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... and struggling with the internet. Finally, we decided to cancel the boat rental and try driving 30 mins into Bryson City to shop.
We spotted an article about an organic honey place in Bryson City and we set off to find it. Unfortunately, we found the shell of a building partly constructed - the place wasn't open yet!! We drove around for a few minutes and quickly concluded ...
... moved over there and found rocks lining the sides where we could climb to reach the shallow sides of the lake.
Sitting on the rocks, the water looked tempting. We had seen someone swimming earlier. Then Thao spotted a rope swing across the lake and convinced me to swim across with her. We were in t-shirts and shorts...but decided to brave it anyway. The water turned out to ...
... to take us out for an hour if we wanted. We were thrilled and quickly got ready.
We had explained Matt was reluctant because the last time we rode, he had an awful time controlling his horse. The owner assured Matt he would ensure he had a great time and gave him a small, gentle horse (Bailey) who behaved perfectly the whole ride. My horse, Dennis, was similarly well behaved. Will was on Patchy who often stopped to eat. Ashley's horse, Pearl, ...
... who had helped Esen.
After we were done, they took our findings to identify them. I appreciated that they sorted each type of stone into different small ziplocks and labelled them. Much more fun for us.
Then, we continued with the gem theme stopping at the Gem Museum in Franklin. Housed in an old jail, it offered a guided tour with free admission and gave all kids 3 polished stones each for free.
... put the little ones in the creek a little lower down so they could skip the faster rapids which scared them. The rest of us loved the adrenaline rush of the first section.
The last section is pretty calm so Phan let Esen ride in his own tube and do the last section 3 or 4 times - which he loved. Before this, he sat in either Phan or Thao's lap.
While Esen was getting his rerides, ...