Wednesday, July 20 - We got up and hung out around the cabin for a while. I saw on facebook that one of my nephews from Texas was going to be in Gatlinburg with his girlfriend and her family. I text him, and we decided on a time that would be best to meet up, if it worked out.
Then we went out and did a little shopping. The Oldest Princess bought a couple of shirts for college. The Young Prince, Z-Bone and T-Bone all bought caps. Special K bought a new outfit.
We left the shopping center and went to drive through Cades Cove. Several locals had told us that the best time to see bears was at sunset. We got there a little early. We drove through and saw some turkey and several deer. There was one bear, but only the Young Prince and Z-Bone got to see it. We stopped and let the kids play in a little creek. We decided that we wanted to drive through one more time since it was a little later, so hopefully the girls and T-Bone could see a bear too. There was quite a bit more traffic the second time through, and when people would see bears, they would just stop in the middle of the road, and cause traffic to back up. So it was slow going the second time, but we were able to see some bears. And by the time we finished the second loop, we had kids sitting on the top of the van, kids hanging out the windows and kids hanging out the sunroof. I think we may have been in the car a little too long! At one point, Special K and I got out to take a selfie with the mountains in the background, and the little rotten children that we have locked the car and made us dance to be able to get back in. The Oldest Princess wanted to stop and point at nothing and see how many people we could trick into trying to see what we were looking at. Z-Bone got several good pictures. Special K and Z-Bone were able to play with them on one of their photo editing programs when we got back to the cabin, and several of them turned out really nice.
When we left Cades Cove, we took the very twisty route back to Gatlinburg. I text my nephew, and he and his girlfriend came and met us. We were meeting her for the first time. We had heard good things about her, and we were glad to finally be able to meet her. And of course we were very glad to see J. We visited with them for about 20 to 30 minutes. Not nearly long enough, but it was good to be able to see them, even for a short time.
We got back to our cabin and the kids spent some time in the hot tub before we went to bed.
Thursday, July 21 - We slept in a little and took our time getting ready. When we all got ready, we left and did a little shopping. I got the Youngest Princess several tops and a pair of shorts. Miss B and the Youngest Princess stood in the window and acted like mannequins. Then the three boys did the same. The boys were really good at it. I told them they were the best looking mannequins I had seen in a long time.
We found a park and the little girls played on the playground while the rest of us played Dutch Blitz on the picnic table. We had to move it into the shade. The search for the perfect Dutch Blitz table is still on. Oh, and the benches were h-o-t! We had to stand for the first few rounds while the benches cooled off in the shade. The girls didn't play long before they came over to play cards with us, because it was too hot on the playground as well. We played for a while, and then we drove to a local drive up restaurant and ordered something to eat. It was a comedy of errors, and by this point, we were all very tired of being in the car like sardines. They brought us the wrong hamburger, and they forgot one of our drinks. They brought the right hamburger, but forgot the drink. They finally brought the drink. We asked for ketchup. We were pretty much finished with our food when they finally brought the ketchup. The toy in the kid's meal was a shark. You pushed a button, and the shark's head flew off. Just what we needed in a car full of kids packed in like sardines who have been in the car way too much the past few days. I confiscated said shark toys. To save the lives of all the children. Special K bought slushies for all who wanted one. Only the little girls were takers.
After their slushies were delivered, we got on the road. Special K was driving us to meet up with My Prince who was coming to pick us up and take us home. We made better time than My Prince and we got to the rendezvous point before he did. So of course, we did a little shopping. We all found something except for the Youngest Princess. Well, she found this little yappy battery powered dog, but I told her no. My Prince finally got there, and we were very glad to see him again. We switched our luggage over to our car, and said our goodbyes to our very special friends. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with them. We love them dearly and cherish the time that we get to spend together.
We drove on down the road, and stopped for dinner. After we ate, we got back in the car, and headed for home. We went through several pretty heavy rainstorms. I know My Prince was glad to be home when we finally drove into the driveway. It was barely raining, but there was a lot of lightening, so we emptied the car as fast as we could. We pretty much went straight to bed. Well, except for the Oldest Princess who had to repack, because she was leaving again the next morning.
