I think that I need to get in the habit of blogging at least once a week because my memory has a hard time recalling everything that happens over a three or four week period of time!! We had one more day in Chattanooga and we went to the Tennessee Aquarium, the largest in the US. My favorite was the butterfly garden where there were dozens of different kinds of butterflies flitting around. I was able to take quite a few close up pictures of them and both Tristan and Calista had them sitting on their fingers.
It was on the way back from Chattanooga that we had a little break down. I have mostly blogged about all the fun stuff that we have been doing and the positive part about the trip but there has been a negative side................Tristan has a very difficult time with lots of change, stimulation, and lack or routine and it often produces quite a bit of anxiety for him. We knew going into this that he might not fair well but felt it was worth the chance. Even though he has had a lot of fun and has many fond memories he is having a very difficult time emotionally. It has also been difficult, for all of us, to be together 24/7 and nowhere to go when you need to be alone. Because of this, combined with the fact that we have yet to find anywhere that is just calling our names; no where that has given us a sense of peace as far as living goes, we have decided to end our trip early and head back up to Wasilla. Even though there is a part of me that is a little disappointed, it does feel right. At first it felt like we were giving up on our dream but really it has been incredible! We have seen lots of this country, had so much fun, and learned a ton! We are going to speed up our east coast part of the trip, head over to Colorado to visit Martin's sisters and aunt, up to Montana to see Craig Skinn, over to Oregon, Washington, and back home. We should be home sometime between the end of June and the first week in July. So now Martin just has to figure out what he wants to do. He is pretty sure that he wants to get into real estate; he gets excited thinking about it as a career so that is a good thing.
Anyway, we got back from Chattanooga on Friday night and Sunday was Easter. We were at my sisters for lunch and an egg hunt. We hid 120 eggs, 20 of which had $1 bills in them. We hid them so well that 19 didn't get found, including 4 with $1 bills in them, so us adults got a good easter egg hunt too. We did find all but one and it was only one with candy so I am sure the the mower will eventually find it.
Since then we have mostly just been hanging out at Ren's. Leann Hood and her kids came this last weekend and we went up to Bay's Mountain; kind of like a really small zoo but it was fun. The kids got to pet a possum and since we don't have possums where we live it was fun to get that close. On Wednesday we celebrated Sierra's birthday. Since her mom doesn't have much time, now that she is working full time, I took her and Calista out for a girls day. Her and I got our second ear piercing (that was what she wanted for her birthday) and we hopped around town finding stuff for a cake. She wanted a puppy cake so I whipped up a cake with a little scene in which there were lots of little puppies. She decided that she would like to eat the cake like a puppy so we let her stick her face in it and take a bite; it was hard to get anyone to eat any cake after that!
We left Jonesborough yesterday afternoon and are headed towards Washington DC. You would have thought that there was a death in the family; lots of tears and pretty solemn for the next couple hours after we left. Calista seems to be having the worst time with it as she and Sierra stuck pretty close. Kevin went as far to say that he would be willing to give some things up to spend more time with them.
We stopped at the Natural Bridge last night and parked at a KOA here. We visited the bridge today, very cool!! Along the nature walk there they have set up an Indian village, as close to what it would have been like in the 1700's that they can gather from research. There were Indian people there, dressed in the clothes that they would have warn during the clash of the cultures (1700's) when they were beginning to trade with the Europeans. They showed us how they would have made tools and even had some that they themselves had made, how they cooked and we got to try cornbread cooked on a stone over a fire, what there houses (wigwams) were like and a little about there family culture, and how they dried bones, etc. It was really interesting and when we walked away Tristan said "I could have stayed there all day listening to them!" We had encounters with two snakes which Martin didn't think was very much fun. He jumped so bad when we stumbled on the second one that he made me jump. We are just hanging out in the motorhome watching Deal or No Deal and planning on going to bed early. We leave early in the morning to go all the way to DC to spend a few days exploring there.