Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our First Girl's Trip

The weather had been so bad all week that I wasn't sure if I was going to actually be able to go on my trip until the day before.  
When I received an invitation for a baby shower 4 hours away and out of state for a sweet friend of mine my heart longed to go.  I set it aside thinking it was just too crazy.  I have a 4 month old nursing baby, an active 4 year old, and numerous responsibilities.  My sweet hubby had other plans though and encouraged me to go!  He kindly watched Elijah for me all weekend.  As a nursing baby Evangeline is my constant side-kick so we set out on our mini road trip early Saturday morning.

We had a lovely time driving south and stopped for lunch with my sweet friend Sarah Watkins in Barbourville, KY.  We were college buddies and both share a deep love of history, missions, and teaching Bible Studies.  Such a blessing to see that sweet girl!  I'm now kicking myself for forgetting to get a picture.  (That happens a lot to me!)  

After lunch Eva and I headed through the Cumberland Gap to TN.  I enjoyed reminiscing about old times and the many road trips I took to visit my great-grandmother who was also named Eva.  She lived in Eastern KY in the mountains.  During my college days I would travel to her house every 6 weeks or so and spend the weekend.  We would go shopping, out to eat at Hardees, and to church on Sunday.  Great-grandma Eva passed away five months after Eli's was born but she did get to meet him (her first Great Great Grandson).  I only wish she would have lived long enough to meet her namesake.  

Veteran's Overlook near Bean Station

Once in Tennessee we stopped at the above Veteran's Outlook along HWY 32/25E.  If you are ever driving this way I would definitely recommend stopping.  It was really neat and right off the highway.  I thought this would be a great place to take a nursing break but Evangeline kept sleeping so I enjoyed it all by myself.  Below are a few photos I snapped.  

There really is a place called Bean Station!  

Absolutely beautiful! 

After a brief stop we continued on to our next stop to visit Sarah Burton Winstead and her husband Nick.  Unfortunately I got lost and took a nice scenic route to their house adding almost an hour to our drive.  :(  I did see a couple of interesting sites while lost.  
The tractor parked at the gas station that I checked out while Eva was nursing.  Elijah would have been ecstatic if he had been with me since he loves tractors! 

Look closely...can you read the caption?  It says Possum...the other white meat!  I thought this was so funny.  
I stopped at a gas station to fill up along the way and couldn't believe that I had to go in to pay!  They did not take credit cards at the pump.  I know what a spoiled American I am!  The guy next to me had a funny license plate so I quickly snapped a picture, hopped into my car, and prayed he wouldn't take too much offense to my snapping a picture.  I felt slightly like Nancy Drew but didn't actually want to meet him face to face in case he saw me.    

Sarah and Eva
 We finally arrived to the charming town of Rogersville.  Eva and I both had a WONDERFUL time catching up with Sarah and Nick.  Eva was born five days after their wedding so I will probably always remember their anniversary.  I think I will forever be remembered as the big pregnant lady dancing at their wedding!  :)  The Winsteads were so generous and hospitable to us.  We even spent time with Sarah's parents who were in town visiting.  Evangeline and I stayed the night in their guest room and even went to church with them the next morning.  I just wish we could have stayed longer.  I guess that is just the thing with good friends-you just never want to leave!

After visiting the Winstead's church Evangeline and I headed to Knoxville for the shower.  We ended up arriving very early and I am still kicking myself for not stopping at a historic cemetery site in Knoxville.  After I saw the sign I thought about turning around but then I had already driven ten minutes before I reached the next exit.  Has anyone ever stopped here?  We did kill a little time at Goodwill and enjoyed people watching for a while.
The random old car I saw at Wendy's.
The baby shower was an absolute blast!  (The baby shower was the whole reason behind my weekend road trip.)  It was such a treat to see Emily and her belly!  I can't wait to meet Baby Canaan.  I just wish she didn't live so far away.  :(  I was also able to catch up with a sweet couple from college who are expecting their first baby.  
Such cute decorations!  

I loved the bee theme for the shower!  

On the way home Evangeline started fussing right before the exit for my college so we actually stopped at Cumberland.  I figured it was safer to feed her at the college than at a truck stop so we spent a nice time in one of the parking lots on campus.  It's so funny how some things still feel so familiar.  Although it has been years since I was a student at Cumberland I felt like I could pick up my suitcase and walk right back into my dorm room.  I would have never dreamed back in the day that one day I would be sitting in the parking lot nursing my sweet little girl!  

After our stop at Cumberland we drove all the way home.  I didn't even stop for dinner.  Evangeline was wonderful!  We drove over 5 hours the first day and 4 hours the second.  I am so thankful for our fun weekend away. and for a sweet husband who is so thoughtful.  I think our trip should definitely turn into an annual trip.  

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