Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Wright Bros, My Cousin and the Pierce Farm

Kitty Hawk was 1/2 hour north of our beach house on the Outer Banks.
This is where theWright Brothers flew the first powered aircraft in 1903.

Walking the path of the first 4 flights.

Derrick and Dad examining the workings of one of the first powered aircrafts.

The same day we left the beach, we went to KittyHawk, dropped Derrick at the Raleigh airport, then had one night in a hotel before getting to Ashville North Carolina to meet the McAbees at the Biltmore Estate.

Thanks for the great tickets Nicole. Adults are usually $55 to get in, we got in for $35. And children 16 and under are free this summer. What a deal!
Kenny, Tucker (4) Nicole, Isaiah (9) Conner and Hayden (14)
Derrick and I had been there in 1998 with 3 kids age 1-5, and I'm sure they didn't remember it. It is beautiful. Open to the public in 1930 after the Vanderbilt family lived here only 35 years. No AC inside made it a sweltering visit, but still amazing. We even snapped a few forbidden shots inside, no flash of course. There's a bowling alley in the basement and a swimming pool too. Ew, gave me the creeps to be underground, in water!

My cousin Nicole Bibelheimer McAbee. Beautiful mother of 4 boys, lives near Asheville North Carolina.

Swimming and cliff jumping in Pisgah Forest.

We left Tuesday morning the 10th of August and headed to Franklin Tennessee. Drove in some of the worst rain I've ever driven in. Lasting almost 2 hours!! We were so glad to end our visit on the Pierce's farm. They moved here 2 summers ago to be closer to the venues when they tour with their show Girlfriend's Night Out. We're talkin' 'bout good ol' southern hospitality, even better! I was so relaxed and glad to catch up with late night talks with my girlfriend of 10 years and counting. I had to get ready for the drive home! Mom and dad left Thursday morning, and I had a sweet extra day with Pam.

Kids played lots of card game.
Winona's farm. And yes I mean Judd. Ashley and Naomi are neighbors too.
Jacquelyn (12) making orange rolls for dinner.
Misty Tennessee morning.
Touring their 30 acres in the Gator. They hope to have a few horses soon so they can ride them instead of the noisy beast.

The gardens of Carnton Plantation were so unique and had lots of grapes for the kids to eat. My mom and dad too.
We were too late to go inside, but Pam told us all about Carnton Plantation. Five hours of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War took place here. Over 10,000 soldiers were killed in the Battle of Franklin. This home became a field hospital and the floors still bear the blood stains. There are lots scary stories about it being haunted too.
We loaded all 9 kids in the back of Pam's Sub so we could be together when we drove around to see Franklin Tennessee. MW Smith's studio, the NewsBoys' studio, Carrie Underwood's house, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's house and lots of fun gossip!! We even ate at infamous Puckett's where Pam saw what she thought was an Alan Jackson look alike singing. It turned out he was getting the local yokels' opinion about a new song!
Parker (6) and Preston (10) Pierce
Artist Ray Swanson is Pam's sweet departed father. My kids were in awe of his artwork.

It was a sweet ending to our 3 weeks. We drove to OK city for a night, then bucked up and drove the whole rest of the way to Phoenix on Saturday the 15th. 12 hours total, lots of stops of course. I was so proud of Alex and her driving. What a lesson she had!

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