July 11, 2013

Unplanned Trip

     Hi all I know it has been a bit over a week and I am so sorry.  It isn't that I haven't thought about you or have had things to share.  In reality it has been just the opposite.  I've had experiences, smiles and tears that I've been wanting to share but for some reason getting them from the dusty corners of my mind and onto this blog has been a bit of a struggle.  I have tried to write at least a dozen or so times and what winds up on the screen is simply gibberish, boring slosh.  However, today I am determined to get at least something here that is worthy of your time. 
        Last week was the 4th of July which originally meant that I wouldn't have a weigh-in to report on and a newly built chicken coop to brag about.  One simple phone call changed the later and now I have non-chicken things to share.
     Wednesday night we received a phone call from Em in Georgia.  She had fallen, hit her head and was knocked out.  The camp nurses were watching her and would keep us posted.    Thursday morning, after spending the night with the nurses she was going to the ER to rule out a concussion as she was still dizzy and nauseous.  Within 45 minutes of hanging up with her we were out the door and headed to Georgia.  The plans we had for a Old Fashioned Crab boil were easily moved, the shellfish iced and the car packed.  Travelling on July 4th was definitely not what we had planned but definitely what we needed to be doing.  
     We didn't tell Em we were headed up as to not worry her.  It was fun texting her while she was in the ER pretending we were home.  Thankfully about half-way on our drive she called to say all of her tests, including a CAT scan came back clear.  The doctors decided she passed out due to a Vasal Vegal response due to an unexpected sharp pain, had she not hit her head she wouldn't have come in. We were half-way there and now committed to surprising her for the weekend.  She is working for the Windshape Camp which I'll tell you all about in another post.
     Friday morning is Family day at Windshape so we didn't stick out.  The staff were great at keeping our secret.  We arrived at Em's station while she was playing games.  She didn't see us sitting on the porch until the session was over.  The love on her face was incredible, I hope I can keep that picture in my mind forever.  We got to spend the rest of the day with her and see the closing ceremony as well.  Her college roommate also works there so we took the two of them out for the evening. 
     Young Harris, GA is a small town.  The movie theatre there only has 3 screens.  The theatre is old-fashioned and they even bring in folding chairs to accommodate everyone.  We saw Despicable Me 2 and had an incredible time.  OK I know you're not that surprised as I love animated movies, but you really need to see this, Steve Carrel and Kristin Wig are incredible.  It wound up being an early evening as the girls were wiped from the last day of camp.  Em spent the night with us which was a nice treat.
     Rain made our plans of hiking the Blue Mountains a no-go.  After visiting a tourist station we decided on travelling to Sweetwater, Tennessee which was only 45 minutes away according to the attendant.  I don't know if she was new or thought the 45 m on her chart meant minutes but I'm here to assure it even as the crow flies it wasn't 45 minutes away, thank heavens for google maps.  That's OK we were committed to visiting The Lost Sea.  "Listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as America’s largest underground lake, the Lost Sea is part of an extensive and historic cave system called Craighead Caverns."  We learned the hard way that tours are conducted every 30 minutes, and there's often a wait ~ours was 2 hours.  When you visit be sure to buy your tickets before you stop for lunch in their restaurant.  The tour is definitely worth the wait.  On days when the weather is cooperative they have a nature trail to explore during your wait time.  
     As this is underground the temperature remains a consistent 58°, t-shirt and shorts might not be enough.  During the tour your guide points out different types of formations,
doesn't this look like
explains how plants get down there, shares the history of the caverns as well as creating a completely dark environment; which is quite intense.  Did you know that after being in a completely dark environment for two weeks you'll go blind?After walking 3/4 mile down you arrive at the lake.  There you're given a boat ride across the lake which is 3 football fields long.  Now that you're relaxed the fun begins as you have to walk back up to the entrance and it is quite steep, unlike the nice winding path you take down.  That's OK there's three rest points with new things to see.  Consider it a little work-out for the day.  If I can do it you can.
     So our 4th didn't go as planned.  WE didn't see fireworks, have a cook-out or build a coop.  However we did get to see a part of the country we hadn't been to before and most importantly we got to see our daughter.  Sometimes unplanned trips are the best.  
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