Tuesday, September 4, 2012

labor free weekend

For most years I can remember, I was always picked up by a big Suburban loaded with boats and camping gear every Labor Day weekend Friday.  We'd head up to Reliance, TN for a (usually rainy) weekend of kayaking, campfires, karaoke, and great friends.  

After a 4 year hiatus, we decided to revisit those memories in the form of a cabin this time.  With way fewer people and no camping, we still managed to pack up a good amount of stuff.  It was a great time. 

I drove back Friday after class to sit in traffic and make it for Nate's varsity football game at Lovett. It was so nice to catch up with some old teachers and families from home! I certainly have some great people in my life!!


friday night lights on the riverbank

Then it was a Saturday family road trip up to Tennessee. For the first time in over 6 months, I was finally getting out and about back in the South. 

how I've missed home

We arrived to a lovely little cabin in a woods down a long dirt driveway.  It was perfect.  

perfect except for this little friend
And right away, we were headed to the put-in for a run down our favorite Hiwassee River.  It's always a cultural experience up in that country. My favorite parenting 101 episode: a guy was inflating his raft via car battery (see below) and yells out at his misbehaving child, "You better shut up or I'll kill you right here in front of everyone!" Good one. 
dad of the year
Only minimal mishaps and flips on the river this time! I did manage to swallow a good bit of water but also managed to never have to swim due to my (sorta) newly acquired skill of being able to roll! It was a picture perfect day out on the water! Brought back so many great memories. And after not seeing Joyce for so long, we picked up right where we left off and just laughed ourselves down the river.  What a great friend!

Funny how a day on the water just wipes away all your energy. We were good for not much more than heaps of food, bananagrams, and laughter. 

beautiful table centerpiece 

We spent Sunday splashing and laughing our ways down the Ocoee River.  No matter how many times I do it, it is always such great fun! The afternoon brought great thunderstorms and we just sat under the cover of the porch in rocking chairs, watching them pass. It was beautiful. 
We also got the news that Mr. Kuik's father passed away. My thoughts are with him and the whole family at this time. Even when you see them coming, goodbyes are never easy.

Monday morning was a quick pack and clean and on the road again for Nate to go to football practice. (such is the life of a high school jock...)

beautiful eastern Tennessee morning!
 On the way home, we stopped at a lovely joint on the side of the road: Dirty Dave's.  Dave's got a little bit of everything in there! Dad and Nate were reluctant to go in, but there were certainly some gems worthy of a good laugh. 

hot boiled peanutes
horse hoof cleaning wipes right next to your birthday cards!
one stop shopping here