Exist Loudly

Closed on Sunday

 “No plane on Sunday. Check it again come Monday. Just a hopeless situation. Make the best of it’s ’bout all you can do.”
~ Jimmy Buffett
My sister and I planned a family day trip for us, her daughters, and her husband. We decided to take “Da Nieces” to Gem Mountain and let them pan for gems & just enjoy the scenery. I’ve taken my oldest niece, Riley, twice before and we thought my youngest niece, Taylor, would have a blast. She has that curious nature just like her older sister. So we hope in the car and start the drive to Spruce Pine, NC. It’s not that far away, about 2 hour drive or less depending on bathroom breaks and traffic. On the way up, Brenda (Sis-tah) and I started wondering if it would be open. Neither of us had thought to verify the times they were open, we just decided to go to the mountains and have fun. As we passed the signs for it, we started yelling “closed on Sunday” to each other and laughing about what if. We pull into Gem Mountain and guess what, it was closed on Sunday. My brother-in-law woke from his nap in the backseat and asked why in this day and age we didn’t check before we left or while we were driving, and I told him, that Brenda and I had agreed that it was now part of the adventure. We turned the car back around and headed back down Spruce Pine towards Linville Caverns.
I love Linville Caverns! I have loved that place since I was kid. My sister also had flashbacks to childhood field trips. I have also taken Riley to the caverns several times. Before we went into the cavern, we spent an hour outside at the creek, stretching our legs, playing in the ice cold water, and having fun and laughing. Taylor, my fearless, younger niece had no qualms trying to jump, crawl, walk, her way from slippery rock to slippery rock. At one point, we had a human chain of passing her from person to person to get her across the rocks. She wanted to play in the water and in the banks of the creek. We picked up snails and crawdads and splashed around like kids. We ventured from outdoors and towards the caverns. Julia our tour guide was fortunate to only get the 5 of us…maybe she was unfortunate. We asked a lot of questions, joked around with each other, and had a lot of fun.
After the cavern tour, we stopped a little road side resturant called Louise’s and had a late lunch of fried Southern goodness and then landed at Linville Falls & Gorge where we walked/hiked, enjoyed nature, and the scenery. We stomped through mud, puddles, unrolled leaves to find out what bug had rolled it up. The inhabitant of that leaf was long gone by then of course.
On the drive back, the entire Thompson clan all fell asleep and I drove back listening to Constellations and Eric Hutchinson. They were resting quietly from exhaustion and fun. I had a full heart of love, laughter, and living.
The only thing missing was my dad who was being carried away safely to his next destination, Florida, on the wings of his angel, my mom. As she carried him to safety, she watched over us and gave us a day together we surely will not forget.
As Jimmy Buffett sings, “No plane on Sunday…make the best of it…”
And that’s just what this Family Funday Sunday did…Gem Mountain was closed but we still had a blast!
See all the pictures from our Linville Adventure and some of my favorites are below
Brenda & Taylor – Liniville Caverns – May 15, 2011


Riley & Taylor – Linville Caverns – May 15, 2011


Riley, Bud, & Taylor – Linville Caverns, May 15, 2011