Jacob and I arrived in the US on Aug 5th, after the LONGEST trip ever. The trip was almost uneventful, mostly pleasant, except for the fact of our two kids. Having kids on the plane makes even the easiest trip tiring. Anyway, we arrived in VA only to travel again a few days later to Gatlinburg, for a Rocap family time in the mountains.

Here’s Jessa with Maia

On the way to Gatlinburg, we had a picnic: true Tobin style — an Isaan meal of sticky rice! When I do these sort of picnics away from my family, everybody thinks that it’s so exotic and weird. It’s nice to come home to family, where my weird behavior is rather normal!

This is where we are staying — all seventeen of us! The house is called “Great Bear”, and the decor is bear. There are about seventy bears in just the living room.


We have been doing some hiking in the Smoky mountains. With Maia in the wrap and Elias either walking (slowly) or in the stroller on the paved paths, we are a bit limited, but still having fun.

Here are the hard-core hikers, in the rain! They have their bag of cookies, so it looks like they will survive.

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