I got to enjoy watching these two cute little boys play together one more time and climb stairs for two hours! (No Joke! Heidi and I got a work out... I think we went up and down at least a 100 times.) We sure miss little Mason already. Hopefully, the next TWO years will go by somewhat fast and then they can meet up again when we move to Alabama! :)
JC's favorite golfing buddies... Shawn and Zenock.
There were a lot more graduates, but these are "our" graduates. All of the good friends we graduated with and are going to miss so much!
August 26, 2008
After graduation we said our goodbyes to all of our wonderful friends and got in our packed car and headed for Virginia... of course there were a few stops we just HAD to make a long the way...
.... GRACELAND ....
The first night of our trip we stayed in the "Heartbreak Hotel" across from Graceland, (Elvis' home.) I experienced my first REAL fear as a mother. We needed to get some things at a grocery store, so we typed it into our GPS and picked the nearest store. Upon entering, I realized that we had literally crossed the train tracks. It was like stepping into a grocery store that hadn't been updated since 1980 and we were the only white people in the ENTIRE store. Being in a town, I didn't know, in a place I didn't know... I honestly thought we were going to get shot. I have NEVER been so scared in my entire life!!! (Dad... I think I experienced somewhat of what your stories sound like from your mission.) As for the hotel... I wouldn't recommend it either.... come to find out... it wasn't in the best part of town either? How were we to know?!?!
The Back of the house
The famous.... "Jungle Room" (Check out the green shag carpet. It covered the walls, floor, and ceiling.)
You can't use any flash inside the house, so most of my pictures turned up a little blurry.The Living Room when you first walk in.
Elvis and Priscilla's wedding clothes...
Their wedding portrait
What We Thought:
I was actually pretty excited for this, but in the end all I can say was, "Disturbing." Disturbing how so many people are STILL crazy obsessed with him. Elvis week and the anniversary of his death were the week before we were there. There were hundreds of flowers and wreaths all over and around his grave from people all over the world. Disturbing and eery the feeling you get when you go inside his house. You can only tour the bottom floor of his home, the top floor is closed off and the only people who have access are, Lisa Marie, Priscilla, and another guy who owns 75 percent of Graceland. BUT, only Lisa Marie and Priscilla and maybe 2 other people have gone up there since his death. Weird that 2 months before Elvis died he cashed in 3 of his life insurance policies. There is still one life insurance policy that has never been cashed in. There are so many other weird coincedences about his death, etc. No wonder people still think he is alive! JC and I honestly think he could be. If you were that famous and that desperate to get away from the fame.... what would you do??? (If you are interested, most of the theories are online... youtube, etc.)
While we were in Memphis, we thought we might pay a visit to the Lorraine Motel as well. It is now a civil rights museum. This is the Motel where Martin Luther King was shot.
The room where he stayed.
On our way out of town we stopped to get gas and across the street was the "Sun Studios." This is where Elvis recorded his first album. It cost him Four Dollars!
PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE
That night we ended up in Pigeon Forge. This is THE coolest town I have ever been to. It is like Las Vegas, but without the casinos. It is dedicated to Families. I think there are at least 15 go kart tracks and 20 themed miniature golf parks up and down along the strip. As well as dinner shows, Theatres, Dollywood, etc. We ate at this restaurant called, "The Flying Horse." There was a carousel built into the restuarant and while you waited for your food you could ride it. Zenock loved it! I wish we could have had more time to go and see and do everything!
The Inn at Christmas Place
Did I mention that we stayed at the best hotel in the entire world! It is a hotel dedicated around Christmas. I LOVE holidays and it was perfect. The entire hotel smelled like Christmas and was decorated in Christmas. They even had Santa Clause make an appearance at Christmas Breakfast. When we walked into the hotel, Zenock's face was priceless. He had the cutest perma grin on his face. Even the employees were happy and jolly. The hotel is completely booked for the next FOUR Christmases. I'll be back there in FIVE!
It was absolutely amazing! I could live there.
My sweet husband booked us a suite with a whirlpool in the room and a fireplace. We stayed on the fourth floor in one of the tower suites. The pictures do not do this place justice. I am obsessed with it. I had the BEST nights sleep.
One of the Santa decorations in the hotel.
Another cool "science museum" in Pigeon Forge. Steam comes out of the door and sidewalk and there are all these creaking noises coming from the building as you walk up to it.
Our drive through Tennessee and Virginia was gorgeous! It was so green. Some of the trees were even starting to change colors.... I was in heaven. Leaves are my favorite thing about Fall! We got to drive through Nashville... (amazing beautiful city... I will be back.) A few hours from our new home, we stopped to take this picture. The fields were literally sparkling.
We are surrounded by beauty and we love this place so far. We are now just trying to settle in and make it feel like home. Which is pretty challenging considering we are STILL sleeping on air mattresses and could be until the 12th or whenever our moving company decides to show up! (Let's all pray they show up tomorrow...) We have already made our first trip to the Doctor today... for JC and for Zenock who has an ear infection. Zenock has been having a rough time and we now know for certain that we won't be putting him in his "big bed" any time soon. He rolls off his air mattress at least five or more times a night. Poor guy... He just wants his toys and I just want him to have his own bed to sleep in. Naps are impossible on an air mattress.... haha! We won't even talk about meal time with out a high chair!
Zenock getting acquainted with his new "home."
Don't worry after a day of cupboards banging and playing hide n' seek, they already have locks on them.
P.S. To all of our Texarkana friends.... We MISS you! We want to come home....