Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Knoxville’

Y’all, it is HOT.  And our access to a swimming pool is gone.  It is hard to want to leave the air conditioning to have summer adventures, but we managed three days of fun this week.

I couldn’t get it together till Wednesday, when we had to leave the house for an appointment anyway.  Immediately thereafter, we drove downtown to visit Blount Mansion.

I vividly remember my own first encounter with this bit of Tennessee history as part of a seventh grade field trip–I was unimpressed and thought it wasn’t much of a mansion at all!  This time I was absolutely enthralled with such details as panes of glass installed in 1792–the first glass windows in town–and still there to be looked through over 200 years later, and the desk on which the Tennessee Constitution was signed, and William Blount’s very own fancy shoe buckles still in their original box.

Our guide did a great job of bringing history to life for us.  We spent close to two hours in the museum, the house, and the gardens, and Lorelei was NOT bored which she had come expecting to be.

summer 55summer 56

Thursday we went out for ice cream for the third time this summer. (Did I mention it was hot?) Lorelei and I enjoyed it but William did not like how fast the ice cream melted in the heat (we were very messy by the end!).

summer 57

Friday was really exciting.  Last week William had a follow-up appointment with his oral surgeon in Oak Ridge.  There was a traffic jam along our usual route back over the Clinch River to Knoxville, and Siri routed us a way I had never seen before.  Along this lovely country road we spied signs for an historic cabin and cemetery, and we passed right by a park.  On Friday, I told the kids we were having an adventure and we drove back to explore these places.

summer 58

We discovered that Bull Run Park has a swimming area and made plans to go back and enjoy it!

summer 59

Next we headed to the David Hall Cabin, and were conducted on an informative tour of this two-hundred-year old cabin and a couple more by the one of the owners, whose wife’s father was raised in it.  The Baumgartners live behind the cabins on four of the original 50 acres.  We thanked Mr. Baumgartner for all he and his family continue to do to preserve this history for us to enjoy and learn from!

summer 60

After looking at the cabins, we went back into the woods and explored the Arnold-Hall Cemetery, where David Hall (a Revolutionary War veteran) is buried along with other members of the families.  Y’all may know I love cemeteries, so that was a treat for me and the kids indulged me!

That’s it for this week.  I’ll be honest–I can no longer promise to do something every single day.  But I DO have some plans for next week!

For more summer fun, read on:

Why We Can’t Have a 70s Summer and What We Are Doing Instead

The Summer Fun Continues . . .

More Summer Fun

Summer Fun Update

Summer Fun:  Vacation

That 70s Summer

In Which I Grow Lazy

Read Full Post »

I’ll admit it–it is harder to have fun all the time than you might think.  Honestly, I really, really like sitting at my desk having uninterrupted time to get work done.  Leaving the house is stressful, and sandwiching fun in between not only work but also family business like medical appointments (two this week) is not easy.

So this week I outsourced some of the fun to John, and therefore this post will be short on pictures even though the week was not short on fun!

On Monday evening, John took the kids to see The Incredibles 2.  John and the kids all love movies, me not so much, so that’s been “his thing” since the big kids were little.

Tuesday I took the kids and Emily out to breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company, a newish place that I had been passing daily while picking up William at school and had been dying to try.  If there’s one where you are, you should go.  Only William was not a fan, because the waffles had infinitesimally tiny bacon pieces in them which he admitted he could not taste but had to remove one by one anyway.

Wednesday was the Fourth of July (I’m sure that is not news to you).  We had a cookout at our house with my family.  We had planned to go downtown for the symphony and fireworks show afterwards but it was like a million degrees so instead we took William’s suggestion (actually his demand) and watched Independence Day, which is definitely one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.  Bonus:  everyone in our neighborhood was shooting off fireworks like crazy and we could see them through our windows without leaving the television or the air conditioning.

Thursday was the big event of the week, planned for some time since I had bought a Groupon for it months ago–a visit to Rainforest Adventures,  which is an hour’s drive away in Sevierville.

Things I liked:  it was mostly inside and air-conditioned, we could see the animals up close and they seemed very happy and well-cared for.

Thing I did NOT like:  The overwhelming stench of animal urine that greeted us the moment we walked in the gift shop and literally made me feel ill throughout the two hours we were there.

