Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art

On August 11, 2012 we visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. It was a nice, sunny day and the high temp was below 89 degrees. Just beautiful and breezy! We originally decided to check this place out because I found a website online that said it was free. However, when we got there it was not free. After touring Cheekwood we were thankful that we paid!! We absolutely loved it!

Cheekwood is a botanical garden. Not just ANY botanical garden, but 55 acres of several beautiful, themed botanical gardens that opened to the public in 1960! Visitors will be delighted to see a Japanese garden, a color garden, an herb garden, two perennial gardens, water garden, seasons garden and an award-winning wildflower garden.

As you meander through the different gardens it is like entering a different part of the world. Our favorite was the bamboo forest with beautiful Japanese stones statues and towering bamboo. The zen garden which is made up of raked pebbles and strategically placed granite boulders and plant life was pretty calming too!

Botanic Hall, the center of the horticultural activities, had a bonsai exhibit while we were there. I am told these change often!

This particular time we visited we were able enjoy the exhibit titled: “Treehouses: Great works of literature!”

This exhibit was bar far one of the coolest exhibits we have visited with children. As you walk through the botanical gardens along the paths there are artist built tree houses that correspond with great children’s literature throughout history.

Treehouse representations include tree houses fashioned from the books “The Giver,” “Rainbow Fish,” “Peter Pan,” “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Flies,” and “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”.  While each whimsical treehouse was so much fun and a delight for both children and adults I have to say my all time favorite tree house was the “Rainbow Fish” which used recycled cd’s and dvd’s as the scales and the sunshine sparkled off of it!  

The kids even found an inch worm that they played with for a while before releasing it onto a tree.

If you are in the area of Nashville, TN this is a must visit! The kids will be talking about it for a long time!  


$12 – Adults
$10 –  Seniors (65 +)
$5 – College Students w/ ID
$5 – Youth (3 – 17)
Free – 2 and Under

50% MILITARY DISCOUNT for military personnel.
Must show current military ID.

Parking is 3.00


Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

, except for Memorial Day and Labor Day
CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day


Ticks, Trees and Tennessee!

We are here in Tennessee and I would like to say we are loving it, but love is not the word I would use to describe our time here in Tennessee!

We drove out here with the expectations of really liking it.  We set up at Arnold AFB and got settled in. The longer we are here the longer the tall, tall trees start to close in on us! We were told how beautiful Tennessee is and how we were going to like it. Even though what you can see of it is pretty, we long for wide open spaces and distant scenery.

The number one thing that I dislike about Tennessee is the ticks! I didn’t grow up around ticks, so I am not used to finding them in the most disgusting places on our bodies! Patrick received this “tool” in the picture above on the first day of work. This is the first time ever the first day of work involved a “tick briefing”! YUCK!

The bonus is we are RIGHT ON the lake… so there is an abundance of swimming, fishing and people with boats! 🙂 And as usual we have had the pleasure of meeting some really nice people. So far our travels have taken us from coast to coast and some of the nicest people we have ever met are fellow RV’ers.

The boys and I were invited by neighbors to go out on their pontoon boat! The boys were so excited! They even got to drive the boat all alone while Brian (the captain) sat in the front and told them which way to go.

So far we have visited the Hands On Science Center in Tullahoma, TN. This place is a children’s science museum on a very low budget, but it is JAMMED PACKED with neat science stations!

Since we are right on the lake we decided to buy some fishing poles and try our hand at fishing! The boys were so excited to catch their first fish ever!

One thing we love to do as a family is to cook meals over the open fire of a fire pit! We don’t get to do this often because a lot of campgrounds don’t allow the fire pit or the state is under drought conditions and won’t allow open fire. Luckily that isn’t the case here in Tennessee so we took the opportunity to make some yummy meals!

We rigged up a way to do a rotisserie chicken on the fire pit. It was a little labor intensive for Patrick to turn it, but it was well worth it. It turned out DELICIOUS!

For this recipe and other nomadic yumminess join us at Nomadic NOM NOM!

At the end of the day, after the kids go to bed we enjoy sitting outside under the redneck christmas lights with music and a drink… just relaxing.

The sunsets here are beautiful and make me thankful to have had the opportunity to visit middle Tennessee!

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Adams Canyon, Utah

While in beautiful Utah we took our first family hike on a trail called The Adams Canyon Trail.


What we thought was going to be a 3 hour 3.5 mile there and back trail ended up being a 6 hour 7 mile trail there and back.

