Monday, July 7, 2014

july has rolled on by (part 1)...

We had a busy July.  The weather seems a lot cooler than what we've been used to in past years.

At the beginning of July, we went on a bit of a road trip to Tennessee.  My friend Debbie invited us to her aunt Bev's house for their annual 4th of July party.  Why not?  It was an excuse to stop working on the condo and also to show Felix a couple more states in the United States.

Typical of my husband, he had ideas!!!  He wants to do fun things on our vacations so he mentioned that it would be cool to go ziplining.  We would be passing by two cool areas that offered ziplining; one was in Hocking Hills, OH and the other was in Cave City, KY.  Out of the two, the Cave City one was much cheaper.  It was also closer to our destination and at first we were trying to hook up with some friends that have relocated to Tennessee.  However, this didn't work out because this year, Ramadan fell right on the 4th of July and they are Muslim...so no fun for them...oh well, next time.

We were also planning on going on a cave tour at this same time, but when we got there it was so busy that weekend that they were all booked up.  So we bought tickets for the day we would be driving back.

We booked a couple of rooms in a very nice looking AirBnB 30-45 minutes away from my friend's aunt's house.  Good thing we didn't go on the cave tour because as we were driving to our BnB after ziplining, I decided it was time to call the host and let him know when we would be arriving.  It was around 5pm when I called and we weren't going to get there until 7:30-8pm.  He was not happy with us.  In a perfect world, he would have wanted to have been contacted much earlier so that he could plan his day.  I felt pretty badly, but also a little put off.  It's been a while since I've been scolded...let alone from someone I don't know.  We found out as the weekend went on that he was a little anal about time, being on time and what you did with your time.  We found out other things too...but before we did, we were greeted with lemonade and conversation.

The house was pretty amazing.  It sits on the top of a hill that overlooks some of the foot hills and a cow pasture.  It was built in the 90's to look like an old fashioned Victorian from the outside.  The inside boasted 5600 sq. ft. of living space, several bedrooms and bathrooms.  We were taken on a tour and were very impressed.  He had vintage political posters and photos of him with several presidents.  He purchased the house from the lead singer of the country band Lonestar.

He mentioned that he had owned 13 restaurants, bars, clubs from 5 stars to fast food...not all at the same time.  He was just divorced from I think his 5th wife.  He's got 5 kids all under the age of 13...he was in his retirement years.  He is a member of the millionaire's club....and he was going to cook breakfast for us!  Isn't that something?

We stayed that evening and sat by the pool (Jerome swam) and talked with the other couple that was staying on the property.  We had to stop at Walmart to pick up some beer and snacks for the party and then stopped and had dinner at the local Sonic (our first time).  We turned in early because the next day was going to be pretty full.

The party was really fun.  We all had a great time.  We started out by going to the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree, which is a festival in Smithville, TN that they have every year.  I went to it when Debbie and I visited back in the early 90's.  This features dancers, bluegrass, art and craft shows and a very small gaming area.  It really hasn't gotten much better in the many years between visits.  However, Felix did find a very cool instrument that he ended up purchasing.  It's called a Woodruff and it's sort of a banjo, ukelele, small guitar.  It's was pretty cool and we kind of peer pressured Felix into buying it.  Now he's having trouble figuring out how he going to get it home to Germany!

After the Jamboree, we went to Bev's and relaxed before being brought by a huge ATV, driven by Bev's grandson Dalton, down the road and to the river.  We were going to walk to the falls.

The hill to get down to the river was crazy steep.  We held on tight and waited for the rest of our group.  The walk to the falls was pretty cool, up a trickling brook, under some fallen trees.  The light was strange because it was the middle of the day but it was sort of dark and the light had sort of a greenish tone.  When we were ready to head back, we ran into some other folks that were taking the walk to the falls.  They told us of another set of falls just up the road a piece, so we decided to go investigate that one too.

Dalton then expertly drove us all back up the hill and back to the party where some were swimming in the pool, some were riding horses and others were just lazing around waiting for the party to get started.

By nightfall, Felix was pretty drunk.  He was in competition with Debbie's husband Curt.  They hit it off pretty well.  Actually, it seems Felix left quite an impression on most of the people at the party.

They shot off fireworks and unbeknownst to us, the horses got spooked and somehow got out of their pen.  For about an hour or more, everyone was in search of the horses, in the dark - drunk.

We eventually had to leave and hoped for the best when it came to the horses...they ended up finding them the next morning in a field 2 miles away.  Animals don't like fireworks.

We were leaving the next day, making a stop at the Mammoth Caves to have our cave tour.  Felix was not doing very well.  He slept the entire time driving from the BnB in TN to the Mammoth Caves in KY.  Luckily for all of us, he did not get sick.

Mammoth Caves are nice and cool and it helped Felix with his major hangover.  By the end, he was feeling much better.

We drove all the way home after that and got home that night.

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