Here are a few highlights:

summer 51

William with the serval

summer 52

Lorelei and William admire two ridiculously large pythons

summer 50

William with the black caiman

Friday it was John’s turn again.  This time he took Lorelei and William to see Ant Man and the Wasp.

I take Saturdays off.  So far they are all still sleeping which is fine with me.

See more summer fun posts below.

Why We Can’t Have a 70s Summer and What We Are Doing Instead

The Summer Fun Continues . . .

More Summer Fun

Summer Fun Update

Summer Fun:  Vacation

That 70s Summer

Read Full Post »

I’ll be honest–it’s getting harder to come up with something to do every day, and now I am laboring under Lorelei and William’s expectations as well.  It’s not that I don’t have plenty of ideas–I have a page-long list, in fact–it’s having ideas that fit in with the weather, our finances, my energy level, and whatever else I have to accomplish on a given day.  So here’s what we did this week:

On Monday, we went to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, which I have written about before.  This place is one of Knoxville’s best-kept secrets, a true treasure.

summer 16summer 17summer 15

There are lots of new paths since I was last year and although the spring flowers are gone, there were wild flowers, trees (with identifying markers, too, so you can learn something while you walk), and, most exciting to me because I’ve never seen one, a small wheat field!

Tuesday I had to scrap my original plans because something came up, so I took the kids to Wild Love Bakehouse for a treat.  I kid you not, this place in nationally renowned and if you come to Knoxville you will want to pay it a visit.

summer 18

After our treat, which we shared with friendly sparrows on the porch, we walked down the steps to investigate one of my favorite places–Mid Mod Collective.  I cannot afford one stick of the restored vintage furniture they sell here but boy do I wish I could.  They also have retro knickknacks and even vintage clothing.  Mostly it’s just fun to browse and feel like you’ve gone back in time.

summer 21

Mid Mod Collective shares space with The Book Eddy, a vintage book store that’s occupied various spaces in Knoxville over the past 20 years or so.  We had a great time browsing there.  My big finds were a board game from my high school years and a 1945 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.

summer 20summer 19

These places are all located in the Old North Knoxville historical district so our last activity was to spend a little time driving around the nearby neighborhoods and talking architecture (Victorian and Craftsman, for the most part).  Lorelei is obsessed with House Hunters recently and had asked me about Mid-century Modern, which gave me the idea for these activities in the first place.  Who says television can’t be educational?

We visited the Knoxville Museum of Art on Wednesday.  The museum is free, there is abundant free parking, and besides their permanent collection and the local artists they showcase there is always a new exhibit to see.

summer 24

The KMA Gardens

summer 25

Lorelei playing with a giant Lite-Brite

summer 22

Posing with one of their favorite pictures, a painting of the Grand Canyon by Daingerfield

summer 23

Looking at one of the Thorne Miniatures

Take special note of that last picture.  The Thorne Miniatures are absolutely amazing and the KMA is fortunate to have nine of them.  They were housed in the Dulin Gallery, predecessor to the KMA, when I was a child, and I am not the only one to have fond memories of them judging by the reaction when I shared pictures of them on Facebook.

I don’t have any pictures of our Thursday jaunt, which had to be a short one due to a dentist appointment.  I took the kids to Starbucks for Frappucinos, using up some gift cards I’d been carrying around!  They had never set foot in one before, so this was actually more exciting than I thought it would be.  Then we went to the Dollar Tree, which is always a hit.

Friday’s fun consisted of our drive to Beech Mountain, North Carolina, where we are vacationing with friends.  I couldn’t take any pictures since I was driving but WOW was it a beautiful trip.  I’m sure I’ll have lots to share when I write this up next week.

Catch up on our other summer adventures here, here, and here!

Read Full Post »

As someone who is very proud of her Irish heritage, I was excited to attend the first annual St. Patrick’s Parade in downtown Knoxville last year.  Because my sister and her husband had a float in the parade, our whole family got front row VIP seats for the event, and I was able to snap lots of great pictures.

