Where to begin! I haven’t done a general update in ages. I don’t even know what’s happened the last few months anymore…. I’ll try to hit the highlights soon, but for now, a recap of our recent trip.

 
We got back from vacation to Kentucky and Tennessee on the 27th of June. It was just a quick 4 day trip with DH’s parents and his sister’s family. His sister has 2 kids of her own so we had a cabin full of kiddos! 🙂 It mostly went well and the kids got along decently. We actually didn’t spend much time together as a family, sadly, because we all have different interests and places we want to be. For DH and I, we like to be in nature and do things that involve sightseeing and hiking. We stay about as far away from tourist traps as possible. (But nothing wrong with that if that is your thing. We just don’t get much enjoyment out of it ourselves. And we truly can’t afford all the shows and eating out souvenirs etc and so on even IF we did like that stuff. )

 

So we went to Cumberland Falls a day ahead of when his family left for TN and stayed there overnight (Friday). We had dinner out at a Golden Corral. The next day (Saturday), we explored the Falls (the boys absolutely LOVED it) and then headed to our cabin in TN later in the day. We’d actually been to Cumberland Falls years ago and it is such a beautiful place to visit. Last time we went, we hiked on some really intense trails. This time, for obvious reasons, we stuck to the easy little walk down to the Falls and then down to the beach. It still felt like a good bit of walking because there are a lot of stairs.

 

In TN, we got to the cabin in the evening around 4pm and got settled in shortly before DH’s family arrived. It was a nice little cabin, in serious need of some updates and repairs (but that’s roughing it 1st world style, right?) and it had a really nice view. It also had the worst straight up and down driveway I can imagine! I tried to get a picture but it doesn’t do it justice. Every time we pulled down that driveway, I prayed. And prayed. If our brakes had failed…. WOW.

Anyway, after DH’s family arrived and got settled, they all decided to go out for supper since we weren’t prepared to eat dinner there that night. I chose to stay at the cabin and scrounge through our stash of food items so I could rest for a bit and get the boys to bed since it was already after 7 at this point. We had a nice evening and the boys took a bath in the jaccuzi. It was a win all around. 🙂 DH felt bad for me and brought me a really good burger back but I had to save it for the next day.

 

The next day (Sunday), we got up and had a nice breakfast together that my in-laws cooked and then we all went our separate ways. DH and I took the boys to Cade’s Cove for the day. We had visited there many years ago as well and I really wanted to buy some of the corn meal that they grind at the water-powered mill. So this time I did and I also bought a bag of wheat flour. (I made bread the day we came back and it was delicious!) It takes the better part of the day to drive through there and the hour drive to and from the cabin each way so we got back pretty late. I almost forgot to meantion, we saw a bear run across the road that day! DH wanted to chase after it but I was not down for that action at all. I just got the boys back in the van and pondered on why people chase bears….. we also saw a snake at the Mill. It was really oddly calm for a snake. I walked right up to it and took pictures. And pondered people who are scared of tiny, venomless snakes. 😉 We got supper on the way back to the cabin and DH and the boys took a nice soak in the hot tub. I decided I’d better play it safe and not get in but I sat out on the porch with them.

 

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On Monday, we went to a ranch with all the family because my SIL wanted to ride horses with her daughter. We walked through the little petting zoo (which was kind of sad cause there weren’t a lot of animals but the kids still loved it) and visited the general store. After the kids touched every item within their reach, we walked to the play set and they played for awhile. Then I got in the creek with them and after awhile, DH braved the icy waters on his delicate toes (You have to understand his extreme fear of cold water!) and even my MIL waded in for awhile. We saw a snake slithering through the water and also discovered that instead of paying $12.95 to pan for “gems” for 5 minutes, we could sift through all the sand and gravel that had washed downstream and find plenty of gems that had got away. With our pockets full of fake jewels, we waddled back to the van to change the boys into dry clothes and get a nap at the cabin before heading out to do some evening festivities with DH’s sister’s family.

 

Sadly, I can’t retrieve any of those pictures right now. 😦 I hope I can get them later because there were some really fun moments that day.

 

Back at the cabin, DH and the boys soaked in the hot tub again while I made cupcakes and ran up and down the 2 flights of stairs to do laundry and keep an eye on the oven. When DH brought the boys back upstairs, we tried to feed them lunch and then put Levi down for a nap. My MIL and FIL came back to the cabin with steaks and burgers and hotdogs to grill and some awesome side dishes. We worked on getting supper together and once DH’s sister’s family returned, we had a nice family supper and spent some time enjoying being on the deck. DH and his dad and BIL all played pool about every chance they got so that is what they did.

 

That evening, we went to Pigeon Forge with my SIL’s family and the dads took Tru and my niece on the go-karts while my SIL and I took the little boys on kiddie rides. Then all the kids rode a couple rides together. By that point, it was dark so we went to this place with a fountain that is synched to music and lights. It was pretty and I enjoyed seeing it but since it was going on 11pm, the kids were all frazzled and we all decided to head back to the cabin for the night.

 

The next morning (Tuesday), we got packed up and headed out around 11am. DH and I stopped in KY with the kids and went to a Mexican Resturant. I was skeptical based on the building but it was absolutley amazing food!! I want more! 🙂 The boys never once fell asleep in the car the entire trip until 30 minutes from home, Levi nodded off. Once we got home, we unloaded the car and got things put away. I was sad that our trip was over but also happy to be home and rest my big belly. 🙂

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