Saturday, October 29, 2011

Minister's Tree house/Cumberland Mt. State Park

I'm ready to hike. I'm not a hat person, but it was cold!

Hi everyone!  I knows it’s been a long time, but school has been very busy. (I had my observation on Thursday.) Last weekend was the last Clarksville Downtown Market for the season.  I had a good day, but it will be nice to have my Saturdays open for a while!
This is from last weekend when we went to see Wicked in Nashville for my birthday.

  This weekend Nick got us a room (with travel points) for us in Crossville, TN.  You have probably gone by it on the interstate when you were headed to Knoxville or Gatlinburg.  It may not look like much from the highway, but it is on the Cumberland Plateau and very pretty.

Our main plan was to go hiking in the Cumberland Mountain State Park.  Last night, I did a simple search of things to do in the area and I came across something called the Minister’s Tree house.  I had never heard of it, but there were lots of positive comments left on the travel site. We decided that it would be worth a look.

When you are used to getting up every day at 5 am it’s hard to sleep in.  We had stayed up late and luckily we were able to sleep in till around 7:30.  We ate our free breakfast in the hotel and then took off in search of this tree house.

Some of the steps are a little rickety.  It gives you a disconcerting feeling.  I wouldn't take little kids there.  It would be dangerous.

There are lots of religious carvings in the tree house.

 This large room is the chapel.

It was really amazing.  The builder supposedly had a vision about building this tree house and he started building it in 1993 and has continued for 17 more years. It is totally free also, but there is place to leave a donation if you felt so inclined.  Here we were at the dead end on a country lane and there was probably 20 cars in the field with license plates from all over.  There was even one from Massachusetts.  The tree house is full of religious themes and peoples’ signatures written everywhere.  It’s hard to describe in words, but I would recommend it to anyone.  I hope the pictures do it justice.

The view from the top!  Jesus!

View from another level

After that, we headed to the park for hiking.  We had several choices, but we chose a trail that was a little over 2 miles.  The day was perfect, sunny and in the 50s. Our hike was nice and we rewarded ourselves with fajitas at the local Mexican restaurant afterwards.  We drove around, saw the sights and came back to the hotel early.  We just finished watching “The Runaway Jury” and now Nick is watching UT football.  I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store.

This suspension bridge was very bouncy!!!

Earring News:  I have had two co-workers ask me to bring my jewelry to school.  I took them, and as always the teachers loved them and bought many things.  I have just started making feather earrings and they are very popular.  One of my friends that goes on Torch trips saw a picture of them on FB and wanted me to send her some.  Who knows??? Maybe I’ll start selling them on the internet.  I don’t know….I’m already busy and I don’t want to get too big.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Have a party, It's my birthday!

I believe I see some wrinkles, yes, I'm a year older!!!!

As seen on the interstate

Nick, Taylor and Lucas wet to the Predators game to celebrate Taylor's birthday.  Cocoa and I went to the Greenway to hike.  This is Cocoa enjoying the swing on the trail.

This is Taylor's favorite cake, strawberry.  It isn't very pretty, but it was delicious!

Singing Happy Birthday and bowing out 21 candles, plus one to grow on

This is what 7:00 am looks like!

Yes, it’s my birthday!  You guessed it, I’m _____________ years old!  You fill in the blank.  What do you think?  A lot of you out there know my age.  A second grader today guessed my age as 30!  Sounds good to me, what do you think?

Fall has made it to Clarksville!

My day started around 5 am and I was bound and determined to get an extra special birthday coffee from Starbucks this morning.  I stopped by and decided to treat the car behind me for my birthday.  When I got to the window and told them, they let me know that the person had ordered a very expensive drink and I wondered how expensive it could be.  Well, if you get 7 SHOTS OF ESPRESSO, IT COSTS $9!!!! I said, “Oh well, it’s my birthday, that’s okay.”  They actually gave me my coffee for free!

I had a student bring me a present which consisted of some fancy chocolates, a soy candy and some Ricolla. (sp?) Gifts from students are always a pleasant surprise.  I got some wonderful gifts from my teacher friends and my son and the day was topped by my IPhone vibrating all day from birthday wishes!!!