The trail was pretty strenuous and a little scary in spots… there were sharp drop offs and steep, rocky climbs… both up and down the mountain.

Overall we really enjoyed the hike and beautiful scenery. The next day Patrick and I were super sore, but the kids were hopping around just fine.

We can’t wait to do some more trails!

The throwing of COLORS! HOLI 2012

HOLI Fest 2012 Spanish Fork, Utah

Saturday March 24, 2012 we went to the Holi fest… which is also known as the festival of colors!

The Festival of Colors, also known as Holi, is two days of thousands of people gathered on the hill of the Krishna temple throwing brightly colored powder, participating in holy mantra and dancing to live music and bands.. Holi, the largest Indian festival, is held on the first weekend of spring to celebrate the beginning of the season. Colored and perfumed powders are thrown at each other and in the air to celebrate the new season!

Holi marks the end of the winter gloom and rejoices in the bloom of the spring time.

While at the festival we ate some traditional Indian food… vegetable curries, Basmati rice, Dahl — spiced bean soups, papa-dams and mango juice. I can’t say it was the best food I ever tasted, but we ate it anyway because we had to stand in line FOREVER to get it!

My personal review of the festival:

We were really excited to go! We parked and rode the bus 3 miles to the Temple. Upon getting there we walked about 1/2 a mile to the temple. We had pre-paid, but we still had to wait in a MASSIVE line of people to filter through the bottle-neck type gates. Once inside the gates we made our way to the back of the temple to get our meal tickets, shirts and our 10 bags of COLOR! The crowds were unbelievable!  There were times we were in a powder coated blob that did not move no matter how hard we tried.  We got our items and made our way out of the tight crowd. We got our food after a very long wait in line. The food was not good. We all ate it because we were starving, but I would NEVER willingly eat it again! After “lunch” we moved to a “less crowded” area on the hill and opened our bags of color. We let the boys throw them on each other, us and innocent bystanders! They LOVED that part! Shortly after we made the trek back to the bus and waited another long amount of time to go home.

The verdict:

I MIGHT go again… IF it were at a different venue and there were not 80,000 people who are mostly crazy, rude and disrespectful college students!  The good part is the boys got to do something they never get to do… go crazy and throw things at people! They loved it, but I think I will leave this event to the college kids.

It’s just a car wound!

After Grants “accident” with the bunk bed my new car was feeling left out!

We were on our way to the festival driving down a main street in Provo, Utah when a young driver tried to pull out in front of us to make a left hand turn. We saw her in enough time to be able to slow and swerve, but it did not save the car from a wound!

(You can see where the tire is now bent)

It was a minor accident and nobody was hurt… just stinks that it happened to my brand new car that does not even have plates yet. Tuesday we have a meeting with the insurance adjuster… we’ll see how it goes!

Ear today… gone tomorrow. Grant 0 Bunk 1

This week was really eventful. Thursday night Grant fell off his bunk bed and hit his ear on the ladder. The result  was that part of his ear separated from his head at the top. We got to make a late night visit to the local Emergency room. Grant did not even realize that he was hurt. He was super angry with us for making him leave the house, in his pajamas and without his boots!


At Davis Hospital and Medical center they got us in quickly and the staff was really sweet to a very angry Grant! They calmed him down and glued his ear back together! He was so brave he got two suckers and stickers from the nurse who took care of him! 

Grant is all better now and is running around like normal… we just have to be careful about putting a shirt over his head. 

I am sure that with boys this will not be our first visit to the Emergency room late at night. We are hoping that it will be a very long time until the next visit! 

We’ve been everywhere!

It has been a very busy last few months. I haven’t blogged since November so it is time to catch up!

In November we headed west to California for about a month. On the way there we had the opportunity to meet up with several traveling families who live on the road full time like we do! The Travaglino’s run the website where dreamers and veteran travelers can come together for advice and friendship! We spent a couple of days in Quartzsite, Arizona… an RV mecca!

We also got to meet up with the Mulac family of and we all went to a spaghetti dinner benefit for a local where the Mulac’s youngest daughter was so brave and stood in front of 300 people and sang “God Bless the USA”. We had an awesome time and can’t wait to meet up with them down the road somewhere!

Once we got to California we stayed in an old army camp that was primitive (No electric or other “modern” hookups)… which meant our internet was spotty! The boys enjoyed driving their dump trucks through the woods, “hunting” with their guns and riding their bikes. With no TV it was nice to enjoy some outdoor time!  We adopted an awesome dog while we were there from a Fresno, Ca animal shelter. He is a lhasapoo! 🙂

At the end of December we were back home after Christmas and got to enjoy a little time with our families at home base before we headed out to travel the country again.

