back at my parents’ cabin.

Tuesday found us in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. After over three months here and almost 50 miles of hiking in the park, we finally saw a black bear. My parents must have brought some good luck because the bear was right off of the trail to Clingmans Dome, one of the most popular spots in the park. He was content to eat in the bushes for a while and then he wandered off.

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We celebrated William’s birthday after a full day of driving and sight-seeing. Grampy was even here to give him his 10 birthday spankings. which made William laugh. He is feeling pretty cool now that he is in his double digits, and he loved that Grammy and Grampy were here for his birthday.

Thursday was spent sharing pictures and enjoying a little more time together before my parents had to be on their way. It doesn’t seem to matter how old I get, I always hate it when they have to leave. I love the time we are able to spend together, and I find myself wishing we could have at least a few more days together. It just makes me appreciate our time together even more. They were off to North Carolina where they will spend a week at a beach house before flying back to Idaho.

I was surprised to learn that with all the traveling my parents have done, neither of them had ever been to Tennessee, so we were happy to give them a reason to come.

DSC_0624 MD

Thank you so much for the wonderful visit, Mom and Daddy!! We love you!!

 

Cooling Off in Big Creek

About six miles down the road, we cross the North Carolina border and arrive at Big Creek, right where it dumps into the Pigeon River. This is the perfect swimming hole on warm sunny days. The kids absolutely love it, and while Rob and I do get in the water from time to time, what we really enjoy is the down time on the shore. Today we sat in the shade and read while the kids slowly turned themselves into prunes. I must admit, though, the little water chute is very fun to ride down, even if the water is beyond cold. 🙂

Let’s Go Rafting!

Ever since we arrived here, the kids have been asking to go rafting. In the beginning, it was always too cold. Once temperatures began to increase, so did the number of rafting customers. Eventually, though, we knew there would be a chance for Rob to take us rafting. That opportunity came this week, and the kids sure were excited! I was, too, of course. It had been about 17 years or so since I had been white-water rafting, and I was very anxious to go again. Especially since Rob was going to be our guide!

The river was running a little high from all of the rain, but everybody managed to stay in the raft. I did check behind me quite often to make sure the twins were still there, especially after the bigger rapids. We were soaked by the time we were done, but everyone had such a wonderful time! I took a waterproof camera with us, but I have not been able to get the film developed yet, so I may have to share some of those with you after I get them. Hopefully some of them turned out. For now, though, we have the pictures taken by the company’s photographer. He hangs out on the bank through one set of rapids and shoots a series of photos. You can’t see the twins in most of them because they are behind my big head, but know that they were there and were laughing hysterically! The kids even got to swim through a calm part of the river, which they thought was pretty cool.