Written by Mama Gypsy, for a change of pace
We spent a week and a half in Asheville, NC. Countless people along
our travels have told us to go there and check it out for a possible
home, so, we did.
The first few days were spent getting ready for our friends from Chino
Hills, CA to come for a visit, Leanne and her daughter, Kendra. We
did grocery shopping galore, repairs, cleaning and a bit of left over
laundry. We got lost at every stop we made and that continued
throughout our stay there. We had to ask ourselves the deeper
question of, "why do we feel lost?" Asheville is set up in a strange
way with lots of turns and every street has three or four different
names. I think it's because the locals really don't want any more
people to move there but who knows. It got a little better once we
got our updated navigation disk in the mail. One local told me she would
rather not be in anyone's GPS at all. I get her on that, really I do,
but when you are traveling the country and in a different city every
week, the GPS is extremely helpful.
Our friends arrived and we were all so excited to see a friendly face
from HOME! We've been away from home almost a full year now and it
was so nice to see someone from our past. We love meeting new friends
but it's always nice to see a good "old" friend too.
I spent some time getting Leanne and Kendra acquainted with all the
special features of the trailer and all the things they would need to
know in order to survive a week living as GYPSY girls, such as; how to
flush the toilet, how to open the shades, how to know when the grey
tank is full, how to work the shower and how to conserve water while
showering, etc. Then I forgot one important thing, I yelled to them
in the living room, "OH YEAH, NO PEEING IN THE SHOWER!" We are not
allowed to pee in the shower because it has a separate tank and it
does not have chemicals in the tank. It is important to remember when you live
with little boys but Leanne assured me it would NOT be a problem as
she laughed out loud. I realized then for the first time in a year,
THE GIRLS AND THE BOYS WERE NOW EQUAL IN NUMBERS!! Actually, counting
Baylee, we out numbered the boys!! Whoo Hoo!! In hindsight, was that
a good thing, or a bad thing? Hmmmm.......
After getting them settled in we went over the itinerary for the week.
We had a lot of things we wanted to do. First on the list and I
think the most fun we had together as a group all week was Sliding
Rock. Sliding rock is a huge natural rock slide in the Pisgah
(Pizz-Gah) Mountains near Asheville. Yes, the water was cold but I
thought very refreshing. I discovered I like really cold water in warm
weather. Joss, Robert, Leanne and Robby all tried the natural slide
and Joss was the only one in the group to go more than once. You go
girl! (Good to cheer yourself on now and then) The river was
beautiful and we all had fun exploring and sliding. As we were
getting ready to leave Robby wanted me to so see the rock slide he'd
found down river. The others headed to the truck to change and Robby
and I went to "his" rock slide. Just as we did it started to rain. I
can honestly say there is something very beautiful about swimming in
the river while it is raining. I felt extremely free not having to
worry about getting wet and being naturally baptized by God
him/herself. It was truly beautiful.
We shopped in downtown Asheville and we shopped near by Hendersonville, a very cute
little town with a fabulous Indian Arts store called All Nations
Trading Co. and a wonderful old General Store like the old fashioned
General stores of yesteryear. Leanne and I got trapped in the store
during one of the rouge thunderstorms that they get here in the East.
Bummer, trapped in a store. Yes, we found plenty to do.
We again celebrated with our friends, Sawyer's fifth birthday at a
Chuck E Cheese type place called Fun Depot. We were thrilled that our
new friends who we had met in Charleston, SC were able to come and
play with us, Gail and her son Henry. We all had a blast on the
bumper cars and go carts.
Our week did not go without some hitches though. With so many people
in such a little space you are bound to have some issues. We had no
idea they'd be the issues we dealt with though. Leanne and I wanted
to call this little write up "The House of Hormones" but were out
voted by the men in the group. All week we battled with the many
people in the group and the hormones that governed their bodies and
emotions. Sawyer is going through his five year old hormones and now
and then gets quite angry and aggressive for no apparent reason. He
starts yelling, usually at me, that he hates me and I'm so mean.
Kendra is going through newly pre-pre-teen hormones and was very whiny
and moody much of the time going hours without talking a single
syllable that made any sense to anyone except to Baylee and certain
alien life forms. After days of this whiny talk both Leanne and I
thought we'd go crazy until our monthly hormones kicked in as well and
we both had hormone headaches that the only relief was retail therapy-
ALONE! We took a day to ourselves to go shopping, had lots of
caffeine and a whole bunch of Ibuprofin and it seemed to get better.
One thing I must talk about is that Leanne is a 1st grade teacher in
CA. She thankfully brought along the tests that she gives her class
so we could get an idea as to where Robby is with his road-schooling.
He marked a 96% on his math and a 94% on his reading test. Much
better than we thought. However, he is not quite up to par on his
speed. It took him three times longer to read then it did her class
so we will have to work all summer on sight words and decoding words
so he can read at 2nd grade level. His comprehension of what
he is reading is excellent. Overall we were quite happy with the
results knowing that he is not too far behind in the main subjects. I
feel confident with Leanne's help that we can get him fully caught up
by the time he starts school, whenever and where ever that is.
Our wonderful new friends from Asheville, Gail, Ben and their adorable
son, Henry, were generous enough to take all three kids for a full day
so that Leanne, Robert and I could go to the Biltmore Home by
ourselves. We relished in a full day with no kid worries or
interruptions and for the first time on the trip paid extra for the
headphone guided tour. We spent hours in the largest home in our
country and reveled at it's amazing architecture and gorgeous interior
and amazing renovations for the time. In the late 1800's it had full
electricity, an indoor pool with underwater lighting and it's own
bowling alley. I don't think I have to tell you but we had a fabulous
day. We spent some time in the garden where I got some of my best
flower shots of the whole year and then we headed to the winery for
Robert and Leanne to sample some of their wines. After a very full
day we met up with Ben and Gail to pick up the kids and find out what
they had done all day. The had taken the kids fishing at their
friends trout pond and caught a whole lot of fish. Kendra ended up
catching the most fish of any of them and was quite proud of it.
On our last day together we all drove about an hour outside of
Asheville to go see Chimney Rock. It is a large rock that extends up
and out and they have put stairs up to it so you can walk on it and
take photos of the surrounding beautiful countryside. Everyone was
tired and grumpy from a busy week and we had our challenges but also
managed to enjoy the beauty of North Carolina.
We said our sad good-byes as they left to drive to the airport in
Charlotte. It all seemed to pass so quickly as good times do. The
boys are still talking about missing their friend Kendra and wishing
she was still here to drive with in the back of the truck. We miss
our dear friends and hope to be back in Chino Hills for a visit before
After Asheville,NC we headed to Gatlinburg, TN to check out the famous
Smokey Mountains. Take a break from this long blog of mine and read
about our 4th of July in Gatlinburg next time.