The first of January we went to Parsons, Kansas for what was suppose to be a year long contract. We were there about a month before the military decided to change our plans! Patrick got activated for two months for training so we were heading to Layton, Utah soon.

Before heading out to Utah we headed back to home base for about two weeks. Patrick stayed in Ft. Worth to finish up some training and the boys, the dog and I drove around central Texas to see family and friends. During our two week whirlwind trip around Texas we visited Lake Jackson, Tx (by Houston) and Rosebud (by Waco) and of course Austin, Tx and Abilene, TX. 🙂

The first part of February we left central Texas for Northern Utah. We made a pit stop in Amarillo, TX to visit friends and buy a new car since Rhonda (The Buick Rendezvous) was on her last leg. We ended up with a 2012 Buick Lacrosse… which was nice because it is comfortable and has built in entertainment… which made for a quiet and calm ride from Texas to Utah! Along the way we were able to stop and see some family in Albuquerque we hadn’t seen in a long time… and enjoyed some turkey and green chili enchiladas and  sopapillas! Yum! We had the pleasure of driving through Moab, Utah on the way… this place is soooo pretty!

Right now we are at Hill Air Force Base, Utah… we have only been here two weeks, but we are really enjoying our time here. So far we have been to a rodeo, played in the snow, visited the children’s museum, planetarium, fun center and watched Journey II at the IMAX. The rodeo and the 3D at the IMAX were the boys very first times to do either of these things and they loved them. We are looking forward to at least a few days of deep snow since the boys are excited to buy some sleds and shove each other down a hill! 🙂

We will be here until mid April when we will be able to get back to civilian work and travel more!

Dr. Pepper, Texas

Museum, that way!

 Yesterday we had some time to mosey our way from Lampasas, Tx to Stephenville, Tx. We decided to stop in a tiny town called Dublin, Tx. Dublin is the home of the oldest Dr. Pepper bottling factory in the world. This same factory still uses the original formula with pure cane sugar.  The factory offers tours and for our family of four it was less than $5.00. At the end of the tour we all got to enjoy a free bottle of ice cold Dublin Dr. Pepper.

423,218 Fl ounces of Dr. Pepper

423,218 Fl ounces of Dr. Pepper

The family in Dr. Pepper, Tx

After the museum we made our way to Stephenville, TX. Home of Tarleton State University where my sisters are studying to be nurses. We met up with them at their house and made spaghetti, french bread and chocolate gooey butter cake for dessert! They had several friends over and we had a blast! The daddy was able to convince Owen to tie a string around his tooth (that was BARELY hanging by a thread) so that he could pull it when he was ready. When he least expected it one of the girls sneakily yanked the string and the tooth came flying out onto the coffee table. The look on Owen’s face was priceless! All in all the food and the company was great and as a bonus we didn’t have to hear Owen complain about his tooth anymore! 🙂

Missing tooth! So excited!

Tying the string!

Day 1 Georgetown, Tx to Lampasas, Tx

Today is Day 1 of our adventure! We left at 8 am this morning without any difficulties or issues! We are currently headed to Lampasas, Texas to visit with friends over coffee. We haven’t decided if we are staying in Lampasas, Texas tonight or if we will stay in Stephenville, Texas or somewhere in between. I guess that’s part of the fun of the adventure!

Heads Carolina, Tails California…

Our Route to Jolon, Ca

We got a new contract today… California wins!

We leave Sunday on our Journey to Jolon, Ca tour!
So far on the journey to Jolon, Ca…. First to Lampasas, Tx, then North to Ft.Worth/Dallas, then to Amarillo (Amanda Corker Mullins), Then west to Albuquerque, NM (Dianna Sigler, Mica Marie), then further west to Kingman, Az to visit more family. After Kingman we’ll take a turn south to Quartzsite, Az to visit with other families that are living on the road full time with kids(Families on the Road) & (NomadicMama). After Quartzsite we’ll head further west to Riverside, Ca for more family, then turn north to Edwards Air Force Base (I lived on Edwards AFB!). We’ll travel through one of our favorite California towns, Tecachapi and Bakersfield, Ca where were married. Eventually we will end up in Jolon, Ca… a couple hours south of San Francisco!

Are you along our route and want visitors? let me know! Stay tuned!

What goes here?