Parade 1Parade 2Parade 3Parade 4Parade 5Parade 6Parade 7Parade 8Parade 9Parade 10Parade 11Parade 12Parade 13Parade 14Parade 15Parade 16Parade 17

One of the parade’s organizers, Christy Connor Watkins, is a friend–and she liked these pictures when they appeared on Facebook.  As a result, I’ve got my own VIP pass for tomorrow’s event–which this year includes even more festivities following the parade–so I can take pictures again!

For more information on the parade and the “Cel-O’bragh-tion” to follow, visit the KSPP website.

Read Full Post »

BWMC 1

It was a beautiful autumn day almost exactly a year ago when I finally visited Bookwalter United Methodist Cemetery, which had been on my list for years.  It is a large–over 4,000 graves–cemetery, and has been in continuous use from the 1880s to the present day.

Many of the earliest graves are those of the Swiss/German immigrants who settled the nearby area now known as Dutch Valley.

BWMC 3BWMC 4BWMC 5BWMC 6BWMC 8BWMC 9BWMC 11BWMC 32BWMC 13

Atop a hill with views of Sharp’s Ridge, Bookwalter Cemetery transcends its humble location, hemmed in by a busy street in front, train tracks in back, and neighborhoods on both sides.

BWMC 7BWMC 10BWMC 30BWMC 16BWMC 27BWMC 58BWMC 29BWMC 33

The peaceful silence one associates with cemeteries was notably absent.  In addition to traffic and train noises, I was assailed by the sounds of barking dogs, blaring radios, and bawling babies.  Most disturbing of all, at the back of the cemetery I was transfixed by an argument going on in an adjacent neighborhood, where a landlord was banging on the door of a rental property and making telephone calls to his renter who was evading his attempts to collect rent.  I could not tear myself away from this troubling drama  of the living unfolding just yards away from this not-so-peaceful resting place of the dead.

BWMC 35BWMC 37BWMC 38BWMC 48

The section of the cemetery nearest to the railroad tracks is partly devoted to the graves of infants and small children, although there are others scattered throughout the cemetery.  This post is being published in October, a month set aside for mourning pregnancy and infant losses, so it seems appropriate to point out that heart-wrenching stones and tiny graves are not only a thing of the distant past.

BWMC 18BWMC 21BWMC 19BWMC 23BWMC 24BWMC 40BWMC 41BWMC 42

This is a decently kept cemetery, with a few exceptions.  By now I have learned that there are always exceptions.

BWMC 36BWMC 43BWMC 46

I have learned that the city has taken on responsibility for the maintenance of the cemetery, taking over from the Police Department which had been mowing it for the sake of the surrounding neighborhoods.  Why is the city having to do this?  Well, that is an interesting story which we will get to below.  But first, a sampling of some of the modern-day stones and epitaphs which caught my eye for one reason or another.

BWMC 12BWMC 14BWMC 17BWMC 20BWMC 22BWMC 25BWMC 26

BWMC 45

BWMC 51

As I wandered through the cemetery I noted the signs below.  I knew there would be a story behind this.

BWMC 34BWMC 57

There was actually a surprising dearth of information about Bookwalter Cemetery online*, and this lack of historical background may be significant to what I did find–a series of legal documents indicating that the state had been forced to involve itself in the affairs of one portion of the cemetery.  Like many old cemeteries, this one doesn’t have clear ownership, and what was worse, neither did the graves.  Several people laid claim to the same plots and there were insufficient records kept to indicate whose claim was true.  A complete survey of the cemetery had to be conducted, determining how many plots there were and which had bodies therein, with arbitration being conducted to make sure that everyone who laid claim to a plot got one.  What a mess.

BWMC 39

So I am providing you–and me–with another cautionary tale:  before you buy a plot make sure the cemetery you choose is owned by a responsible company that is not only going to provide upkeep but that also maintains accurate records!

BWMC 28BWMC 47BWMC 50BWMC 53BWMC 54BWMC 59BWMC 60

BWMC 49

*EDIT:  A reader tells me (see comments below) that the first half of the cemetery is properly called Bookwalter United Methodist Church Cemetery and is maintained by the church, and that the back half is Bookwalter Community Cemetery and is maintained by the state.  I did look for information on the church’s website before writing this post, and there is no mention there of the cemetery.  I also checked public records in which the cemetery appears as a single entity.  I appreciate his clarification.

