Tennessee 2018

We had the best week in TN with my parents.  Each day we chose one activity to enjoy and tried some new things together.

Sunday - My mom, Julia, and I took a short hike to the local farmer's market.  There are a few vendors there and we got some canned jelly, salsa, and homemade donuts.

Monday - As it was my Dad's birthday, we went to Walmart.  Not to celebrate, but to get groceries and other fun things like that.  Julia and I went to the Lego aisle to find a set for Grandpa to build alongside her at some point as well as a tshirt that says "Dads know a lot, Grandpas know everything."  My MI mom, Jaye Wells/Emrick, and her husband Bob came over for dinner.  I love that they live so close to my parents and that we get to visit with them each time that we go to TN.

Tuesday -  My mom and I hiked about 2 miles through a nearby forested area.  So pretty!  Took the girls swimming and they decided to try some laps in the pool lanes.  Riley got it in her mind that she wanted to swim a half mile (17-18 laps) and ended up doing 3/4 of a mile.  We made her stop when we needed to leave to get dinner.  Riley told me she wanted to feel like she'd accomplished something by completing a full mile.  We knew we'd come back again and while she didn't want to leave, we knew what she'd do the next time we came.

Wednesday -  Took the girls swimming again today.  Determined to complete what she couldn't finish yesterday, Riley swam 37 laps to complete her mile swim.  She was so happy to be able to finish.  Julia swam 1/2 a mile.  They also played in the pool for a bit, but were set on doing laps. 

Thursday - Our plans changed a few times today as my dad was still coughing quite a bit.  He went back to the drs to get looked at and was given different medicine.  It seemed to be helping more than his original meds.  The girls and I drove to Cleveland, TN to visit Lee University.  I was able to introduce them to one of my most special professors there, Ms. Dismukes.  The girls were hyped up and I should have had them go run in the park for 30 minutes to get some of their energy out.  Ms. D enjoyed meeting them and while I was embarrassed by their craziness, I was glad they were able to meet her as well.  We ate lunch at O'Charley's.  What I really should say is that I ate lunch and the girls ate rolls.  Their rolls are some of the best!  It was later than I had planned on being there so we just headed back to my parents home.

Friday - My mom and I took the girls on a 9-mile canoe ride with a company called Canoe the Caney.  It was about an hour away from the house and we met up at the location around 12:30.  They loaded our canoe and other kayaks/floats for other guests while we piled into a small bus to get to the site.  Thankfully the water from the dam was opened and the water was flowing really nicely - made for an easier trip down the water.  I rode in the back of a canoe with Riley in front while my mom and Julia rode in a canoe together.  Riley and I went out first.  She was frustrated that she couldn't have her own canoe because she prefers to do things on her own. (not like me at all - ha)  She's looking forward to when she's old enough to have her own kayak/canoe.  Won't be too long, but glad she's gotten some experience before doing it solo.

The trip was just under 3 hours long.  The map they provided was very basic and we missed the exit point for the cave exploring - no idea where that actually was.  We went under 3 highway passes and the large bridge that they used for filming the movie The Green Mile.  Was neat to see that.  Towards the end we began to paddle more because we were all hot and pretty tired.

At one point, I took a picture of my mom and Julia on their canoe and was trying to get it back inside the waterproof bag (a ziploc baggie - high tech).  I thought Riley was paddling but we found ourselves heading straight for the big post of one of the highway bridges.  We ended up hitting it and thankfully did not tip over!

We made it back safe and sound - and overtired and sweaty.  Drove an hour home and then went out for a final dinner at the best Mexican restaurant - Romo's.  We ate well and went home to pack.


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