Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tennessee Vacation: Exploring

A few weeks ago we went to Tennessee for my family's annual vacation/get together. We decided to do something different this year and instead of the beach, we went to the mountains! Where we were in Tennessee was about a 9 hour drive for all of us, so it was a good spot to meet in the middle. Our vacation rental was in the middle of farmland and was surrounded by really beautiful countryside. This was the view of the driveway from the front porch:

The side yard and view of the forest behind us. There were lots of trails through the forest for hiking and a nice creek.

We went for a lot of walks. The weather was so perfect!! Not oppressively hot and humid like it is at home.

One of the buildings nearby had a tree swing that we visited a lot. Usually there was a lot of arguing about who's turn it was :)

Exploring one of the trails:

We found the creek! We didn't know where it was exactly and while we were looking we ended up in a woman's backyard while she was feeding her chickens. She told us where it was and Rett decided that his new goal in life was to "catch a chick". He was dying to chase those chickens!

We got down into the creek and looked around for crayfish, salamanders, newts, or anything else we could find. Anthony found a dragonfly that didn't mind sitting on his finger. Seriously, he really is Dr. Doolittle!

There was this neat wooden bridge that goes over the creek. Rett kept giving me a heart attack by running ahead of me and running over it. All I could think of was him tripping and tumbling off of it!

We caught a cool looking salamander.

Anthony caught quite a few crayfish and wanted to cook them for dinner. The next time he went to the creek he only found one, so he put it in a sandwich bag in the fridge. A few hours later, my sister opened the fridge and found that he had escaped! They were not happy with Anthony :)

The creek goes right over the road and I was amazed to see multiple cars just drive right through it. Regular cars, not huge trucks!

While we were at the creek, one of the cars stopped and invited us to visit them up the road and see their alpacas and other animals. The next morning we walked up the mountain for a visit and they were so nice! They showed us their garden, goats, donkey, alpacas, and their chicken set up. They even let us help them collect the eggs and gave us some to take home.

James was excited to ride the donkey, but Rett would have nothing to do with it. He had eyes only for the chickens :)

Rett finally got his wish and chased the chickens as long as he could. He was so happy! And determined that he would catch one. Didn't happen.

At first we kept telling them to stop chasing the chickens, but the owner said that she thought the best activity for kids was chasing chickens, so we let them go after that.

On our way back down the mountain, the owner showed us this shortcut of a path that made it so we didn't have such a long walk back to the house. She said it was their "secret path" and her kids had placed little fairy houses along it. It was so cool!

The sun setting on the front yard:

The first or second night we were there, I was upstairs with James reading him a book and trying to get him to go to sleep (getting kids to sleep on vacation is seriously the hardest thing ever!!) when Anthony came into the room. He said, "We have a problem." I started thinking, "Oh man, what happened now?" when Anthony said, "There are fireflies!!!". He knew we were trying to get James to go to sleep, but he just couldn't pass up going outside and catching fireflies with him. They were out there for at least an hour if not more.

No surprise, but James turned out to be a champion firefly catcher. There was always one in a jar for the rest of the week.

Anthony showing James one he caught:

We also got a fire going for smores one night. James would put the marshmallow on the stick and then eat it off the stick without putting it over the fire. That's how he rolls.

1 comment:

Happy said...

Sounds like a great trip! Especially the bug part- right up your guys' ally!