For more cemetery stories, visit this post.

Read Full Post »

Writing about hiking used to be a pretty big chunk of this blog.  Not so much lately, as I fell off the fitness wagon.  But fall is a great time for walking–it’s beautiful as well as cool.  So to inspire myself, and as a resource to any Knoxvillians or visitors, I’ve collected all my walking posts right here along with a brief description and picture for each.

Walking in East Knoxville: Welcoming Spring at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

It’s not Spring as I am writing this but I am absolutely sure that this unsung gem will have fall foliage and flowers to delight you.  Don’t wait for Spring!

KBGA 1

 

Walking in South Knoxville

This was my introductory post of many about the 40 miles of trails in the Urban Wilderness.

IMG_1359

View from the Ijams River Trail

Walking in South Knoxville II: The William Hastie Natural Area

One trailhead for this section of the Urban Wilderness is in the Lake Forest neighborhood where we used to live.  We were curious and went walking back here when it wasn’t even a thing.

WH 7

Walking in South Knoxville III:  Forks of the River WMA

These are hands-down my favorite trails in the system.

FOW 4

Walking in South Knoxville IV:  Anderson School Trails

These fancifully named trails that wind along an easement through private land are Emily’s favorite.

AS 4

Walking in South Knoxville V: Ross Marble Natural Area

This area features the remains of a quarrying operation, almost like exploring exotic ruins.

Ross 8

Walking in South Knoxville VI:  Fort Dickerson Quarry

This place is amazing.  You will forget you are in Knoxville.

FD 4

Walking in South Knoxville VII: In the Homestretch

Fall wildflowers along the Ross Marble Quarry trails and other autumn delights.

Ross 2

Walking in South Knoxville VIII: Another One Bites the Dust

It’s back to the William Hastie trails with their shady hills and wildflowers.

WH 4

Walking in South Knoxville IX:  Forks of the River

There is something for everyone in this section of trails, whether you like woods or meadows, hilly or flat, dirt or pavement.

FOW 8

Walking in South Knoxville X: A Quiet Walk at the Quarry

The Mead’s Quarry trail is challenging, but it will reward you with beautiful views.

Meads 4

Walking in South Knoxville XI: A Belated Fall Roundup

A collection of pictures from a variety of trails.

Ijams 3

Walking in South Knoxville:  Success

Another roundup of trails and pictures, including some great views.

Ross 4

Walking in Knoxville:  North, South, and Further South

This one is a bit further afield with walks in Norris and the Smokies included.

smokies 19

Walking in West Knoxville

This is a collection of several great places to walk in South Knoxville, suitable to all skill levels.

melton hill 1

A May Stroll You Must Take

If you love the smell of honeysuckle, you’ll want to do this in the Spring, but if you are an architecture fan you will enjoy it any time of year.

honeysuckle closeup

Short West Knoxville Walks

These aren’t pretty (comparatively) but they are good for exercise!

All Saints 1

Walking in West Knoxville:  The Jean Teague Greenway

This trail has the advantage of running right through a playground, where you can abandon your kids for awhile as you walk.

Jean Teague 1

 

Walking in Knoxville

This showcases the Pellissippi Greenway, which is at its best when the daffodils are in bloom.

Pellissippi 4

Two Walks

Finally, this is my very first walking post, laying out a nice hike that hits the high points of downtown Knoxville.

downtown 10

I’ll continue to update this post with new hikes as I write them–I have a backlog which includes Baker Creek, House Mountain, and Haw Ridge, among others.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

MARKET 5

My mother used to take us with her to the farmers’ market when I was a little girl.  This is how I remember it:

We’d drive into a big warehouse on the way home from church.  We’d stay in the car while my mother got out to shop.  Through the windows we’d catch glimpses of old men in overalls offering their wares.  After a long and boring wait my mother would come back, her spoils in brown paper bags, and we’d drive away, the sunshine outside blinding us as we left the stuffy dimness of the market behind.

It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, although we liked the vegetables.  The farmers’ market my girls and I visited recently had the vegetables and much more.  Even better, it was outside in the sunshine.

Read the rest at my friend Ginny’s blog, where I’m contributing to her Summer Life Skills Bingo series.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: