It was a little challenging at times but through it all we remained strong with a few complaints while building strong bonds.
It's a very lively city!
We stayed at Seven Points Campground, nestled in Hermitage, Tennessee...where Andrew Jackson's Hermitage is located. It's about a 20 minute drive into downtown Nashville.
We arrived to a very wet campground. Try setting up tents when it's raining? Yeah...we tried. And good thing Donnie accidentally brought the extra basket with extra towels. I used those to dry the wet tent.
We then put a halt to setting up and we went out for pizza while waiting for the rain to die down. Once the skies cleared a bit, we finished pitching our tents, blew up our mattresses and settled down for a quiet rain filled night. Thank God our tents kept us dry!!
Camping is NO FUN when it rains...that's a fact! I am so very thankful it never rained again for the rest of our time camping.
Our goal is to travel as much as we can.
Was camping one of the things we really wanted to do? No not really.
When you have a budget and still wanting to experience the "world", why not jump at the opportunities that lie before you? For us it's been going on camping trips.
A must for me personally (to make camping work) is to have access to a grocery store (Super Walmart and Kroger's were my best friends during our stay). Another must is to have a site with electricity and water hookups. As well as decent bathrooms with toilet paper and hot showers. If I have these important things....I can survive camping.
Yeah...it's no Ritz Carlton.
Another note to mention is that it wasn't always cozy snuggles, Kumbayas by the fire, or smiling Smores faces. (Actually whenever they ate smores they were smiling....BIG).
Really....what happens when you take away TV, computer games, and throw eight kids together into one tent? Ummm...some arguing, some complaining.
It's ok though we made it through. We did have the fires roaring at night and ate Smores to our hearts content!
(If I look at one more graham cracker...I think I'm going to barf. )
Donnie would leave early morning to his conference. He was such a good sport even though it didn't feel like real camping to him. He would wake up before we did; Get dressed in his suit (try that in a campground...yikes); then I would drive him into town for work. Three of the five nights he was able to get out early. We made of the opportunity by sight seeing with Daddy.
Tsavah's week was made when she met Wells Adams. He's a D.J. in Nashville and appeared on this past season of the Bachelorette. He's one of the guys we rooted for during the season. Great guy!
During the day, while Donnie was at work, we would cook breakfast (which takes twice as long when only having a small camp stove). After breakfast we would shower, change out of our camp clothes, so we could go and explore Nashville.
Ana is someone who never hesitates to meet new people.
We met Steve who would pass by our site several times a day walking his two beautiful yellow labs named Bella and Gouda. Ana made sure she would pet them every time they would walk by.
Steve and his wife Jackie were so sweet to let the kids spend time swinging on their hammock. These are memories that will last a lifetime.
The neighbors to the left of us gave us these beautiful tulips to adorn our picnic table. People were so nice to our kids.
We saw so much wildlife in Tennessee. Our favorite was when Stinky the Skunk would come visit our site. That was one of the highlights of our week. Stinky the Skunk.
We stayed in Tennessee for about 7 days then "loaded up our (van) and moved to Beverly...Hills that is"
Um...I mean Alabama. The hills of Alabama. We stayed right outside of Birmingham in Oak Mountain State Park.
We arrived right as the sun was setting. We pulled up to our site where we found rows of tents along with RV's in very close proximity to each other. The bathhouse was right smack in the center. It felt a little like a huge tailgating party or a commune. I didn't know what to think of it.
Everyone was super nice though.
Donnie was given firewood from a couple who called themselves T and Bones. The younger couple on a "camping date" watching college football on their big TV they had brought from home, gave us some lighter logs. The Asian family across from us would smile toward our direction. They looked like they were enjoying family and friends to their hearts content. Behind us there were children riding their bikes to the late hours of the night.
The next day everyone around us had packed up and left leaving our lonesome family in the middle of an empty campground. We then asked the park attendant if we could pitch our tent in a more tree covered site. Thank God we were able to. I wish I had a picture of the boys moving the tent from one site to another. They lifted and carried the tents across the campground. We really did look like the Beverly hillbillies. haha!!
We stayed in Alabama for a total of 3 days. We spent our days hiking and exploring. The park was 10,000 acres with so much to do.
I also had to throw in a little history lesson while en route to Alabama.