A Mountain Retreat

We went on a little vacation (somewhat impulsively) to east TN. The first photo was taken from the view of our hotel in Caryville, TN. We spent the past 4 days there while Joal worked in the area. It's just across the street from Cove Lake State Park, where the second photo (of the boys) was taken.

Second only to the beach, I enjoy the mountains so much. It's so refreshing.

While we were there we had so much fun. (I know...most overused statement on the planet...but it's the truth.) On Monday, the boys and I went to AC Moore--the best craft store known to man! I love that place. Greyson feel in love with a little brown dog beanie baby that was on clearance while we were there...he's been carrying it around ever since. He calls it "dog". I acquired some Heidi Swapp items I've been drooling over. Those chipboard letters are so cool and holy cow--so easy to use.

We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A and discovered they have started including really awesome kids books in their kids meals. It's a 5-book series called "This is my Family". We managed to get 2 different ones and I'm hoping we can get the others. They really cool...very scrapbook-y.

Monday afternoon, I started trying to find the scrapbook store in LaFollette TN (a few miles from the hotel). In my haste to pack, I forgot to bring the Scrapbook Stores in TN list from the website. I scoured the phone book without success...asked a few one knew. The computer at the hotel was down indefinately so I had no internet other than being able to email on my cell phone. I managed a rough email to the TennSB group and a few people responded with help but I was still unable to locate the store. Crazy...I know. At least now when we go back, I'll be prepared.

Monday night, we got the bikes out and spent a whie riding bikes in the boat parking area off the side of the hotel. It was a gravel area and Joal taught Julian how to step on the break and slide in the rocks.

Tuesday, we slept late (a small miracle) and then we to the state park across the highway from our hotel. We explored the lake edges, bridges, and piers...played on the playground, walked the trails and had an amazing time. Came back to the hotel later a little sun-burned and very happy. Nature is good for the soul.

In the early evening we ventured down to Knoxville again, this time to find a store I had heard about from a friend--If it's Paper (an xpedx store) is really cool. I bought a ream (250 sheets) of kraft cardstock. Love that stuff! (Closed caption to Heather: The Paper Moon was out of the kraft cardstock we talked about...but I have some now...I'll share.) If it's Paper is on Kingston Pike. It's not a scrap store--it is a paper establishment. They sell cardstock (large quantities), envelopes of every shape, size and color, boxes including small pizza-style boxes, and other paper goods.

Wednesday we went to the Knoxville Zoo. Oh wow! As Zoo's go, this one is phenominal...far better than the Nashville Zoo. We stayed for 3.5 hours and still didn't see it all! I am thinking we need to organize a field trip back. It was fantastic. I have a bajillion photos to upload now...but it's so worth it. It's very interactive and obviously well cared for. The boys particularly enjoyed the tram ride from the parking area to the gate. I loved watching the penguins and the black bears.

Joal finished the training of the new salesman on Wednesday afternoon and we came home Wed night. We had planned to stay one more night but made a change in the plan because of how next week is going to work for him. I had planned to visit Scrapbooks and More today (Thursday) and I hate i missed it. Next time. Definately.

It was a great vacation...reason number 654 that I enjoy this home schooing life...freedom to travel.

Happy Thursday.


ejmom said...

Sounds like you had a really great time! I love zoos.

Mimi said...

Sounds like a lovely trip! Lots of good LSS shopping!

Debby said...

I'm so jealous!! I love getting away and I love the mountains - so good for the soul!! I was just today wondering if everything was OK as it had been so long since you blogged. Anyway, I have news too and am going to try to email you yet tonight!

melissa said...

sounds like a wonderful get away trip! :) great pictures too

glo said...

love the pictures! and having the freedom to travel - priceless!

TracieClaiborne said...

Wow! Sounds incredible! If you have time, could you please e-mail me specific info about where you stayed? We're wanting to do something "outdoorsy" and natural and I love it that you were close to all those stores. LOL!


Shanna C said...

I love the eastern part of our state - it's so breathtakingly beautiful! Lucky you to get to spend some time in the mountains!

Christy B said...

I really like the Knoxville Zoo. We went about 6 yrs ago when Em was 3. She enjoyed it, but we (the parents) enjoyed it more. They were working on the bear habitat when we were there (I think I remember that correctly? - the first big thing you see when you go through the gate?)