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.

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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.

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

 

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.

A Better Shot

Despite the cold weather, Rob still spent most of the day on the water, practicing his guide skills. As planned, the kids and I headed down to the river in hopes of seeing him float by. We arrived with only minutes to spare. I did not even have a chance to begin reading to the kids when a couple of rafts came floating down the river. And there, guiding the second raft, was Rob, bobbing along with a big grin on his face.

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Let the Training Begin

Yesterday was Rob’s first day of white-water guide training. After some classroom instruction, they ran the river. Then they ran it again, and again. The kids and I managed to see him on his first trip down, but unfortunately my pictures did not turn out very well. Tomorrow they are supposed to run it four more times, so I think I will try to get some better pictures. Today was a lot more classroom instruction, but they still managed to run the river twice. By the end of the week, he will be a certified white-water raft guide. He will then spend the rest of the month running the river, practicing, learning the water and getting ready for the summer season.

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