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Published: October 22nd 2020
We packed up the Mike's Tahoe in the morning and met with Jenn, Maw, and Nathan at the house before heading to the Knoxville airport. Mike and Kirby stayed with Grayson and Ellie to pack up the campers so we said our goodbyes the night before. It was sad to say goodbye to the house we stayed at because Donna and Kirby made it so comfortable to stay at. They had all of our favorite coffee ready along with snacks for the girls and breakfast for everyone right there in the kitchen area, plus there was a kids play kitchen that kept Vivi and Rosie constantly entertained.
Driving away back through Alcoa (where all the aluminum cans are made) we said our goodbyes to the great state of Tennessee and it's very different way of life. The people seem much more laid back than Californians and definitely speak different with a southern drawl. The Knoxville airport was very small so getting through was easy. We grabbed something from Ruby Tuesdays and let the kids burn off some energy before getting on the flight. The flight to Dallas was short but still tough since Vivian wouldn't sit still and we hoped
she would get a nap at some point. The kids got to ride in the front of the "Skylink" tram at the Dallas airport and loved it more than a Disneyland ride. The longer flight to LAX was a rough 3 1/2 hours, as Vivian only napped 30 minutes and cried for most of the rest of the time out of tiredness and the only pacifier we had she had bitten through so there wasn't much to comfort her.
We got the van and had a few more stops for the kids bathroom breaks on the way home...by this point we all were losing our minds. The poor kids almost all passed out in the last 10 minutes before home but we got there for quick showers and comfortably back in their own beds. Tennessee really was wonderful, but there is no place like home and sleeping in your own beds (and cribs.) This trip certainly changed our minds a bunch of how we thought about camping. While the amount of stuff to bring might still be hard, the experience would be well worth the opportunity to get fresh air, unplug from devices, and just try to be entertained
with the amazing outdoors that God created!
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