Not only that, but my 100 year old grandma was not doing so well and we wondered if we should be taking this trip at all. The kids had been excited about this trip to Nashville, we had 2 speaking commitments in Arkansas and my grandma was stable, so we decided to go.
I was texting with my friend, Kristi (you know, the one I wrote so much about in Vienna?!), who we would be staying with in Nashville. We started wondering if we drove past Little Rock, maybe we'd a hotel further out of the city. We started discussing it and the kids were up for making it an all day drive to Nashville. I can't believe my kids were volunteering to do this! And they were troopers!! Kristi hurriedly got her home ready as she just had other guests before us. They welcome us to their home just past midnight! Little Rock was a mess with clean up from a big storm and we got stuck in some major back up between Little Rock and Memphis leaving us sitting on the highway, adding another hour to our trip, but we made it!!
The view from Kristi's back porch. It was such a lovely site every morning with the occasional glimpse of a horse by the barn.
I never tired of this view!!
Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away while we were there. She lived a long life, mostly healthy until the last couple of years. I was glad my kids got to meet her the last time we were in the states. We prayed for GG (great grandma) often!
The Barnwell/Wilson kiddos!
Through facebook I discovered that a long time Hannah's Prayer friend was also staying in the area. We met up for a late night dessert! It was so fun seeing Terryl again!! We had met up in Texas the last time we were in the US.
The weather in Nashville didn't cooperate much. It was fairly dreary while we were there, but we did get out one day to visit the area around Vanderbilt, where Jeremy works. We had planned to eat at the infamous Pancake Pantry, but the line was too insanely long for my kiddos. Oh well, maybe next time!
There are all kinds of cute shops along this street. We cracked up seeing these 2 cats playing in the Christmas tree window display at one shop.
It was fun hanging out with our pals from Vienna, now back home in Tennessee!
We're good at being silly!
Our guys, Jerry and Jeremy!
In one of the shops we stopped in we saw this Krampus stocking. Just too ironic that while with our pals from Vienna, Austria we come across a Krampus stocking.
If your not familiar with Krampus, take a look at a video our friend made this past December.
I told you I never tired of this view!
We liked it so much we had Kristi take some family photos of us in her back yard!
These 2 people are so very dear to me!
I was adamant that if I made it to Tennessee I would find a way to see Red & JoAnn!! They were my first babysitters as a newborn in Alaska. I have many childhood memories of being in their home.
They had not met my children, so I was so pleased to introduce them! They drove 2 hours west, we drove 2 hours east and we met in the middle in somewhere Tennessee at Cracker Barrel. The time flew way too fast, but I'm glad I got a few precious hours with them!!
After saying our goodbyes we drove back towards Nashville to meet up with another friend. My college suite mate, Karla. We hadn't seen each other in about 20 years!
A highlight of being in the Nashville area was visiting Grace Community Church in Brentwood. This church is a special place to us. They had sent volunteers to lead worship for some of our annual meetings in Europe over the years. Although the pastor and music minister were out for the holidays, we still enjoyed visiting.
It was great to see old friends and enjoy the Nashville area! Up next, we spend a few days in Little Rock.