Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Travels- Sage's B-day weekend in TN

Where does the time go? My baby girl's turned 7 years old on June 21st, the first day of Summer.

 i made a very basic cake for her birthday and then realizing we didn't have candles or any kind of decorations we went outside and picked fresh flowers and berries. She helped me decorate it and was totally thrilled with it. We had a pretty big weekend planned for her birthday, and had a quick celebration in the RV and then packed up for a weekend trip to TN!

Before heading out she opened up a few presents.  i was really excited to see her open the new doll i had made for her back in May.  After losing all of those handmade dolls, making a new one was extremely important to me.  She loved her!

So our main reason we were heading to TN was for me to get together with a few of my childhood friends. The father of a girl i've been friends with since kindergarten had passed away around Easter time, and she was coming to TN to spend time with her mom. Her mom's house is only a few hours from here, so i was hoping i'd be able to see her while she was there. Then a few of our other friends arranged a road trip to come down from MI and i knew i HAD to get myself there! We are all originally from MI, but with me in VA and my other friend in MO we do not all get together very often.  i haven't been to MI in about 6 years, and it has been even longer since i've seen my friend in MO.

Since the road trip was planned for Sage's b-day weekend, we decided to make a family trip out of it. Kenan would drop me off with my friends Fri-Sat, take the kids somewhere fun and then we'd head up knoxville and spend Sunday at the Knoxville zoo and head home that evening. 

i lost almost all of my old photos in the fire, but found this one blowing around the yard.  This was taken in the late 80's. ha ha, can you tell?  i have known these girls since kindergarten. 

Here we are about 25 years later. i think we all still look pretty good. :)  My friend with the hat isn't in the picture above. We were uncertain if she took the other picture, or if it was taken by another friend who didn't make the trip. 
 We picked up cupcakes for Sage's b-day, sang happy birthday and had my girl blow out her candle.  Then Kenan and the kids took off for Johnston city to get hotel and explore the Hands on Museum.  

i had a wonderful time visiting with my friends at this beautiful place.  This land has been in her family for many years. We walked through the home of her great-grandparents. No one lives there now, but it is still furnished and i really enjoyed see the old pictures still on the walls. Her grandparents home is right across the road and her niece is living there now.  We stayed at her parents house, which was up on the hill.  It was amazing to see everyone and hang out again. We stayed up too late and drank a bit too much, but we had a great time.  Despite the time and distance, it was as if a day hadn't gone by.

We took a stroll through downtown Elizabethon and checked out the covered bridge festival.  

While i was hanging out with my friends in Elizabethon, Kenan took the kids to the Hands on Museum in  Johnson city.  The museum membership pass we'd picked up at Greensboro Science center gave them free admission to this science center. 

After exploring the Hands on Museum, they headed back to Elizabethon to check out the covered bridge festival. We actually just missed them by about 1/2 hour.  The kids had lots of fun on these bungee cord trampolines. They also splurged on some fair food and face painting.  Then they headed back to my friends house, we said our good byes and continued on to Knoxville.

Years ago, we used to vend at bead shows.  One of them was in knoxville, across the parking lot from the zoo.  So while Kenan was working the bead show i would take the boy to the zoo. We really like this zoo, and although we no longer do the bead show we still come back to knoxville every few years to visit the zoo.

They have these mist stations everywhere. So although it can be hot walking around a zoo, they are a nice way to cool off and the kids love them.

If it gets too hot outside, there is an indoor kids area called Wee play (i think).  It's really neat,they have a pizza shop, grocery store, veterinarian clinic and farm yard all set up for imaginary play.  They have lots of Melissa and Doug toys, and even a few real animals in the farm yard. The kids had fun pretending to work in a pizza shop. 

We enjoyed seeing the animals too. 

Our original plans were to go downtown Knoxville to play in the splash pad at the World's fair park.  We were surprised to see that the zoo now has a splash pad! So we ended up not going downtown at all, and just hanging out at the zoo for the rest of the day.  The kids had a blast, and we headed home early evening and were able to get back to the RV before dark.

We really had an amazing trip, and it was great seeing my old friends! We are hoping to make this an annual get together every year! 

We have really been trying to make this a memorable summer for the kids. Having an exciting new trip each weekend really helps to keep everyone's spirits up.  Although it's nice being back on our property, it is bitter sweet as well. So we really enjoy these outings to take our mind away from other things.

i'm still trying to play catch up with my blog, so you can expect lots of back posting. i have another giveaway to post, and i may start posting a few sponsored posts as well. So don't be too surprised if you see some different postings from me.  My life has been turned upside down, and i no longer have the luxury of sitting around crafting with my kids all day. i've started looking for a job outside the home, or exploring different ways to bring in an income from home. Unfortunately, i don't actually make any money with the bendy dolls, so i need to look for some other options.


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