I mentioned before in my last travel post that we had gotten bored of the small private park and decided to try out the state park. What I didn’t mention was the first time we tried we were there less than 24 hours. We got the itch to move on a Sunday afternoon and arrived at Buck Creek State Park in high spirits. The weather was warming up a bit and I was full of plans on how we’d spend the week at the lake, hiking, bike rides, etc. But the next day Tom came home from work after only a couple hours with the report that there was a stall in the job and we’d have to go back to Cincinnati- now. I was disappointed at losing the opportunity to fully explore the beautiful surroundings, but excited we’d get to see our families, so we packed up and were back in Cincinnati by the evening.
The next day I set about unpacking and settling in when Tom called. If you’ve read my blog before you can guess what that means. He was needed in Smyrna Tennessee. Tomorrow. So I cancelled our dinner date (sorry grandma and grandpa!) and went about undoing everything I had accomplished that morning. We threw three confused kids into the car and rolled into Smyrna about 2 am. Three moves in three days. A spur of the moment five hour road trip. We were exhausted. We managed to locate our spot in the dark and after a quick unhook and set up were ready to pass out. Then came a knock at the door. The Smyrna police were at our door for our official welcome. Someone at the park had called to report our drunk driving, the passenger who was in the car throwing up, and the three young kids we were endangering. Luckily the officers could see right away nothing about the call had been true, and after a quick chat with Tom they left us to our sleep. This trip was off to a great start. (And can I just say anyone who can accurately back a trailer into a tight spot in the dark is clearly not drunk. I couldn’t do that sober.)
After (mostly) shaking off the feeling that we were being watched, we set out to have some fun in Smyrna. And then it snowed. And the town completely shut down. Malls were vacant. The art museum closed before the snow even started. Even the grocery store was closed. It was a little surreal as there was only an inch on the ground. Apparently that’s just what happens when it snows in Tennessee!
It was cold but we did find a few things to do during our week stay. The kids and I enjoyed the Smyrna Library. When it reopened after the snow we all had a blast at the Frist Center for Visual Arts. They had an amazing kids center where they enjoyed hours of painting, making stop action films, drawing, block building and on and on. Princess and I especially enjoyed the Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors exhibit. If it weren’t for Turtle tugging at my leg begging to leave we could have spent all day in there!
We also visited the Aquarium Restaurant. A bit of a tourist trap, but with Turtle’s love of the ocean we couldn’t pass it up. It was great timing too, because of the snow we practically had the whole place to ourselves.
The highlight of the trip for Princess was The Parthenon. It was big and sparkly and she couldn’t get enough. It was also a great opportunity to learn a little bit about ancient Greece. Roadschooling win.
It was cold. We had a rough start. But in the end we had lot of fun in Smyrna.