I have to warn you…this is not pretty. You are about to see us with mouths full of food, legs covered in mud, and a whole bunch of silliness. But may it be a lesson to not take yourself too seriously and just enjoy life. We are about to embark on: A Family Trip.
Remember your last family trip? It may not have been so long ago since many of us just finished up Fall Break. So the sounds of fighting in the back seat may still be fresh on your mind. We had a few of those episodes too. During those times the culprit was instructed to immediately spit out any unkind words they just said, which ended in laughter as we enjoyed the sounds and sprays that come from little boy mouths.
Take a look, and read on to find out about our travels…
This little adventure is my favorite kind. The kind where you pack a picnic lunch and answer “I don’t know” when someone asks where we are going to stop to eat. We ended up in a quaint little TN town eating our picnic lunch on the courthouse steps. We ventured across the street for a few shots in front of some great old buildings, and even had to make a pit stop at the barber shop on the corner for one little boy who started “dancing” and had an anxious look on this face. (We made it just in time!) And we finished snapping our last few family shots as the wind started to pick up and the clouds started leaking. We were headed out for more adventure, racing far ahead of the storm clouds.
“When are we going to be there?”… A common question we have all asked. My answer again: ”I don’t know.” We drove past cotton fields, around farms, and hopped on the Natchez Trace Parkway somewhere in the middle of Tennessee. My husband looked at me grinning and said “Having fun?” Of course I was, and he knew it! Taking the road less traveled and stopping on a whim–it was great! We ended up at our first stop on the NTP, Fall Hollow Waterfall. All five of us stayed on the trail and made our way down to the waterfall lookout where we could hear squeals below. It was so beautiful and serene. But the “dangerous” path ahead was calling our names. We carefully made our way down to the pool at the bottom of the falls and encouraged our boys to “go for it” whether we were prepared with extra clothes and clean towels or not. (And we were not! But what’s a little mud when it makes for great memories.) We exchanged cameras for family shots with some new friends we made, and enjoyed watching our boys explore.
We were off for more and decided to stop at mile marker 404, Jackson Falls. When they heard we were about to explore another waterfall, the boys were ready to go. While this one was a little more like a trickle, it was still beautiful. They climbed the rocks, they howled at the mountains, and we all acted silly. Who knew putting down the iPad could be this fun!! In my state of relaxation, I handed my camera over to the boys and let them snap away. The weight of the camera and lens could have probably pulled them down the side of the mountain, but they were strong, held on tight, and took some great shots of us in the middle of things (like talking or grabbing the camera back. They can get a little trigger happy.)
On the road again. Our bellies full of Twizzlers, and almost every sheet of paper and arm drawn on, we were headed to our last stop–”the BIG bridge” as we call it. We have driven under it many times on our way to visit family. But this time we were going to drive over it. They could hardly wait. The sun was getting lower in the sky, and we were about to finish up this adventure with a sunset view from atop the bridge. It was beautiful. Peaceful. A great way to wrap up our family time together. And then it hit…worn out boys full of hunger with a side of rebellion. We barely made it to dinner before we all lost it. But a little pizza and ice cream brought us back to bask in the glow of our fun times together. Whew, that was close!