I ended the day with a hot, pumping, electric Zumba class and then my Ladies’ Wednesday night Bible class. Now, I catching up on some unreal reality TV

My birthday isn’t actually over because I’m meeting my teacher friends tomorrow night for dinner. Also, Nick and I have tickets to see Wicked this weekend.  I’m also excited because Nick has taken the initiative to get us reservations weekend after next in Crossville. We are going to hike in the Cumberland State Park.  All I can say is………………………………………………..

 I'm taking donations for my charity retirement fund.  The $$$ will go to purchase this house on the coast of Ireland.  You are welcome to come and visit any time!!! :0)

My eyes are closing as I type, I'm too tired to edit!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chimney Rock/Doc Chey's Noodle House

On top on the world

Today, we slept a little late.  Our plan today was to go to Chimney Rock.  It is about 30 miles away up in the mountains.  We noticed that as we got higher into the mountains the leaves had changed more.  We love this part of the country because it’s so beautiful and we enjoyed the drive over to Chimney Rock.  There is a little town with cute shops in the valley and you drive up into the mountain to get to the state park.

  Normally there is an elevator that takes you up to the top of the mountain and it was being renovated.  We decided that would probably be our hike.  There were lots of stairs, but the view was worth it when we got to the top.  A side note:  The movie, Last of the Mohicans was filmed in this area.

neat gift shop

After that, we went to a place called Discount Shoes.  It is a huge warehouse shoe store with any nice brand of shoes you could imagine.  Nick found a pair of Clarks that were about $30 less than another store.  They have Merrells, Dansko, Clarks, Tevas, Keen and many other brands that I’m not familiar with.  If you are ever in this area, I recommend you check this store out.

We had snacked a little since breakfast, but we were getting hungry.  Doc Chey’s Noodle House is a restaurant we go to every time we come to Asheville.  They use fresh local ingredients and are reasonably priced.  There’s usually a crowd, but since we got there around 3:00, we were able to get a seat.  I had Thai Red Curry and it was great.

Tonight we visited a very small church.  There were 23 and that included us.  They were very nice and welcoming.  It’s always nice to meet members of the church when we travel.  I hate to say it, but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.  We’ve come back to the hotel and we are taking it easy tonight.  I’m not exactly sure what we are going to do tomorrow, but we will eventually head home!  It’s my Fall Break, so I’m planning on enjoying this beautiful weather and getting some things done around the house!

I hope you are enjoying the pictures!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yipee!!! Fall Break in Asheville, NC

Fall Break in Asheville, NC

There is a benefit to having your husband travel 5 days out of the week……….Reward points!!!!  We are able to rack up points and use them for hotels!  We decided to take a weekend and go to one of our favorite places.  We’ve come about 4 or 5 times before.  It’s Asheville, NC. 

first pumpkin muffin of the season!

on the road

Not only does Asheville have Biltmore Estates, but it has a beautiful town with lots of cool shops and restaurants and the mountains are all around!!  This time, Nick used his points for a stay at Hotel Indigo.  (They have a couple in Nashville.)  It is a cool beautiful boutique hotel in downtown Asheville.  Look at the pictures!!!

view from our room

our room

I used a Groupon coupon for the Jerusalem Garden CafĂ©.  This was a Middle Eastern restaurant that cooked with fresh local ingredients. (I think most all of the restaurants do that here.)  We also had entertainment with a band and a belly dancer.  We had a three course meal and it was delicious.  We started with a spinach pie as our appetizer, I had the chicken kabobs (I couldn’t make myself eat lamb!) and we had baklava for dessert.

cool shop

Urban Outfitters:  I can make that!

Basket on head:  A good way to collect tips

My chicken kabob

Our hotel at night

  We had fun and then we walked around downtown and looked at some of the interesting shops.  (There are a lot of fair trade stores and I found some nice things for birthday gifts. We are back in our room calling it an early night.  Who knows……maybe we will hike at Chimney Rock and visit a local church tomorrow?

late night snack