Sunday, August 14, 2011

Knoxville, TN--Our Northernmost 2011 Cruising Destination

Before departing for Knoxville, we rented a car and rushed to Columbus, Ohio.  Daughter, Colleen, who has had ongoing complications from a c-section in May required another emergency surgery at the Ohio State University Medical Center. This was the third one!!!  Our little Colleen has been through hell.  As we write this, she is improving and things are looking up.  Fortunately, baby Ella Grace, 9 lbs, 22 inches at birth is doing great.

Vicki feeding Ella, grandmiracle No 4, while visiting Colleen in hospital

Dad (Brian) and Ella visiting mom (Colleen) in the hospital

A more recent pic of Ella and PapPap


One of our stops on the way to Knoxville was at the Ft Loudoun Marina in Lenoir City, TN.  The marina just happened to be on the way home for one of Norm's army buddies.  Bob Rowan and his wife Julie, who Norm has not seen in 15 years, visited.  It's a small world, isn't it?

Bob and Julie Rowan visit us while docked at Ft Loudoun Marina (not to be confused with the Ft Loudoun Yacht Club)  We had a fantastic time getting caught up and promising to get together again, much sooner this time.


 So, We're now in Knoxville. Actually, about 2 weeks ago, we arrived at the Ft Loudoun Yacht Club--our most northern destination this summer. Here's our latest cruise route. Just click on the link below:

We have not been here much though.  We docked here on Sunday, July 24 and departed by rental car to Wilmington, DE for our annual medical checkups and to visit friends there.  We got passing medical grades and the doc's don't want to see us for another year.  While that is always good news, our real excitement was in reconnecting with old friends.  Vicki set up a nice lunch with a couple of her Chase Bank associates and a separate dinner with the ones that could not get away for lunch. We got caught up on the lives of our "still working" friends and the many changes going on in banking, and especially in the credit card sector.  Also, our neighbor friends hosted a wonderful dinner while we were there.  All-in-all, a fantastic visit in Wilmington, DE.  Sorry, we forgot to take pictures.
We stopped in Asheville, NC on the drive back to Knoxville.  They were having a downtown festival at the time.  So, of course, we had to partake.  We enjoyed Asheville very much but decided it's too far from anything to even consider living there.


Two days after returning to Tide Hiker, we were off again.  This time on a flight to Milwaukee, WI see two of our daughters and their families; and, to attend Vicki's family reunion.

Daughters Katie and Chris celebrated Norm's and Vicki's  birthdays by treating them to an awesome lobster dinner at the Golden Mast Restaurant on Okauchee Lake.  Grandmiracle No 3, Joyce, was with a babysitter.  We're told her table manners are not up to par yet.

Jake, grandmiracle No. 1 perusing the menu

Evan, grandmiracle No 2 with a fork at the ready
The Wisconsin State Fair was going on at the time of our visit.  So, it was a fantastic time to take the grandmiracles to the Fair.

Joyce, grandmiracle No 3 with PapPap on the merry-go-round

Evan, at mid-mountain and Jake at the summit

Evan and Jake, just foolin around

Vicki also had an opportunity to visit with her friend Cindy at the Fair

One of the many "fried" foods at the fair.  One could also have fried beer, fried cheese curds, etc.--a cardiologist's dream come true.

The Cal Cooper family at the Cooper reunion in Dodgevillee to, WI.  Here is niece Rachel, Norm, Vicki's mom Avie, Vicki and nephew Alex.  The next day we drove over to Richland Center, WI to visit with Vicki's uncle Bill and aunt Donna.  Not to be outdone by the Coopers, Bill and Donna arranged a fantastic Thompson family reunion. 


While in Milwaukee, we attended the annual Miller Brewing Human Resources Reunion.  We were most appreciative that they scheduled the reunion around our travel schedule so we could make it this year.  The reunion is always held at Miller Stadium, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Here, Vicki is hugging the hot dog, her favorite team mascot.  They also have a sausage, a kielbasa and a brat.  But, the hot dog ranks highest.


We're once again back at the Ft Loudoun Yacht Club.  And, another treat arrived the next day.  Friends Rick and Lynnie Tierney drove down from Raleigh, NC to spend a few days with us.  So, we ate, drank, and were merry for 4 days.  We spent a day at the pool here and also drove into Chattanooga for dinner and a Shakespeare play. 

Rick and Lynnie wanted to see Chattanooga, so a day trip was necessary.  Here's Vicki, Rick and Lynnie at the Riverfront

We then needed an afternoon at the pool at the Ft Loudoun Yacht Club.


We will be resting for a few days to get ready for a few days of hiking the Smoky Mountains next week with friends Mike and Peg Wilson.  More on that later. 

Hope everyone reading this is well and having an awesome summer.  And, we'll try to be more prompt with future blog updates.