Wednesday, January 29, 2014

West, no wait, North?

When we left Charlotte we had to backtrack north a bit to meet up with Interstate 40 heading west.  We did this first part of the drive in silence, but once we turned on to I-40 we starting talking and both realized we were feeling a bit lost about the next leg of the trip.  We knew we were eventually headed to Tucson to meet up with friends, but Mapquest showed we would drive I-40 for a couple thousand miles of road with nothing really jumping out at us to do or see along the way.  We decided to make it a short travel day and stop for the night to reassess our options.  We had been told by numerous people that Asheville, North Carolina was worth visiting, that the Smoky Mountains were very pretty, and that the Blue Ridge Parkway was worth a drive, but none of them felt right to either of us.  We ended up driving just past Asheville and stopped for the night on the edge of the Smoky Mountains.  We figured if we changed our mind overnight we could always go back.
The next morning we talked more and both decided that this trip was mostly about seeing family and friends, and that we could visit one of my cousins in Kentucky without going too far out of our way.  So after a nice leisurely drive through the Smoky Mountains we took a right in Knoxville, TN and headed north once again.  The next day saw us crossing into Kentucky, driving through Lexington, and eventually ending up in Louisville.
My cousin Katy and her husband Brian have a thirteen year old son, Brandon, and eleven year old identical twin girls, Allie and Julie.  We got a bunch of time to just sit and visit, and in the evenings we were lucky enough to be able to stay at Brian's mothers house while she was out of town.  Katy works with animal rescue so with a house full of cats, dogs and kids it was nice to be able to decompress in an empty house at night.  Katy told us the twins loved the Science Center downtown and they had a whole section just for toddlers, so we spent the afternoon there and Madeline had a blast.  You can tell by the pictures that her favorite part was getting to play in the water fountain.  Luckily Nicole had thought to bring spare clothes for her.
We enjoyed several good meals together and a lot of sitting around watching the twins play with Madeline and then it was time to head out again.

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