Small Town, Big Talent
First in Freedom



Our much-anticipated annual trek to Emerald Isle, North Carolina always begins with an early morning departure.

Not as early as the 3 am departure we used to make when the kids were home, but this year we were on the road by 6.

I had to text this photo to my sister Barb.  Heading east straight into the sun reminds us both of an infamous, BLINDING trip several years ago through Columbus, Ohio just as the sun was rising. Sometimes one is thankful for the hazy day...



We always look forward to breakfast at this hometown diner in Washington Courthouse, Ohio. Kim LOVES their fresh ham steak, about 1" thick of deliciousness! We like to forego the chains to stop at Mom & Pop restaurants along the way.



I always look forward to seeing and photographing this cabin just inside the West Virginia line.  I don't think anyone lives there, but there's almost always a pretty quilt hanging outside.



Iconic Pilot Mountain, in North Carolina.  Aka "Nipper Knob" (Kim's name for it....)



After checking into "our" Hampton Inn in Archdale, we enjoyed dinner at this delicious Italian place we discovered last year. "We" as in Kristoffer and Dana's family and Emily and Zach...we all stayed in the same hotel.

(In case you're the category of "More Than You Want to Know," this year's meal set much better with me than last year's, when I was fresh off my surgeries and my bowels were still in an uproar...)



These lovely ladies sat across from Gramaw...I am blessed to always get to sit at the kids' end of the table!



Our family loves traditions!  And one of those is Kristoffer's family making a fresh Krispy Kreme run (since Krispy Kremes were born in that area of North Carolina) and bring some back to the hotel for us.

Oh Kassie, girl...your hat....



These me some Em and Zach!  They are always thrilled for me to take their photo right after they roll out of bed....



Nice 'stache, Em!



Kelsey and Karter...


Road-12 only Kaden can smile...






This oldest son Kristoffer, the originator of the Krispy Kreme tradition...



Kaden and Karter MUST get their daily dose of ESPN...even sporting their KK hats!



I love driving through the mountains in the morning....



We took a little detour on the way to the beach (more about that tomorrow), and found this charming other place for lunch...

The road trip there is almost (I said ALMOST!) as fun as the destination.





Terri Chapman

US too...we LOVE the Mom & Pop places ...and always try to eat at those. We have found some real gems along the way. :)

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