We all know that 2020 has been a horrendous year. The granddaughters wanted to take another trip up north to hopefully see snow this time. But, alas, that just isn’t gonna happen.
But all is not lost. Our ever spicy err… trusty Scout elf Ginger has returned! This year she has a little brother Scout elf. His name is Nutmeg. We are never at a loss for spices in this house. We call him Nutty. I hope he doesn’t take that nickname to heart. We don’t need any repeats of Ginger’s antics.
For my new readers (there are new readers, right??), we only have the granddaughters from Friday afternoon to Monday evening. So Ginger, and now Nutty too, have most of the week to play around. I just take the pictures of whatever hi-jinks they get into to show the girls when they arrive at our home.
As per the contract with Santa*, they arrived on December 1st. And following the CDC recommendations, they even had masks. Santa may be immune to Covid, but the elves aren’t too sure about it. I think that Dr. Fauci said that the North Pole was high on the list to get the vaccine quickly. But maybe I misheard that…
The arrived on Tuesday.
The girls love playing “Bananagrams”. It’s a fun vocabulary building game. I personally suck at it, but if it’s just me and the girls, I have a chance to at least not come in 4th, out of 3 players. We found them Wednesday morning in the middle of a game.
Well, it started out good, but by Thursday it seems that Ginger may be a bad influence on Nutty.
Wifey has been reading the girls the Nevermoor series, featuring Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. They have really enjoyed these books. The third book was released just recently, but we have been unable to find it in paperback. Seems Ginger and Nutty were listening and brought the girls a hardcover book! They hid rather well on Friday!
Saturday finds them selling Christmas trees. I guess they don’t like that we have an artificial tree. While their trees may taste better, they wouldn’t hold many ornaments.
And that ends week one. See you next week to see just what these two spice heads have up their sleeves!
*Santa’s contract for homes with Scout Elves is very complicated. Basically it says “They’re your’s now!”
I have to apologize to ya’ll. We took our Campbell Christmas Vacation as planned, leaving here on December 26th. While the vacation was a joy, I became very ill, and was hospitalized on our return. That will be the subject of my next post, as I am still sorting out details of the whole vacation/illness. So this will be a quick post with some pictures of the vacation aspect.
The plan was to leave here on the morning of the 26th, and we actually made it work. We piled Wifey, Son-The-Younger, both granddaughters and myself into the car and headed north. Our destination was Maggie Valley, NC. We rented a larger cabin than the one Wifey and I rented two years ago for a five night stay. The weather was good, and for once, traffic not an issue at all. We all got our suitcases unpacked and stuff put away in our rooms and away we went!
Friday was Son-The-Younger’s birthday and we promised him we would take him the Sierra Nevada Brewery just outside of Asheville, NC. Wifey and I visited the brewery and took the tour two years ago. Son-The-Younger was looking forward to this trip. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains to Asheville. We stopped at many of the scenic overlooks and the girls took many pictures.
We arrived at the Brewery just in time for our scheduled tour (you have to make reservations), and Wifey and the girls went to “The Back Porch”, an open area that has food, a garden and even – get this – beer! Although there wasn’t any live music that day, they do have an outdoor stage, as well as an indoor area in case of bad weather. And is very dog friendly.
We drove home and had a great BBQ dinner, which was another “requirement” for this trip.
Saturday was a planned “quiet” day. In the morning we took the girls to do some “gem” mining. Then Son-The-Younger and I visited Elevated Mountain Distillery, while Wifey took the girls to a little store we enjoyed on our last visit.
It was a good thing that we didn’t have much planned for Saturday. I woke up about 3AM with fever and chills. So after the short morning excursions, I went back to bed for the afternoon. I think I sweated through my clothes twice that afternoon. The rest of the family went tubing (man made snow, sadly) while I basically sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. Son-The-Younger tried to get a fire going in one of the outside fire pits, but it was rained out.
I awoke Sunday morning feeling better, but not great. I knew I was still fighting whatever bug I had picked up, I just didn’t realize how badly I was losing that fight.
But not giving up, we again went over the mountains, but this time from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. We went right through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and we hadn’t even gone half a mile into the park when we came across a herd of Elk. The girls were so happy.
We made it to Gatlinburg with no issues. We even found a Mexican restaurant that Wifey and I had tried almost 20 years ago! And it was right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium which was our first scheduled stop (after tacos of course). Then the real fun began.
The plan all along was to get me a wheelchair while at the aquarium. My legs were still heavily impacted by the back injury, so I figured I would not be able to walk the entire distance required. Turns out I couldn’t even make it into the aquarium!
Going up the steps to get to the wheelchair I passed out. I was so lucky that there was a guy right behind me who saw it coming, probably before I realized what was happening. He was a strong enough guy that he grabbed me and set me down so I only ended up with was a scrape on one knee where it hit the pillar I has holding on to. Luckily it passed somewhat quickly and by the time the kids met us with the wheelchair I was coherent, and some of my strength returned. It was nice have everyone push my wheelchair so I could see the major parts of the aquarium, and there were plenty of places that I could be parked while everyone else went to see something that would have been a tight fit. We got in a few other attractions that afternoon, then head back to our cabin in Maggie Valley.
I will leave the health issues for the next post. I knew I was sick, but I really didn’t feel any worse or better for the rest of the trip.
Monday found us in Cherokee, NC. I really didn’t expect the girls to enjoy the museum as much as they did. They were asking questions about the displays and had good comments when their questions were answered. it’s really nice to see them getting inquisitive about things that aren’t covered very well in school. The Cherokee people have an absolutely beautiful creation story. Personally, I find it every bit as relevant as any other creation story. It is no more, nor any less credible the one most of us have been force feed all these years.
Every time I visit a museum of this sort, I am saddened beyond words how native peoples have been treated by we white people. On every continent we have hurt if not straight out destroyed entire cultures. They had a veteran’s display in the museum. It told of a Cherokee medical doctor that was on a landing craft on D-Day. I didn’t know they had any doctors on the landing craft. But it makes me wonder were there any “white” doctors on any other landing craft? Then there was a display of Cherokee Medal of Honor Recipient. I’m sorry I don’t have names for these, and the other Cherokee’s enshrined in this part of the museum. I was so overcome, and still am, with emotion I had to leave the area and just sit down in the lobby. Knowing that chances are that these gentlemen had already been forcibly removed from their ancestral homes to the squalid desperation of a reservation, but still answered the call to serve this nation (not the Cherokee Nation, but the “white man nation”) amazes me. Sadly, most of the town of Cherokee was closed for the season, so shopping was limited.
However, Son-The-Younger conquered the elements and got the fire pit going. I am told the s’mores were wonderful!
The next morning we loaded everything back up in the car and headed home. We only stopped long enough to visit with Lil-Big-Sis at lunch. There are so many more stories to tell of this trip, but I just don’t have the energy to keep this going, nor a voice to dictate to Wifey, so dear reader this will have to suffice.
But I leave you with What’s Stuck In Wifey’s Head this morning. Enjoy!
It’s the last week for our mischievous little elf, Ginger.
Sunday evening found her opening the little gift the girls had for her.
She didn’t waste anytime getting things going for her last couple of days. Since the girls stayed with us Sunday night, she was ready for them on Monday Morning.
And since the girls are on their winter break from school, they’ll be staying with us a bit longer. And rumor has it that Ginger will be able to stay until Christmas morning this year! Seems she has some special gifts to pass out!
YES!!! Ginger was here bright and early Christmas morning. It seems that Santa brought granddaughter-the-younger a Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse! I think Wifey is a bit jealous. She didn’t get a Barbie Dreamhouse when she was a kid! Ginger had to build it for the girls after Santa just left it in the box.
Ginger also set out all the family stockings for us.
Then Ginger suddenly reappeared with two more gifts for the girls. Where does she get her money???
And then, just like magic, she was gone. No note, no goodbye, she just magicked herself back to the north pole.
I wonder what tricks she has planned for us next year. We heard some rumors that she’s been accepted into the trainer program at the North Pole. We’ll have to see.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this years adventures with Ginger.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate from the Campbell family to you and yours.