Friday, July 22 - My Prince got up and went to work out. Then he came back and got the Oldest Princess and took her to get several shots she needed to have her record up to date, so that we could send it to the college and have everything done as far as her enrollment goes.
The Oldest Princess came home, and My Prince went to a coaching network meeting. The Oldest Princess and I watched a couple of shows together, and then I started getting ready. She finished packing for the Senior trip with our Youth Pastor and his wife to the beach. When I got ready, My Prince came home. He brought the mail in with him, and in the mail was a scholarship for the Oldest Princess. Praise the Lord! We were very thankful to get that.
We took her to the church to meet up with the others going on the trip. Then the Young Prince, the Youngest Princess, My Prince and I all went to a local restaurant for lunch. They had a television on, and we watched the news about the shooting in Munich, Germany. It is heartbreaking to me. I do not understand the mindset of someone who would take weapons and kill totally innocent people. What exactly do they think that they are accomplishing? It makes absolutely no sense in the world to me. My heart breaks for the families of the victims. They are in my prayers. So senseless and so sad.
My Prince brought us home. The Young Prince and the Youngest Princess went upstairs to hang out, and I took a nap on the couch.
My Prince came home and we ate dinner. I saw on Facebook that a local railroad museum was having a wild west day the next day. You could buy tickets and take a train ride, and bandits would stop the train and try to rob you. The Youngest Princess has been wanting to take a train ride for a long time, because that is how Mandie (in our books we read) traveled. I told My Prince, and he agreed that it would be a fun thing for us to do. We called Grammy and Poppy to see if they wanted to go with us. They said that they would. So we got online and bought our tickets.
The Young Prince wanted to watch a super hero movie with My Prince, so the Youngest Princess and I went upstairs to read Mandie. It has been way too long since we have read Mandie together. We finished the book we were on. Mandie graduated from high school at the end of the book. I think there may be a few more special books, (there is still a Christmas one on the Kindle edition I bought) but otherwise, I think we have finished the Mandie series. I guess we will have to find a new series to read together.
The Youngest Princess fell asleep with me while the boys finished their movie.
Saturday, July 23 - We woke up early, so that we could get ready and go for our Wild West train ride. Grammy and Poppy met us here and we rode to the Railroad Museum together. We let the Youngest Princess pick the train car that we would ride in. There was a completely open air car (not much like a real train ride), there was an air conditioned passenger car (but the windows were up, and you would not hear the bandits very well, and then there was the un-air conditioned passenger car (hot, but with windows up, so you could feel the breeze and hear the bandits). The Youngest Princess picked the un-air conditioned car. We had a good time, and despite the heat, enjoyed the little show. It was fun, and the Youngest Princess got to pretend that she was Mandie and that she was taking a trip with her grandmother on a train. So she was happy.
After the train ride was over, we went to eat lunch. Then the Young Prince asked if we could go to Walmart to pick up some more plants to put in the large pot by our door. We have two little ones, and he thought that they needed company. He, Grammy and I picked out a few plants, and he found a cactus for his room. My Prince and the Youngest Princess went to get a cucumber and some other things we needed. The Youngest Princess wanted a cucumber, because we had seen a video of cats that were afraid of cucumbers and she wanted to see if it would scare our cats.
We got home, and she put the cucumber down by the cats. They just sniffed it and walked away. It was too funny. The Young Prince replanted his plants in the planter by the door, and took his cactus to his room. Grammy and Poppy headed off to do whatever they had planned for the rest of the day. My Prince went to take a nap, and I worked on some laundry and started catching up on my blog.
The Oldest Princess text to say that they were having a good time. The Youngest Princess wanted to go outside for a while, so we did. The Young Prince went for a run - working on getting ready for all the running he is going to have to do in football practice.
We are going to grill hamburgers in a little while, and I am going to try to work on my Bible study and get some more things done around here before it is time to go to bed.
Until I blog again...