My niece is in for the long three-day weekend, the first three- day weekend I can remember ever having myself in a really long time. Of course, being a writer means that you never really have a day off, as even when you’re not writing, you’re still thinking about that next chapter, that next article, that next set of words.

I’ve been doing just that. I wrote a scene that sort of left me unsettled for “Return of The Titans,” the third book in the Alex Grosjean series. But now I’ve turned it into a major plot twist and I haven’t had a chance to write it yet, although I hope to have some writing time tomorrow. This weekend, family comes first, and honestly, I need the time away from my computer. I’m far too married to it.

So our first day of the long weekend consisted of a trip to Discovery Park in Union City, TN.

Discovery Park

First, a little background: I live in a rural area, a series of farming communities. There’s not a lot to do within 200 miles from here. So this Discovery Park is a HUGE massive deal, and it’s story is really nice. The guy who founded Kirkland’s (many of us have shopped there), is originally from the area. So he went and made his millions and came back home and built this amazing science, technology and history museum that rivals anything I’ve seen in most large cities. That thing is Discovery Park.

Our trip included a four-year-old, and being that four-year-old attention spans aren’t exactly known for dwelling on any given thing for a very long time, I didn’t have a chance to read every single placard for every single piece in the Discovery Park collection, however, I was impressed. This place is massive and sits on 50 acres of land. There are exhibits inside and outside and, apparently, at least according to a staff member we chatted with, there will be a lot more added in the coming years. The museum covers everything from dinosaurs to space to energy technology to history to an earthquake simulator.

However, I think the most interesting thing I found there wasn’t a replica, but an actual item in the collection: an 1800s vampire hunting kit.

Vampire Hunting Kit

That’s disturbing, right? According to the plaque, this kit was sold to tourists by the Romanians in Europe. CRAZY!

There were lots of other little surprises at Discovery Park, too, and again, I can’t say how impressed I was that this museum is literally in our own back yard, less than an hour drive away.

So if you’re ever in the area of Union City, TN, definitely go check it out. But warning: it’s a LOT of walking. Again, 50 acres of land. Whew! Even the youngest member of our group was exhausted at the end of the day.

If you’d like to see more photos from Discovery Park:

Finally, an update on the volcano. I’ve watched the travel alert status go from orange to red to orange to red, over and over. It’s erupting, as of today, but it’s not subglacial, which means no ash. No ash is good because that means that for all intents and purposes, my Ireland trip next week is still on. Expect me to blog throughout the week with all the wonderful things I’ll be seeing and doing.

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