For any of you who plan fall vacations in order to view leaf color, we've learned that the last week in October is one of the best weeks around here to view same. Only one other time in recent years have we happened to hit the hills at as good a time as last week, the year we drove the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Perhaps the drought this year has affected the lateness of the "bloom". All I know is that we did get to see a lot of lovely red, yellow, and orange trees.
We combined tree-viewing with family visiting and got to go trick-or-treating with the Princess. On Tuesday afternoon, we (along with her mommy) picked her up at the baby sitter's house. She was surprised to see Granny and Grandpa, but she seemed to recognize us right away. That always delights Grandpa. We ate supper at Lilly May's, a fine eatery in Red Bank, TN. Our waitress was dressed in a clown costume, including the make-up, and Fia spent a lot of the evening staring at her. Fia, of course, was costumed as a beautiful blue-eyed baby doll.
Halloween was fun from the very moment we woke up, since we woke up with the Princess. (Of course, we could have used a little more sleep...she seems to think whenever anyone sleeps over, it's a good time for her to be a night owl.) We got to baby sit all day, which is a hoot. Grandpa had never been involved with the baby-sitting end of the visit before, only being there on weekends, so he spent so much time smiling that his face hurt by the end of the day. We didn't keep to a schedule, but we had fun. How far off were we? Well, Fia was eating a cereal bar snack when we picked up her mom at 3:15, and she still hadn't had her lunch. (She really does love those toddler cereal bars.)
Wednesday night, we took a little pink poodle and went to Trunk-or-Treat at Grace Church of the Nazarene. This was Grace's first year to try trunk-or-treat, and they did a great job. It was also my first experience with the activity. I wish they had had similar activities when my own kids were trick-or-treating--so much safer, and a lot more fun for the grown-ups. Fia seemed in awe of the costumed grown-ups she saw, as well as the kids she ran around with on a semi-weekly basis. She pretty much just stared at everyone. I did catch one wide-eyed view of her looking up at Nanny, her babysitter, who had apparently been swallowed by a duck. (I've been looking for my camera so that I could post the picture, but GOK where it is.)
Did I mention we were on vacation? After the second all-night slumber party with Fia, we headed out for a chance to see some more trees. Grandpa had been wanting to see Fall Creek Falls, so that was our next destination. Beside the trees and the lake, there wasn't a lot to see there, since the drought had affected the amount of water going over the falls. It was more like Fall Creek Trickle. At least he got that out of his system. We spent the night at the lodge there (which is really nice, by the way).
The next morning (Friday), we headed out with no particular destination in mind and ended up in Corbin so that Grandpa could take care of business--which reminds me, I was supposed to do the same thing today and haven't done it. Yuck. On the way to Corbin, we went through the general stores at Muddy Pond and bought too much candy. We also stopped in Rugby for supper so that Grandpa could remind himself how much he likes shepherd's pie. And of course we saw a few pretty trees.
We were home on Saturday evening after a relatively uneventful trip up US 25--saw some more trees, by the way. Despite the time change, we managed to sleep in on Sunday, so I think we're pretty much caught up on sleep now. All in all, Grandpa had a pretty good vacation! (Me? I would have rather gone to Gatlinburg or Cherry Grove, but there's always next year, I guess.)
Just in case anyone is concerned, the one part of this vacation I would NOT pass up is the time I spent with the Princess and her folks!