Good morning!!! We had so much fun last night singing karaoke.  We laughed so hard, and truly enjoyed one another.  We are making memories that we could have never dreamt of creating.  

Ryan and I woke up at about 7:15.  The kids were still soundly sleeping.  We went to breakfast together, just the two of us!  There were no open tables, so we ended up joining Aquaman and his wife, Sapphire.  We met on the trail a couple of weeks ago, coming down into NOC.  They are an couple from Hawaii, preparing to restore here on the main land!  We had a great conversation with them, got to know them better, and learned that two of their kids serve in the military.  Sitting with parents of current service members, listening to their thoughts and attempting to answer questions that they had, shed a different light on somethings for us.  Regardless of what we think about the political climate, or even about military involvement in other countries, we really need to remember that there are men and women, who raised their hands to serve our country.  They deserve respect and honor.  They deserve for us at home to think about them, especially when we are making decisions about who should or should not be in office.  Their selflessness demands our remembrance.  We must remember that there are men and women deployed overseas, and that their families and friends are left behind concerned about their well being.  We must not forget!  

After breakfast, we headed to the Dollar General, where we picked up some cereal and some products to do the girls’ hair.  We took everything back to the Hostel.  The kids are breakfast and then we went for a walk through Hot Springs.  

Have you ever seen a live bait vending machine?

This sign hangs in the little hiker ministry house.  Hikers Ridge, is a place where hikers can go to rest, connect to WiFi, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and a warm cookie.  The ministry is set up with the primary goal of freely meeting the needs of hikers and sharing the love of Christ with them.  It really is pretty neat.

We all weighed ourselves on the scale in Bluff Mountain Outfitters.  To aquire an accurate weight, you had to do a little wiggle, stand still, and subtract five pounds… Lol!!!  Our maybe it was add five pounds. I don’t remember!  Who cares?

After picking up the few items we needed from town, we got a text message from our friend, Wes.  He’s hiking with Warrior Expeditions, and we hadn’t seen him in awhile.  We were headed to the diner, where he was having dinner with some trail angels.  It was great to see him again, and to hear how all the other warriors were doing. 

We ordered some dinner… Ryan thought he was being really healthy by ordering broccoli bites.  Well, in Hot Springs, NC, these are broccoli bites!

Deep fried cheddar cheese with little tiny bis of broccoli inside!  Not exactly what he was thinking, but they tasted so much better!?!?!

We said farewell to Wes, and finished our dinner, and headed back to the hostel in order for momma to start doing hair.  Ryan even joined in the fun.  Zoey says she’d rather have him detangle her hair, because he doesn’t hurt.  Now that is some funny stuff.  With Ava’s hair completely done and Zoey hair detangled and clean… We said good night to the kids!!!

Someone very graciously gifted the two of us a night at the Lodge.  Since they requested to stay anonymous, we can only hope that they will read this and accept our greatest appreciation for recognizing momma and daddy needed a break! It was amazing!  The bathroom was so spacious and beautiful.  The bed reminded us of ours at home.  The sheets were so soft.  It was quiet… It was just the two of us.  We stayed up talking about our trip for hours.  We didn’t even know how much we needed that time, until we had it.

Each day brings new surprises, new opportunities, new reasons to be grateful!!!  

Today we are grateful for those who make sacrifices each day to keep us safe… Our military, police, and firefighters.  We are thankful it was hair day… We are reminded of the blessing it is to be Ava and Zoey parents.  We are grateful for the love shown to us by Hikers Ridge, breakfast from Aquaman and Sapphire, and a room all our own for the evening.  

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