I mentioned in my end-of-August post yesterday that I wanted to share about some of our outings while all the family was here, but that made for an extremely long post. So I decided to talk about those separately in this post.
The first Saturday Jeremy was here, there was a local car show that had a section of carnival-like games for kids (shooting targets with a Nerf gun, face painting, balloon animals, etc.)
Afterward, Jason and Mittu took us to a bubble tea place they like. I didn’t try the tea, but everyone else did and enjoyed it. The place had a little park next to it with a few food trucks, where we all got something to eat. I tried some Greek food, a chicken wrap. I would have liked it better without all the yogurt—I didn’t realize Greek food used that. Now I’ll know for next time. 🙂
Then one day we went to the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention downtown. Jim and I had thought this was something put on by the Lego company itself and were expecting some really big, elaborate displays. But the displays were made and entered by Lego aficionados. Once we adjusted our expectations, we enjoyed it–the displays were big and elaborate for individuals to put together. We took tons of photos, more than I can show here. But one of my favorites was Mt. Rushmore:
There were Lego representations of just about any famous building or structure you can think of–the Eiffel tower, the Vatican, Buckingham palace, and many more.
This was a cute flower:
This was a major bridge here in Knoxville (I can’t remember if it was the Henley bridge or another):
I loved all the little details, like these rowers under the bridge and the people on the sidewalk to the right:
(Excuse my finger there.)
And Batman in a little cavern on the bridge:
One morning during the week, Jason and Mittu took us to a little French creperie they’d found downtown. They had some nice gluten-free options for Mittu and Timothy. I had not had crepes since my cooking class in college. They were good! After we each finished our own, Jeremy got a cinnamon and sugar dessert crepe and Mittu and Jason got a Nutella and banana one, and they each let us cut off a piece to try. I’m not a Nutella fan, but I really enjoyed the cinnamon one.
Afterwards, we were trying to think of something downtown we could do for a little while that wasn’t too elaborate or costly. We ended up going to the Knoxville Museum of Art, which was free and not terribly big. It had a nice little kids’ room, with an oversized Lite Brite type device and other hands-on areas.
When we were there, the museum was featuring the work of Radcliffe Baily in an exhibition called Passages. One piece took up a whole room. It was made of a sea of piano keys with a slave ship and a slave in the water:
I wish one of us had taken a picture of the explanation of this piece and the significance of the piano keys. I searched and found more information on the piece at the bottom of this article. It was quite striking to see in person.
Most of his work had a mixture of painting, sculpture, and “found objects.” One of my favorites was Night Float:
This was a big piece as well, taking up most of one wall. One little inset, which you can see to the left of the big piece:
If you’re in the area, this exhibition will be up through November 6.
Another wing displayed art from East TN artists. There were quite a few there as well, but these were a couple of my favorites:
The following Saturday, we went to a balloon festival in Townsend, about an hour from us. But there was another museum that Jason and Mittu had been wanting to take us to in the same area, so we made a day of it and went to the Great Smokey Mountain Heritage Center first. They have an indoor display of history from the earliest known era of the area, a lot of information about the Native Americans and their homes and way of life, to early pioneers, on up through the years.
Then outside there is a collection of thirteen buildings, some of which were taken apart and reconstructed here. There were a few homes and barns, an outhouse, church, meat smoker, still, and a few others. Once again, we have a ton of photos, but here are a few:
The darkness, heat, and gnats really made me appreciate being born in the 20th century!
Timothy got to ring the church bell!
The museum had a very nice lady at the front desk when we went. They also had a temporary display of an old-time fire truck and cars.
The balloon festival didn’t allow outside food, and we weren’t sure if they’d have any food there that Mittu and Timothy could eat. So we had made some sandwiches and brought chips and drinks and found a place to eat.
The hot air balloon festival ran from 4 to 9. We got there around 5:30, I think. Nothing was done with the balloons until 6:30. I don’t know if that’s how they always do it, or if they were holding off to see what the weather was going to do. At any rate, we were glad we hadn’t gotten there at 4.
