Time on My Hands

This summer has passed in a whirlwind it seems.  I am not sure where July went but it is almost gone seeing that today is July 30.  My husband I were gone from home 22 days.  When we returned it seemed that we missed July.  Not really, we just experienced it from different venues.

Our first adventure was a family trip to the Great Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee over the 4th of July week. We started our journey with a trip to see family members in Little Rock, Arkansas, Robert and Diane Skinner and their little dog Gus. We took a trip out to their garden located in the Arkansas River bottom.

As long as I have known Bob Skinner he has been gardening. This year he partnered with a friend from church to share a plot of land in the river bottom of the Arkansas river. Many of the plots have been held by the same people for years. They have sheds and fences along with huge fig trees that have been there for a long time. We helped our friends harvest tomatoes and squash for our dinner that evening.

Gus is their rescue dog. He has been a member of the family for about 5 years now. He eventually got used to us so he got to stay for the visit and did not have to go to the doggy hotel. I guess he has stranger anxiety. Bob and Diane like company, so they sometimes put Gus up in the doggy daycare while company is in town. We were happy to say that did not have to happen on our visit.

We left our family friends and headed off to Nashville where we would meet up with the younger members of the crew. Our meeting place was the Nashville Botanical Center. We arrived just in time for lunch.

Fortunately the gardens were hosting food trucks that day. We all enjoyed ham and cheese crepes as we sat in the shade. We arrived just before the end of lunch and were glad we did. The crepes were delicious!

I love visiting gardens when we travel. It seems that there is always something interesting and beautiful to see. The Nashville gardens were hosting a crack plastic event. An artist made very colorful animals from recycled plastic and placed them around the garden. We enjoyed posing with them while waiting on the others to arrive.

The youngest of our family enjoyed playing among the bears, but alas I have no picture. How did that happen?

We all continued on to our Airbnb for the night near downtown Nashville. Our dinner

was great BBQ. We had fun especially since Martin is the last name of our younger family members, so of course hats and T-shirts were a must for them. We got there before the rush and enjoyed a great meal. Good thing too. They sale out every night.

We headed downtown to breakfast at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant before checking out the music hall and walk of fame while playing a city scavenger hunt.

We continued our journey east to Gatlinburg. A late dinner and off to bed because tomorrow would be a busy day.

While in Gatlinburg enjoyed the Aquarium with the babies, took a tram ride up the mountain, droves to Cade’s Cove in the Smokey Mountains, and went to Dollyworld. We watched fireworks from our balcony and basically enjoyed the nature the mountains afford.

On Friday everyone headed in different directions. After putting Christi on a plane for Arizona we waved goodbye to the younger crew who headed to friends in Mississippi. We traveled northwest to St. Louis to visit with my nephew and his wife. We love St. Louis and we love seeing our family there. Glenn has all those pictures and has not shared. But ate crepes there too and indulged in Nitrogen ice-cream. Toured the St. Louis gardens then headed home.

We arrived home on Sunday evening. Monday we unpacked our clothes and washed them only to return them to our suitcases. That part of the journey is another tale.

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