We made a trip to Jonesborough, TN for my paternal grandmother's family reunion (she passed 12 years ago, and one sibling is still alive) last weekend. My aunt and uncle live in Johnson City and would put us up for free, but they were hosting my parents and another aunt and uncle- 3 couples, 2 beds. My parents offered to take the air mattress as 3rd bed, but we ended up deciding a hotel room would just make all happier. The reunion was actually in Jonesborough, and when we started looking at regular old hotel rooms, we were already going to spend a bit, and cute little bed and breakfasts around Jonesborough were not that much more expensive. So we splurged and had a vacation! (it appears as though there won't be too many immediate vacations in our future, so it was okay to empty out that budget folder).
Jonesborough is the oldest town in TN, founded 1779, before Tennessee became a state. It was the capital of the state of Franklin, which broke off from NC to become its own state in 1784. It has the distinction of being a center of the abolitionist movement and hosted the first publication devoted exclusively to this topic.
I'm sure in the interim between now and then, it probably got pretty run down, but people put in a lot of effort and money to restore it to a previous era, and it's a cute little quiet spot. We stayed at the Eureka Inn, which was built in 1797 and is right on Main St. It, too, became run down with time, but in 1997 investors poured in some money to do a real overhaul on the place. So it's modern and ancient all at the same time. We stayed in a room with 2 double beds so H could have her very own.
A nice perk of the hotel is this great 2nd floor front porch lined with rocking chairs:
We drove up Friday after work, stopped for dinner, and got into our room about 9 p.m., straight to bed with H, but Alli and I left her with an iPhone baby monitor and enjoyed the swing on the back porch to wind down.
Saturday morning we took advantage of one of Jonesborough's claims to fame: the storytelling capital of the world (self-identified). This was somewhat fortuitous because the weather was a little rainy:
We went to the international storytelling center to hear a story! Izzy Tooinsky was in town, and told his tale of adventurous upbringing, the product of a hurricane and an earthquake, or something like that. He told a crazy story and weaved in juggling, so it was very entertaining to young eyes. They recommended kids 5-12, but of course H was mellow and followed along with her two middle fingers for comfort. At the end of the show, Izzy said he came to that very theatre to find the miracle he was looking for, and he said it was right there, and pointed straight to H. Her fingers came out of her mouth, she smiled, and she said her name (like "me! I'm the miracle!"). It was pretty precious (Izzy then pointed to other kids too). And afterward we got a signature shot:
Then H napped...,
The reunion was a small affair just a few minutes outside downtown, but good to catch up with some people I haven't seen in years,
Next morning we drove over to my aunt and uncle's for a brunch buffet, more stories, and less socially appropriate filters. Plenty of stories about my grandmother's firm discipline and humor. And then we were on the road again headed home. Parting shot: