We were lucky enough this year that Jason's block leave fell over Spring Break. For you non-Army types, Block Leave is a time period (2 weeks in this case) where the entire unit can be on leave at the same time. Pre-9/11, this used to happen in the summer and over Christmas. Nowadays, it falls shortly before a deployment so everyone can get in a vacation and some down time. So, for Spring Break/Block Leave, we went to one of our favorite places on Earth....the mountains near Bryson City, NC. This is our 3rd visit in less than a year, so you can tell we love it. Although I am a true beach girl, Jason is slowly turning me into a mountain girl. We rented a cabin through Watershed Cabins and met Papa & Gan (Jason's mom and dad) there on Monday. Jason and I ran at the Tsali Trails (single track trails for mountain biking and horseback riding, and awesome for running). We were able to run for 3 days straight and got in 22 miles! Not as many miles as we hoped for, but pretty good nonetheless! In the afternoons, we explored the area, heading into Bryson City for lunch and some shopping, hit the NOC in hopes of seeing some rafting and kayaking (no such luck...little too early in the season) and explored a new favorite town, Sylva, NC where we had maybe the best pizza we've ever had at Mill & Main. It was a wonderful, relaxing week. We had beautiful, cool weather, and thankfully the storms came at night and did not affect our daytime plans. Jason and I escaped with no running injuries and the girls had a blast. When asked about their favorite part, they of course yell, "The Hot Tub!!!" They are so easy to please... So here are a few shots from our wonderful week.
Today Caroline and I went to a birthday party. It was for her sweet friend Hadley who Caroline met last year at school. It was a movie birthday party to see Rapunzel. I was so excited because Gigi had taken the girls to see it in the movies when it came out, so I had not seen it (although we had read the book). So we went, all the while I was nervous because of the predicted storms coming our way. When we came out of the theater, it was not raining, but the sky looked so scary and it was so windy. I started praying and we headed to the car. I had not heard any reports of tornadoes being spotted yet, so we tried to beat it home. We made it about 2/3 of the way home until we could go no further.
The tornado had in fact come through and took down many many trees and blocked our main route home. Fallen trees were blocking 5 lanes of traffic.
I admit, I was scared to death. Here I was, in my car, with my baby. I just wanted to be home with Jason and the big girls. Thankfully, they had been there all afternoon and the tornado did no go through our neighborhood. I continued to pray that God would continue to keep us safe and get us to some shelter as soon as possible.
So to make a long scary story short, we turned around and headed to my mom's house. It was in the opposite direction of the storm and thankfully I have a key! We are waiting here until we hear the roads are open and we can get home since the storm has passed. There is no power at our house, but no damage either. And Caroline and I are safe here. We are praying for all our friends who live in the areas that were struck by the tornado. It will probably be a long hard cleanup and repair for a lot of people. I have not heard of many injuries, thankfully, but there will be a lot of property damage.
So even though Caroline is bored and had to eat oatmeal for supper, I told her that we are thankful to be safe, and thankful that Daddy, AL & EK are safe too.