We left the motorhome at Cummins around 7 am Monday morning. Since we had not eaten any breakfast, Chuck treated me to a breakfast at Waffle House. It was delicious!
We were so surprised (but glad) to get a phone call from Cummins around 5:30 Monday evening saying they had the motorhome ready. The squealing noise was a leak around the gasket so it was a good thing we took it in to be fixed. Fortunately, there was no damage to the motor. Thank goodness!
We stayed at Jellystone which is where we normally stay when we are in Nashville. It was nice with some shade plus being able to get out with satellite.
We enjoyed the next three weeks being with family. We got to spend a lot of time with my mom which was great! She had enjoyed a surprise visit from Crystal, Grant, Avery and her newest great-grandchild, Hannah, the week before. Below is one of my favorite pictures of her and Hannah.
We had breakfast one morning with Chuck's brothers, Rick and Jerry.
Over the next couple of hours, we talked and laughed and remembered things we enjoyed when we were younger like eating a Shoney's Big Boy sandwich wrapped up in cellophane.
More of us got together again the next week at Fletchers Pizza. Mandy, Pam, Jerry, Anna, Donald, Rick, Marla, and Scott (who took this picture) joined us at Fletchers for all-you-can-eat pizza.
We laughed and remembered even more good times. :)
We stayed until nearly closing and then stood around laughing and talking in the parking lot for another 45 minutes.
Mama, Chuck and I also spent one afternoon with my Uncle John and Aunt Milbrey who kept us laughing with all their stories and memories. Uncle John and Aunt Milbrey have been married 64 years!!!! WOW!!!!!
We drove up to Lafayette to see Patricia and Doug and had a very nice visit with them and some good mexican food at La Tia in Lafayette. We talked about when Chuck was a boy and they would "go to the country" to visit Grandma Velma's mother and her brother, Floyd, who was Patricia's father. Sleeping on a feather bed, a "two-holer" outhouse, and getting ice cold water with the dipper from the well are some of his fondest memories.
Both my mom and Anna treated us to a couple of delicious home-cooked meals and we also enjoyed some of our local favorite restaurants like Painturo's and Hermitage Steakhouse. We ran into Chuck's cousins, Barbara and Donnie Wilkerson, at Hermitage Steakhouse whom we had not seen in 8 years!! We enjoyed renting and watching some movies when we were over at my mom's and we had fun playing many card games of SkipBo and 7Up (sometimes until after midnight) when we were over at Donald & Anna's.
With all that good food, we knew we needed to get back walking again. We got our 10,000 steps in most days by walking at Opry Mills. I like walking outside better but in the middle of the summer with Nashville's hot and very humid days, the air conditioning was much appreciated.
We would always try to get to the mall a little before 8. Since the mall doesn't open for shopping until 10 am, we avoided the crowds.
Four times around the mall plus about another 800 steps equals 10,000 steps (or 5 miles) for us. The air conditioning and the country music playing over the speakers is nice but the scenery gets very repetitive. I call it walking the Opry Treadmill. :)
Beginning the second week we were in Nashville, we started biking about 10 miles around the Pennington Bend area near the campground after walking our 5 miles on the Opry Treadmill.
To avoid traffic we would bike down Music Valley Drive to Pennington Bend and McGavock Pike and then ride around the parking lot of an office strip mall about 4 or 5 times to get our 10 miles in. I call this the "Pennington Bend" Spin. :)
Nashville has some very good paved bike trails. We had ridden out to Shelby Bottoms a couple of years ago. We got real ambitious one day and decided to do a 30 mile bike ride out to Shelby Bottoms and then all the way out to Percy Priest Lake.
We began by parking at the Kohl's on Lebanon Road near Hermitage and then headed west toward Shelby Bottoms. Of course, we usually always take at least one wrong turn with the first one being when we started down the drive of the old Ravenwood Country Club.
I have some very fond memories of going to the swimming pool with my friend Amy Oakley and her family at least 2 or 3 times a week when I was a kid. Metro Nashville owns the property now and the pool, clubhouse and golf course are no longer operational.
We turned around and headed down the bike trail that took us through some beautiful farmland...
...and across the Stones River.
Although the trail is nice and wide and paved, and the scenery is very nice, it is very hilly. I had to walk my bike up the steepest hill that goes up to and under McGavock Pike. Chuck took it slow and made it all the way up on his bike. We next rode through Two Rivers Park and after passing the Wave Pool, we crossed over the Cumberland River.
The trail out to Shelby Bottoms follows along Cumberland River...
We rested for a few minutes and drank some water and then headed back the way we came. Unfortunately, you have to climb a steep spiral trail...
...to get back up to the bridge that takes you back across the Cumberland River.
But I took my time and made it up without walking my bike this time. We carefully rode back down the steepest part of the trail past McGavock Pike and back across the Stones River.
In addition to nice shade in parts,
the trail also follows along the Stones River.
We crossed the Stones River again...
...and when we arrived back at Kohl's where we parked the car, we rested a few minutes, drank some water and ate some fruit. Then, we got back on our bikes and headed east toward Percy Priest Lake.
The trail continued along Stones River...
with part of the trail being a boardwalk constructed on top of bridge pylons along the bluffs.
Again, a lot of the trail was shady...
but it was also very hilly. Are we having fun yet???
When we reached the dam,
we did some calculations and realized we would not hit 30 miles if we just turned around and rode back to the car. So, we rode some off-shoot trails that were also very hilly and then began heading back at a point where we thought we would reach 30 miles at the car. We reached another long hill where I had to take a short break, drink some water, and walk my bike for a short distance. Slow and easy Chuck made it up the hill just fine. :) When we got back to Kohls, we were still about 9/10 of a mile short so we rode behind the strip mall and back and when we reached the car we were at 30 miles on the dot! Our longest bike ride ever!!
We proved to ourselves that we could ride 30 miles but I don't know that we will be riding 30 miles on this trail again. The hills were a little overwhelming! Nashville has some really awesome bike trails, but you better just be prepared to pump...a lot. :)
We are SO VERY BLESSED with such a wonderful family and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit "back home". Now, we're off to Atlanta to enjoy even more time with our kids and grandkids as we await the arrival of granddaughter #5!! :)