Monday, February 13, 2017

Three State Trip Part 1

Jim and I fell in love with the countryside in all three states we visited, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. It had been a lifelong dream for me to see a beautiful Kentucky horse farm with wide, long driveways and sweeping fences. Little did I know that the dream would be fulfilled while attending Jason and Ashly's wedding. We stayed with Ashly's friends, Jill and Tom. They were the perfect host and hostess. The house was beautiful inside and the outside was just as beautiful. They only had 2 horses but they were friendly. I got to feed them apples and had a little chat with those animals. It made me a bit homesick for my childhood.

I was surprised at how hilly it was because it had been such a long time since I had been in southern Indiana. I actually went to Louisville with Jim once when we lived in Indiana. We stopped at that time to see Churchill Downs. I remember trees but not hills. I couldn't believe how beautiful the area was.

The wedding -- walking into the sealing room seeing all our children seated there (minus spouses) was unbelievable. I felt like my breath was taken away as I looked over at all of my family. I realized that Jim and I have been blessed beyond comprehension due to the goodness and faithfulness of our children, I can imagine our reunion after the last comes through the veil. But I don't know if there will be a "last." Grandchildren and great grandchildren will come.and then eternity will come without end.

It was wonderful to meet Ashly and her children. It was wonderful to see the joy on Jason's face and to realize that there is a happily ever after - after trials, heartache and sorrow to absolute joy. It made my heart feel peace. We wish them every possible happiness.

As we left and traveled across Kentucky and into Tennessee, I marveled at the continued beauty of the landscape. I saw the Kentucky Thoroughbred Horse Retirement Farm - that's where race horses go after they are done racing. The fields were filled with beautiful horses. I about drove off the freeway while I was staring. Just can't beat that scene.

The scenery changed from rollings hills to steep hills. The freeway cut through solid rock draped in ice. I became more and more amazed at the steepness of the hills. In between the hills were little bowl shaped valleys filled with more trees than I have ever seen in my life.

We finally arrived at Mike & Adrianne's set to stay for a few days.

This is where the Richards go to swim in their neighborhood.

 A log covered with mushrooms of some kind.

 Mushroom in detail.

Pretty path in the neighborhood.

Mike took us on a tour of the University of Tennessee. I hope it doesn't offend him for me to say it was a pretty ugly campus. Grass doesn't grow easily in that area so the grounds were not terribly beautiful. The buildings were old on the outside. He said they are gutting many of the buildings and remodeling them inside but leaving the outside shell. And talk about hills! Anybody that thinks BYU's steps are hard, well, they are wimps. This place is built on many hills. So many stairs!! 
The stadium that housed Peyton Manning is right there on campus.The Tennessee River runs on one side (it's a large river!) and then all the buildings for campus are crammed together with not a lot of green space. There was a good combination of old meeting new here.

Administration Building.

 Downtown Knoxville as seen from campus.
Stadium at the University of Tennessee.

 Inside the stadium.
Peyton Manning's home school.

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