A Tennessee Thanksgiving

In recent years, our holiday tradition has been to travel to Tennessee to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and to stay home, near Joleen’s family, for Christmas. Going to Tennessee gives the kids a great opportunity to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Willis and other family members!

On Wednesday, we picked Ethan up from school and began the lengthy drive to Cleveland, Tennessee. After making a pit stop overnight, we arrived at my family’s place at 12:45 p.m., just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

On Friday, we went to the Ocoee River, which was used for the canoe slalom during the 1996 Olympics. The water was pretty low where the visitor’s center is located. There are also a couple of bridges connecting paths on both sides of the river. We spent a lot of time walking on the rocks in the middle of the river. (We enjoy rocks; that’s one of the reasons we like going to Maine.)

On Saturday, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. It was a nice—and tiring—afternoon, seeing all kinds of (mostly underwater) creatures!

This morning, we visited the New Covenant Church of God where Joleen and I attended while we were in seminary. It was good to see a few people we knew, especially Jackie and Cheryl Johns, pastors and seminary professors. They also officiated at our wedding at New Covenant.

The family got together this afternoon and exchanged Christmas gifts.

This has been a quick trip due to the school schedule (living with a school schedule is new to us, now that Ethan is in kindergarten). Tomorrow, we head back home.

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