Now to finish up the rundown of our weekend in Tennessee; it was a busy weekend, with hiking, mini-golf and some downtime in the evenings. Dave cooked breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning, and treated everyone to their choice of blueberry, chocolate chip or plain pancakes, along with eggs, bacon and the works. (Although in the pic below he is standing at the sink, I really DID clean and he did the cooking!)
It was a lot of fun in our cabin, with our three families there together. Sam and Eva were the two littlest ones, and they were so much fun! I was impressed that they were such good sleepers - they were in the upstairs loft area, which was open to the kitchen below, so not much there for a sound barrier. But once the kiddos were down to sleep, they stayed asleep! Sam was so funny, he is getting so big. This picture below looks JUST like his dad, Rob, did when he was little; I need to find one of Rob and scan/post it-- two peas in a pod!
Here are a few more pics of Sam and Eva:
After breakfast on Sunday we headed out for a hike up to Grotto Falls, which was a 3 mile roundtrip hike. It was a pretty steep climb up the side of the mountain towards the falls, and we were all pretty winded after our climb, but I was impressed that my dad, at age 73, was hangin' right there with us all the way up to the falls and then later on the hike up to the observatory on another mountain.
The boys had a great time on the hike, and were out in front of all of us the majority of the time; they found walking sticks on their way up the trail, climbed all over the rocks in the waterfall area and just generally enjoyed their time outdoors. (My 7-year-old nephew, Payton, informed me that I "wasn't much of an outdoorsman" because I was spending my time on the trail looking at the ground and roots to avoid tripping!)
We left early on Monday morning to head back to Springfield, after a wonderful weekend. I think Dave really enjoyed getting to know my sibings and their spouses a little better, and all of us siblings that were there (and I know Tara agrees, especially since she didn't get to be with us on this trip) think that we should do this annually, or at least every few years. Now that we are all getting older with jobs, families, and life that keeps us so busy, we really only ALL get together for three holidays a year. An annual trip for all of us just to relax and enjoy ourselves together would be great. Maybe we'll pick a warm place - Florida, Cancun, Jamaica? That would be my vote!