Travels East

Our blogging has been pretty sporadic this month, due in large part to our transient life style.  Last week we headed east from Nashville to make some visits to friends on our way to a speaking engagement in Asheville.  Our first stop was in Chattanooga for a few days.  We stayed with Eric's sister Jena and her husband Brian, and spent the day relaxing, wandering around downtown Chattanooga (which has some awesome water play areas that Maggie enjoyed), and trying some pumpkin pie Italian ice with vanilla custard, an awesome taste experience.  Maggie particularly enjoyed Blue's Clues on Netflix and chasing/torturing the 2 cats.

We also visited Curt and Chris Chaffin, friends we met in Ann Arbor who have now lived in Chattanooga for a number of years, and Eric's friends from college, John and Lindsay Bamber.  Both families have kids Maggie's age, which was great for us.  The Bambers are photographers and took us to the Tennessee Aquarium for the morning.  The kids had a great time looking at the fish, turtles, otters, etc.

Then it was on to the Prescription for Renewal conference in Asheville, NC for 4 days.  We both were able to present some medical lectures to the group, and a "friend of a friend" provided a cabin for our entire family to stay in (so much nicer than a small hotel room).  It was a great chance to see the McCropders again and meet up with old friends from Tenwek.

We wrapped up our time by continuing east to Durham, where more Ann Arbor friends Dan and Kelly Rocke are living (Dan's an ENT resident at Duke).  Maggie and Calvin have been friends since before they were born (we decided) and they have not seen each other for a few years, so it was fun watching them get reacquainted.  Our younger two, Ben and Jack, will be fast friends as soon as they get a bit older.  And while we were in Durham, we hooked up with some great medical folks we got to know during our two years at Tenwek.

 A whirlwind trip, but a great one!  More McLaughlin travel adventures to come, I'm sure.