July 1st, 2006

little review

Poem for Saturday

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Friday morning we drove from Nashville to Knoxville, losing an hour in the process. We therefore had to wake up very early to get to the Nashville Zoo in time for the penguin feeding and meet-the-keepers. Knoxville has African penguins -- seven on display and several more not out in public, including the oldest penguin in captivity at 42 years. There is also a lion cub no longer with its mother because it wasn't nursing sufficiently, so it's in the mole rat exhibit in a cubbyhole with stuffed animals and blankies, a very active tree sloth that was climbing all around the bars of its cage and a trio of squawking macaws that could be heard as far away as the zebras.

We had a picnic at the zoo and then drove through the Great Smoky Mountains into North Carolina, stopping to take photos at a welcome center. Then we went to Asheville, where we visited the Basilica of St. Lawrence, a 1909 Catholic church with a magnificently decorated altar and pulpit, the life of Christ in stained glass in a circle around the sanctuary, and the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. (I love beautiful old churches of any denomination.) Then we met cara_chapel for dinner, and she pleased the kids immensely by directing us to a Chinese buffet, one of their favorite things. I hadn't seen her in at least a couple of years so it was great to be at the same table! After dinner we came to the hotel to swim and discovered first Whose Line Is It Anyway on ABC Family and then Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Pegasus" on G4, so of course we had to watch!

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Saturday is my 16th wedding anniversary. We are visiting Asheville's Biltmore Estate -- having skipped the Breakers Mansion when we were in New England, we figure we should visit at least one Vanderbilt mansion! Then we are driving through Raleigh to Jacksonville so we can be in Beaufort on Sunday.