Roll Up for the Mystery Tour

Today we started out on grand adventure. Where this adventure was to take us is what this posting is all about. Of course we took photos, videos and stopped along the way.

Our journey began this morning bright and early when we woke up at 6:30 am. After getting the children dressed and fed, we loaded everyone into our Kia to venture the open road.

Our first stop was to get gas before we started our tour. We traveled over hills, around bends, thru valleys and over a plateau. Soon we were crossing into our destination: The Bluegrass State better known as Kentucky.

Most people assocoiate Kentucky with horse racing and/or bourbon. Both these thoughts are true but surprisingly Kentucky is also home to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant (    where they make the classic American car, the Corvette. I was surprised to learn this little fact too. I always figured they were being built in Detroit or even somewhere overseas. Guess what? They aren’t cars being built in the Bluegrass state. Oh no, in Georgetown Toyotas are quietly rolling off the assembly line and in Louisville Fords and Lincolns are being assembled.

The Kentucky welcome sign on I 75 northbound

The Kentucky welcome sign on I 75 northbound

As with any great tour we started by visiting the state welcoming and information center. This one really caught Miss Em’s attention since she is a big horse fan. The center had just opened for the day so there weren’t too many people there.  Here we were able to get some information about Kentucky and all it has to offer people who come to visit.


20130910_091344 20130910_091354 20130910_091431 20130910_091422 20130910_091512 20130910_091528

These are photos of the Welcome Center for Kentucky on I 75 northbound. Sorry for the glare on the last photo but the sun was just not cooperating.


We continued our tour stopping for a  brief moment in the town of Williamsburg. There is a cemetery there but we’ll return there later in the blog.

Pretty soon we were in Lexington. Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 62nd largest in the United States. Of course the main attractions to Lexington are horses, the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.   However we were there for a different reason , we were visiting the Shriners Hospital for an OT visit (tee hee hee…)


We signed Gabriel in and soon we were in back to visit with the great therapists in the therapy center. We had to wait so they let us  hang out and play in the recreational therapy center. Here patients get a chance to have fun and just be a kid. There are board games. riding toys for little ones like Gabriel, a Wii system, air hockey and lots of other things. There is even a display case with models of various types of cars.

20130910_114747 2013-09-10 11.29.12 100_8644 100_8643 100_864220130910_114826 20130910_114816As you can see by the photos, the Shriners do their best to make sure the patients there have lots of fun stuff to do. Koenig is in the last photo playing with an adaptive video game system. This game requires users to turn pedals with their hands thus building their arm and hand muscles.Gabriel is in the grey checking the awesome display of cars out


Pretty soon it was time for our OT appointment. Mr. Ken from National Mobility and Seating was there to talk to us about Gabriel and see how he is doing. After a few minutes, it arrived.


Afterwards, Gabriel rolled himself thru the hallway and to the outdoor waiting area.  By then we were all getting hungry so we headed home but stopped at Ryan’s Buffet in Richmond, KY where Miss Janey took excellent care of us. She made sure we had plenty of drinks, hot rolls and asked about Gabriel.

Soon we were back in the town of Williamsburg where the cemetery I mentioned earlier is. It is the BriarCreek Cemetery which is part of BriarCreek Baptist Church. The first thing that I noticed was a fenced in section with an old wrought iron fence and gate. The stones are old and unreadable.

There were lots of graves of men who fought in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and various other conflicts. The most interesting stone was a hand carved one for a young lady named Delilah 100_8648 Note the rough hand carving of her stone.


Yea!! We are home, well back in Tennessee. After dinner at Cracker Barrel were Gabriel ate dinner by himself!

20130910_202304 20130910_202151Look at me! Eating my dinner with my awesome tray that Mr. Ken made sure I had for my chair.


We arrived home safe and sound later in the evening. Gabriel is along with his sister and brothers tucked safely into their beds. To quote Gabriel “Good night and sweet dreams...”


Until next time


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4 responses to “Roll Up for the Mystery Tour

  1. laury

    Gabriel, When do you start practicing for the wheelchair races??

  2. so glad all went well… Call if you have any problems

    Ken Green
    National Seating & Mobility..

  3. Teja

    Hi Denise,
    My name is Teja. I stumbled across your blog because my little brother, who is 13 years old and has SMA type 2, posted an article written by you about SMA to help explain his condition to his Facebook friends. I have met many families with children who have SMA, but I really felt encouraged by the way you seem to take things in stride and hope for the best for your son. I was 11 when my little brother was born, and 13 when I found out that he had SMA. At that point, I was old enough to understand that this was going to change our lives as a family, but not old enough to realize how scary it was going to be going through life with so many unknowns. I am so amazed by the way you and your family has journeyed through the first few difficult stages of SMA. Keep it up! There is so much to look forward to. These kiddos are truly amazing and have so much to offer. Since hearing those terrifying words, I know our family has come a long way. I am now 24, my older brother is 25, my little brother with SMA is 13, and we have a little sister who also has SMA type 2, who is 10. Going through life with my siblings has taught me so much about perseverance, grace, and love. I remember how afraid I was about the current stage of my brother’s life- the teenage years- when he would have access to the internet, when he could read the reality of his prognosis for himself, unfiltered by our love and concern. But my little brother has always been wise beyond his years, as I find many of these SMA kids are. He does not give up hope, and he doesn’t let others’ pessimism get him down. Your little guy has so much to look forward to, so many special moments, and I pray that he will continue to develop that spirit that your family seems to embody; to stay strong in who he is, to not let his disability disable him, to continue to engage with life and with others to the full. There are still so many unknowns on this journey, and it can get scary seeing these beautiful children growing up, getting older, asking questions about their future that you don’t have answers for. You just want to protect them and keep them forever. But I think Gabriel’s strength through the scary things will surprise you, and you can truly only take it one day at a time. My siblings have taught me real courage and bravery through all kinds of trials. I know you guys will make it through all of the hard stuff, and more. All the best to you and your family on your journey.


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