Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello September!

Yeah, it's been a while since we posted, but September is turning out to be an awesome month. My plant shut down again for a week, so we took the chance to go to South Carolina last week. There jubilation ensued as we visited Chad & Carole, camped in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the way down, and saw baseball bats being born in Kentucky. Here's a bunch of pictures.

At the Louisville Slugger Baseball Museum & Bat Factory. Kayla loved her little bat, & we thoroughly enjoyed this little piece of Americana. I did however, notice multiple opportunities for improvement in their factory(no pictures allowed inside), but I didn't ask too many questions so they wouldn't think I was a corporate spy. Oh, and that's "The Great Bambino" looking over Tiff's left shoulder, in case you were wondering.
This bear was just about 52 feet off the trail we hiked - straight up. He was enjoying a meal up the tree, we got our picture and moved on before he became too interested in US!
Kayla's home for the total of 30+ hours of driving on the trip. She did really well, especially when we drove straight back to Illinois. We have the perfect baby - No kidding.
There were little streams and waterfalls all over in the park, and it was so green it made Peoria look like the desert.
About 150 years ago or so some people began to settle a little area in the park called "Roaring Fork" When the park was created, they were relocated, and the remnants of their settlement still remain. This was Tiff's Favorite cabin, it belonged to the town entrepreneur (he had a gristmill, general store, blacksmith shop, & woodworking shop) and was painted with all three colors in the Sears Roebuck Catalogue!

I, however, preferred this authentic hillbilly cabin, all it needs to be complete are a shotgun, some overalls, a hound dog & a rocking chair.

Our little family at the highest point in the park, not quite the Rockies, but still impressive.

Kayla LOVED camping...
...And she may decide to be a dentist like her uncle Randy.

I paddled us through a swamp in South Carolina, there were turtles a-plenty and Gators galore!

Oh, and there was this duck that had a thing for Tiff, but she wasn't interested, & he eventually took the hint.
Southern Food!!! Those little things that look like tater-tots are actually fried okra, which is disgusting, and there is an onion fried in sweet dough under the cornbread. It was actually pretty good to everyone's amazement.
Um, this is a pineapple fountain. And we love each other.
"Why the alligator tear?" you ask...
Because she's too young to try the fried alligator tail!!! Delicious!
These caramel truffles from the Charleston candy factory were even MORE delicious!
And our niece Emily got a lollipop the size of her face.

Our nephew Tyler - he loves the camera, and the camera loves him baby, the camera loves him!
The whole gang! This was taken in Charleston in front of a full scale replica of the Hunley - the first successful combat submarine! It was used in the Civil War (by the confederates), and had a spear with a charge on the front that it used to damage enemy ships (the union). It sunk it's target, but the Hunley never made it back to port. There's your history lesson for the day, its actually a pretty interesting story I think!

Thanks again Chad & Carol for letting us stay, we had a blast!!!