Country Tonight was the regular show for the first half, but after the intermission, the Christmas part kicked in and it was really beautiful and Christmasy. Glad we went one more time.
Monday was departure day for Donna and Ron. Sad faces all around, but 6 weeks will go faster than 6 months and we will see them again in S. Padre Island in January if all goes to according to plan. One blessing...
Tuesday was our Jeep travel day to Raleigh, NC, but we weren't expecting much traffic, so we didn't leave until 9 am. The whole drive was uneventful, but the traffic was a little heavier than expected. We arrived in time for dinner to our daughter, Mandy's home just after dark. It was so great to see the kids again. We hadn't seen them or Gary's mom since Memorial Day and they had grown again! Jack is now 7 and in second grade and Ainsley is 4 and in preschool.
There was lots of preparation for Turkey day as 18 people would be sharing a meal with us, so two pies and black raspberry bars were made for dessert. The turkey was ready to go in after Joe and Mandy participated in the Turkey Trot, a 5 K race for MS. Here they are with their TT shirts, and happy with their finish time. Proud blessings.
We cooked the turkey, made mashed potatoes, made a table centerpiece with a pumpkin or two:
Gary was a happy camper: he had breakfast at Bruegger's on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day, Friday for lunch and on our way home. The boy loves his bagels, fortunately, so does Jack. Fun blessings.
On saturday we needed to check out the Bull Chute for western wear and Jack wanted to go too. He tried on his first cowboy boots and hat. Cute little dude. We didn't buy, just looked. I did get all my Christmas shopping done for the Raleigh crowd - hooray! A couple of blessings.
By the time we arrived back at Mandy's, the whole outside was decorated with bows and wreaths, and later that night we went to visit our dear friends, Dick and Diane Auxer. I worked with Dick in 1998 for a few years and we became good friends. We always make it a point to visit when we're in Raleigh. More blessings.
Joe went hunting, so missed our Ruby Tuesday dinner out on Saturday night. I wish we could be with our families for Christmas, but at least we will get to see them before we leave for the West. We're hoping they can come out to visit us for some fun times on a school break perhaps.
Sunday came all too soon, and bad weather is forecasted for west Tennessee - with snow and ice! We scooted home, but took a detour to see my Mom and Dad's old house in Columbus, NC. It was sold in 2005 and is for sale again! (Just a little curious to know what the asking price is.) Entering Tennessee we decided to take a shortcut onto the Foothills Parkway where we took this picture of the Smokies from yet another angle. We love the Smokies and we will return someday. They wiggled into our hearts.
Before I could get my camera ready, we saw a bear foraging for his Thanksgiving leftovers, but we didn't see any more. After 9 hours on the road, we entered our campground driveway. Home sweet home. Bella looked good from the outside, but when we entered we heard a warning beep. Something was wrong with the fridge. It was flashing a 'no AC' 'no FL' warning. Huh? The inside was cold, the frozen food was still frozen, so we were perplexed. The power hadn't gone off, and we had propane. Gary checked the AC connection, the fuses and other stuff while I asked our neighbor, Graham, to come and take a look. He brought his current detector tool, and everything checked out OK. We messed around, checked the manual, and got it to run on LP for tonight. I'll call Norcold tomorrow to see if they can help. We are supposed to leave for Florida on Tuesday, but you know, the best laid plans get messed up, but plans made in pencil just get erased. Hopefully we can figure this out and not have to call an RV repairman.
So as not to use any propane, we had soup and toast for dinner. It will be so good to sleep in our own bed, but we sure had a great time in Raleigh! Thank you, dear daughter and family. You are our best blessings.