Friday, June 28, 2013

Mountains and Crabs

Monday morning we had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel and then tried to go swimming. The pool was closed because someone had had an accident in it. That was two pools in a row our kids were ready for but couldn’t use. The lady at the hotel desk saw their disappointment and called around to find a nearby hotel who would let us use the pool. I walked there with the younger kids and they swam until Julianne came to pick us up. We went to the Grand Old Opry. That was fun. 

at the Grand Old Opry

The museum I was planning on going to has closed. But we walked around the building, took some pictures, bought some things, and went to the Opryland Hotel, which was cool and amazing. We had a fun time and it was great to say we have been there.

At the Opryland Hotel

Walking around the Grand Old Opry area

 Then we loaded up and had a long drive with a few little stops here and there. 

The common scene of Mom and Grandma making lunch for the family while we drive

We ended up going through the Appalachians, which is why we chose this route. I have always wanted to see this other great mountain range. It was beautiful. As we drove I saw place after place that I have heard about in song. Places such as Rocky Top, Oak Ridge, and we were going through the Smoky Mountain Range. It truly was beautiful. We finally got to a campground near the Swananoa River. It was a beautiful place. The kids played in playgrounds. We walked over the river and to the lake. Jacob chased ducks. We just overall enjoyed the incredible scenery. Then we slept well. We have eaten so well as Julianne and her mom have worked so hard to make dinners for us.

Jacob and Sabrina playing at the KOA in Swananoa

The next morning I woke up early and started driving while everyone else slept. I saw the smoky part of the Smokey Mountains. The cool Atlantic and mountain air meets the warm Gulf air and in the morning it looks like the mountains are covered in smoke. It was a beautiful sight. What a wonderful drive we had. As we drove through North Carolina and into Virginia, Julianne’s mom told us mission stories from when her dad had served a mission in this area. It was a great thing for the kids. We twice experienced some weird crowded traffic in North Carolina. I am not so sure about driving habits there.

We got to our camp as early as we could because we had reserved a fun campground. It is a Jellystone campground, and sure enough Yogi bear was there. The kids did swimming and water slides and a big bounce house thing. Cindy bear came by with a hayride for them to go on. They were having so much fun. Then we went out to their little part of Chesapeake Bay and went crabbing. What a great memory. BJ found a crab basket there (this is a dock owned by the campground and licensed for their guests to use it). We put some chicken in and he threw it over. Then we used our own little crabbing line and tried to catch the crabs with it. Several crabs grabbed on and we almost landed them. But we never quite did. If we had a net with us we would have gotten them. BJ pulled up his basket and was amazed to find a large crab in it and two large fish. The fish had gone so crazy that they had sliced themselves up. We were all amazed. BJ was ready to cook and eat his fish. After a while we figured out that he had pulled up someone else’s basket and that the fish were the cut up bait they had put in. We put that large crab back and tried the other one. It had a small crab in it, but it got away as we tried to catch it. We kept trying our little line and kept almost catching a bunch of crabs. It was fun to see them going after the line and chicken and grabbing onto it. Many times we saw crabs swimming away with our chicken, almost as if they were mocking us. BJ pulled up his cage again and found a little crab in it and this time he got it. Everyone had a lot of fun, but were also disappointed that we never landed one with our crab line. The area here is beautiful. BJ and Tashara watched an outdoor movie while the rest of us went to sleep.

After the Hay Ride with Cindy Bear

The family crabbing at Chesapeake Bay

The crabs and fish we thought we caught

enjoying Chesapeake Bay while crabbing

Again the weather was supposed to be a bit bad when I checked it last night, but was perfect the whole day. Not too hot, not too cold, no rain, just nice. We are definitely in different country. Everywhere we drive we were seeing civil war memorials and plantations, and now we see Revolutionary war things everywhere. This day has been full of memories. I am so glad we have come on this trip.

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