It was fun to see the balloons actually being blown up. I had never seen that in person before. It didn’t take as long as I had thought it would.
All of the balloons were tethered, and they offered rides in them–basically just up and down for a few moments. I don’t remember how much they cost, but the line for them was extremely long.
There was supposed to be a laser show at 9, but by 8 we’d had about enough, plus we had an hour’s drive home. There were an assortment of food trucks, bouncy kid things, and booths, but I didn’t explore them. I saw afterward one of the kids had taken a picture of something in a craft booth, so I wished I had walked through to see what was there. But I was also pretty tired by that point in the day and week. 🙂
Sunday after church we went to one of my favorite restaurants for my birthday dinner. We always try to get one photo of all of us together, so we took advantage of the restaurant’s view to do that. This was probably the best shot.
It doesn’t look like the sun was out, but it was in our eyes, so we were squinting a bit. 🙂
So, as you can see, we had a very nice but very full time together!
Love your adventures! Thanks for sharing the photos. Our family loves Legos. 🙂
Ours, too. My boys played with Legos long after losing interest on other toys. It was fun to make the set we bought, then tear it down and make something completely new. One son said playing with Legos helped him in being able to put together furniture as an adult. 🙂
I adore the possibilities that Lego bricks present
Us, too. It was fun not just to make the set we bought, but then to use the pieces making all kinds of other things.
We still have a huge bin of them !
I loved going on your adventures today! Such a nice photo with the whole family — Christmas card? I loved the lego creations and all the details. I have only had crepes a few times in life, once at … maybe Philadelphia union station? I had nutella/strawberries and loved it. The art displays are very pretty and I appreciated the insights you gave. And I’m with you on being glad to live in our “pampered” times. Sometimes I even think back to growing up in humid southern IN before AC. I don’t remember suffering all that much — maybe we got used to it, or maybe heat just doesn’t affect kids as much?
I can remember trying to take a nap as a child in a hot room with windows open, osculating fan blowing on my face or feet alternately, mosquitos buzzing in my ears. My aunt had central AC, and her house felt so luxurious. I can’t imagine living without AC now.
Interesting! I do remember us having an “attic fan” that my dad would turn on, and it never seemed to do much (other than provide “white noise”). The whole family often went down to the living room and slept on the floor there on hot nights, with the front door open (only screen door between us and the outdoors). It was a different time in many ways!
Looks like some wonderful adventures! I think it would be cool to see the hot air balloons being inflated. However, I would never ride on because my fear of heights kicks in just thinking about it!
My oldest son and I had no interest in getting in one, either. I think the others might have if the lines weren’t so long.
Wow, you’re not kidding! Between adult and kid interests, looks like there was plenty to do and see. The balloon festival looks fun. Did they actually take off or only went up and down after getting inflated?
The balloons only went up and down. They were tethered to the ground plus had a couple of people holding ropes connected to the top. There wasn’t a lot of room between them–some even bumped into each other, but not hard enough to rattle the riders. I’m not sure how high up they went–maybe 12-15 feet.
wow what wonderful family adventures you’ve had Barbara and i just LOVE that photo of you and your husband. Treasure these memories for sure. ANd that lego convention is right up my oldest girl’s alley….i’ll have to show her those pics. That flower one was awesome and I LOVED the bridge one!!
OOH….I haven’t had a good french crepe since going to Paris in 2010. We have a crepery here but it isn’t that great. Glad you liked yours.
I wish I could have shown even more pictures–there was such a variety of creations.
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What a fun month! That Lego display looks great; it’s amazing what people can make out of Legos. I’ve always wanted to go to an air balloon show and see all those beautiful colorful balloons take off. How fun!
What a wonderful time you had!! The Lego displays were amazing and I agree – Mt. Rushmore was spectacular. I went to the balloon show in Townsend one year. They offered rides for sale – just up and then back down. I’ve also been to the Smoky Mountain Heritage Museum too. They have a dulcimer on display there that was built by Mike Clemons at Wood N’ Strings Dulcimer show just down the road.
Sorry – that’s Mike Clemmer – not Clemons!