Thursday, October 30, 2014

Uncle Benj comes for a visit!

At the beginning of October, my brother Benj came to Knoxville! We were so excited to have him visit, especially because he is only the 2nd of my siblings to come to Knoxville at all (the other being Mark, who is only 3 hours away). We had so much fun! On his first day here, we went downtown, saw a little bit of campus, went up in the Sunsphere, and had dinner on Market Square. 

(I stole a lot of the pictures throughout this post from Benj because I kept forgetting to take my camera and/or charge the battery, and he got some great shots.) 

first off, how cute is this boy??

downtown from the Sunsphere
and campus from the Sunsphere
dinner at the Tomato Head. yummm
We caught some fun square dance music on Market Square afterwards.
The next day we met up with some other family members in Chattanooga, and that day is going to have to get its own post. It will be coming soon.

The day after that trip, we had a quieter day just hanging out at the apartment, though we did go grab lunch at Nixon's Deli. Benj has a friend who used to live in Knoxville and told him he needed to eat there. It was actually our first time too.

On his last full day here, we did a little hiking in the Smokies. We decided to go to Clingman's Dome because we'd never gone before. Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Smokies and they have a large observation tower where you can get some amazing views. And then, since it's on the Appalachian Trail, we decided we'd better hike a little bit of that as well. We loved this area. It was so different from the other sections of the park that we've been to...totally different trees, wide open sky all around... It was a great experience!
Because of the high altitude, it is always colder at Clingman's Dome, and the day we went was unseasonably cold to begin with. We were FREEZING when we got out of the car! Then we discovered we had forgotten Jamie's jacket, so Thomas gave him his sweatshirt and tied himself up in a blanket to keep warm. We were a pretty ridiculous looking group. :) Fortunately we warmed up quite a bit once we started moving.
view from the top
Jacob and the observation deck
If you look closely, you'll see some white paint on one of the trees close to the left side of the picture. The entire Appalachian Trail is marked with these blazes.
view from the Appalachian Trail. It was stunning.

The next day Benj headed back to Las Vegas. It was SO fun to see him and to get to show him around! Looking forward to next time. :)

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