~ wine tasting at the Biltmore
~ laundry and groceries in Asheville
~ Great Smoky Mountain National Park
~cutting sticks for fairy houses
~ Jr. Ranger program: helping catalogue invertebrates of the river
~ the Dragon Fly Larvae Greta and I found
~ this and next two photos by Greta
~ waterfalls at Deep Creek "hike"
~ Greta and my evening hike from Balsam Mountain Campground
Looks like my "quick posting some trip pictures" will involve more than I planned... thanks to unplanned sickness (my own) and feeling a little better, we're not just watching old movies today and I can pretend like I'm accomplishing something (with a non-functioning washing machine and an unfinished porch with a self-imposed deadline, any accomplishment is okay in my book, especially if I don't have to deal with the standing-whilst-sick headpounding.) Though the girls thoroughly enjoyed Charade, one of my favorite movies ever, so we did have a fun afternoon yesterday.
This was the middle section of our trip, where we pushed through a lot of traffic and rolling hills and had a lovely campsite tucked away on the edge of the camp. Biltmore was fantastic, but not for a tired 8-yr-old on an extremely busy Saturday - someday Jeff and I will be back for some behind-the-scenes tours and eating at their (expensive) restaurants. The Smoky's were... okay. Our campsite was 45 minutes away from everything, which was tough (but quiet), and most of the "things to do" were around the perimeter of the park also, and not accessible without hours of driving. We still couldn't do big hikes, as Gret's ankle still hurt from Shenandoah, so we were limited in our activities. The girls built a spectacular fairy house at camp, though, and learned to use an ax! (homeschooling: check.)
Now for resting up and preparing as much as possible for the rapidly approaching chaos. I do think my body periodically forces downtime, as I'm not very good at it otherwise. We'll finish up vacation with a cave visit. Stay tuned!