Tuesday, May 28, 2013


When I was 15-16, my father started taking me to the Ocoee at least twice a summer until I was 20 and Jake was on the way.  He's the guy they probably still talk about, the one who went rafting in polyester dress slacks and wing tip shoes.  He didn't wear a tie at least.  My father had no play clothes, no swim suit, he was 60 before I ever saw him in a pair of jeans.  I lived with him for 2 decades and could not pick his legs out of a line-up of 3, but I will guess they are skinny and bright white.  Now he dresses like one of The Village People, in leather vests and hats, with fringe on some of his things and large buckles on his boots.  He has a motorcycle complete with a teddy bear dressed just like him bungee corded to the handlebars.  He'll be 74 this year. 

The next time I got a chance to go rafting, Matt and I were just about to celebrate our 9th anniversary and realized we had not been away, just the two of us, since our honeymoon.  I looked around online and found the best deal out there, an opening weekend special that included a cabin for 2 nights and a trip down the river one day.  I booked it and off we went, I was glad I had planned the rafting for the second day or else we would have blown our budget to go again (and possibly again!) the same trip.  That was the last time my kids ever stayed with my mother, I still don't know what I was thinking other than really just wanting an adventure that had everything to do with Matt and me and nothing to do with being the mama for 2 whole days.  Getting married with a baby already here and one arriving less than 10 months later, we have not had many 'Matt and me' times so far.  In fact, other than one other weekend, we have not been away together since and we just celebrated our 16th anniversary. And that trip did not involve rafting!

So, I had decided what we needed to do was go rafting again, this time with the kids.  One of the reasons we have not gone since 2006 was waiting for all the kids to be old enough and now they are!  Matt turns 40 in a month, I had planned to go then as a surprise and went to check the outfitter we used the last time and they were running a Memorial Day special that was too good to pass up.  I sent out some e-mails and Gina was raring to go as well, so everything fell together at the last minute, we made our reservations about 20 hours before our raft time!

Blogger will NOT let me put my photos back in order, so the first three should be in the middle, but I am not going to stress about it.

We met up at Suzette's house-which was a surprise to her-when the Lackey's dropped off Dakota to hang out with Z for the day.  They had planned for him to stay, but not for us to park there for the day.  I ended up blocking her in and leaving my keys just in case.

It was 8 when we hit the road.  I was all about being on time, and the day fell into place without a hitch, I was not stressed once the whole time.

Chan secretly delights in elbowing her sleepy baby brother, bwahahaha

We got to Quest at...well, on time.  Our trip was 1:30 eastern and the lunch included was served at 12:30.  We were checked in and first in line, which was wonderful because the group coming in from the 10 a.m. trip did not all wash their hands!  

After we ate, they encouraged us to get more if anyone was still hungry.  I nabbed another homemade cookie!  I had bread and cookies both and I had a flour tortilla at dinner.  I feel queasy today, but that could easily be from 6 hours in the middle of the backseat.  But my rash is back.  I had a few bumps this morning and now, after noon, I have a small field of them.  That CAN'T be from lack of Vitamin A, even if I had celiac disease, it would take more than 24 hours to do that kind of 'deficiency' damage.   I need more information.

My four lovely children. 

Gina took this one.

 These are from Gina's camera:

After!  Soaked and happy.

Matt did a track log of our raft's progress down the river.
Ben was a little worried about the trip, just not knowing at all what to expect gets him worked up.  Even on a day when we will just be home, he asks a dozen questions about what exactly is going to be happening through the day.  He had gotten pretty worked up inside his head about the river, but as soon as we were past the first set of rapids, he was thrilled.  He said one tiny 'wheeeee' and smiled the rest of the afternoon.

Below is my after-rafter snack.  We were like terriers.  It was too pooped to be like wolves, though I did do some damage to that avocado there.

While I was eating, Gina got to spend a few minutes visiting with a friend of hers who rode her...motorcycle but with extra wheels, down from Knoxville.  It was a good day for a ride, though too bad they missed rafting!  It was a perfect day on the river.

On the way home, the kids were wiped out.  It's not a major physical trip, there are only a couple of sections that you really have to dig in and paddle.  The guide does 90% of the work of steering and the river does the pushing along.  The rafters just keep it moving now and then to get across or through a sticky spot.  But the day was LONG and the excitement was high and the drive is 6 hours round trip no matter what you do-that's a good bit of down time.

My child for sure.  84 degrees outside and he's bundled for Siberia.  I sleep COLD, so does Ben.

Jake gets tired of waiting and wakes everyone up with his pigtails and hat.

Brit has no idea what to say, so Chan helps her out.

 We stopped for dinner at Scottsboro and then zipped on down to pick up the van and get home.  I had NO trouble sleeping last night! I can't wait for next time!

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.