Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Weekend, Part II

We got into Knoxville around 3:30 on Saturday where we went immediately to Sam's to get a cheesecake for the evening's party. We added a little more to the grocery cart and also got a tray of cupcakes with "dad" decorations, two containers of different dips, and two bags of gourmet chips. We visited first with James' grandmother, the amazing 92-year-old woman who still lives in her own house. She just had to put her other kitty Lucky to sleep due to his advanced senior age, so now granny enjoys sharing her home with little female kitty, Socks. We always visit granny first upon our arrival in town- she lives on the same large piece of family land where James' folks live, but her driveway is the first one we come to, so we stop in to spend an hour or two of uninterrupted, private time visiting with her. On this trip we looked at old photo albums, including one with pictures of James' high school graduation extravaganza. What a cutie he was- and still is. Granny feeds the wildlife on her property, including the raccoons who absolutely love her. She has a mother right now with three babies, and she told me she walks right up to them and picks up the babies to cuddle. Yes, we've all given her a lecture about wild animals and rabies, but granny loves the little critters and continues to spoil them with their own bags of dog food. One even came out while we were visiting, looking for his lunch.

At James' parents house, everyone gathered on Saturday for a big Father's Day blowout. It was potluck, and including all the desserts and snacks that we brought, dinner also consisted of meatloaf, red beans and rice, corn casserole, pasta salad, roasted veggies, garden salad, fruit, bread, and lots of lemonade and tea. Everyone was there, including granny, James' folks, all the siblings and spouses, all the grandkids (and one fiance), and a few very excitable dogs. James' dad got loads of gifts including a shirt, tie, DVD, wind chimes, and fun cards from the younger grandchildren. We had a great time, having everyone together for those hours. After dinner and dessert, James played host to a few rounds of Mad Libs. We had actually bought a book at the Cracker Barrel that morning, for us to play in the car, but it didn't last long because I was laughing so hard while trying to read them that I had cried off all my makeup and was about to pee in my britches. The family Mad Libs hour was just as fun, with everyone taking a turn giving an answer, and James reading the stories. After a few of them, we started to get a little silly and crazy, so we called it a night. But everyone, especially the kids and even the adults, had a fun time with them. As the evening wore on, everyone went home one by one, until it was just us and his parents.

The next morning we went off for the day with his parents, heading toward Sevierville. We stopped in first at the Smoky Mountain Knife Works, a gigantic store that not only sells knives, but also includes a museum, garden area, kitchenware department, all sorts of gifts for the home, and fun food. We bought a few small items, and I admired gorgeous wind chimes with a beautiful tone, but at $60 it was a bit more than what we wanted to pay at the moment just for something to hang on the back patio. We went on to the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, the original one that sits across from a river and is surrounded by many acres and orchards. It's a huge place with not only the restaurant but also lots of shops and a barn. We bypassed the big country breakfast, and relaxed on the grounds for awhile, waiting for the lunch service to start. I took the opportunity for a few photos of the family, and I really love the one of James and his dad together, very appropriate for Father's Day. After lunch we made our way back toward Knoxville, making a quick stop at Camping World, so his mom could pick up a new rocking chair for their RV and upcoming camping trip with the grandkids. I made James peek inside a small pop up, trying to convince him of how much fun we could have with a camper, but he wasn't falling for my trap.

We had another very quick visit with granny before getting back on the road to home. It was at least a beautiful sunny day, except it was in the high 90's and we had the air running on full blast. We had planned a few detours along the way home, to small towns to get pennies for the collection, but we were both tired and decided to save it for another trip. Those parts of Tennessee and northern Georgia are very scenic, but it wasn't long before we made it into downtown Atlanta and then home. Once back into our own house, life immediately continued on as normal, with cats crying for attention, the computer getting turned on to check emails, and the TV going so we could watch the last half of the race and check in on golf. I love going out of town, but I also love coming back home again.


  1. I agree - it's fun to take a trip, but always nice to get home. I will be so glad when we are all living in once place again! Sounds like you had a fun weekend - I miss having a family to do things with sometimes.

  2. What a wonderful Father's Day celebration. Both my father and step father live away from us, so no family gathering here. However, the past week that we were in Washington was particularly nice to spend with my FIL. Next week we will be in Montana for the 4th, so I will spend some quality time with my step father and mother.