Donna and Greg are traveling! We are going to share some of our adventures as we go thru 2009. OK, we are going to start with our Christmas Vacation. Not going to charge any extra though, so relax. Donna and Greg lead a traveling band of home school kids and dogs. Katie, Amy, and Will are the students in our academy. We call it JAGS (Jackson Academy for Gifted Students) We have a logo and matching jackets. (check our online store) Donna is the teacher. Greg is the principal. Granny is the administrator. Mack is the official mascot, and Hershey is in charge of security. We offer a complete course schedule to get children out of our house. Donna is on her 6th algebra adventure. One of these days, she is going to get it.
So they won't cry about being left out of the first blog, we have 4 older kids too. James and Allen are working. Rob is going to college, and Andy is somewhere inbetween. I know, "what are you doing with all those kids?" We have a blended family. Greg, Rob, Andy, Katie, and Will lured Donna, Amy, James, and Allen to Tiki Town, Mississippi 3 and 1/2 years ago.
Our Christmas Vacation was a trip thru the Great Smokey Mountains. We left Granny's house after Christmas and drove to Franklin, NC. We were going to go gem mining, but they wanted $30 each. Uh, NO. So we hit the highway and drove to Cherokee, (or Cherryokee, as Will likes to say). Then we hit paydirt! We went gem mining in Cherokee. We found several rubies and sapphires and lots of dirt. The assayer said it was a 15 to 20 karat ruby. We'll see. But what a blast, standing in the rain, getting cold, trying to find a hidden jewel in a bucket of dirt. I highly recommend it.
From there we went into the Great Smokey Mountain Park. This was our first attempt at mountain climbing in our new RV, Buddy. He did great. Donna was a bit white knuckeled as we went on the switchbacks. Fortunately we did not run into any snow our ice, so the travels were fine. We crawled thru Gatlinburg and wound up spending the night camping at Cade's Cove.
Cades Cove is AWESOME! My great great great grandmother is buried there along with many of her kin. I didn't know her. Duh, she died in the 1800s. We are deffinately going back and doing the geneology thing when it is warmer.
After Cades Cove we wound up in Pigeon Forge and did some shopping at The huge knife store and a coleman outlet center. Our next destination was Chattanooga. On the way, we saw a sign for the Mayfield Dairy tour. We love doing factory tours. (Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Miller, Bud) We thought it was time for a dairy tour. Maggie the cow is huge. We got lots of pictures. Plus some fine Moose tracks ice cream.
"A vacation is just not a vaction unless you have one full meal that is just ice cream" Donna J. Got to love a woman that will let you eat ice cream for lunch!
When we got to Chattanooga, we tried to go to Ruby Falls. They were too proud of their elevator. Just didn't see paying $150 for an elevator ride into a rock hole. OK, we are cheap too, but that is for another story another day. We spent the night and headed for Chickamauga Battlefield. We enjoy doing tours of battlefields and junior ranger programs, but that is another story for another day.
At that point, we decided we didn't want to do laundry, and we were out of clean clothes, so it was time to go home.