Friday, August 24, 2012

Gatlinburg Days 3,4 & 5

Warning:  Picture overload.  I took a lot more pictures than this, but wanted to get the main ones on here.  We had such a great time - it was hard to not include everything.

Day 3
Sunday morning we got up early and headed for a park in North Carolina for the reunion picnic.  The drive was just beautiful.  Sunday was also Mary's birthday, so we stopped and picked up a cake. 
At the park
Beautiful mountain stream
The fam -the tall guy in the back is Brian's uncle and he played ball at Indiana University in the early 70's.  It was fun to talk IU basketball with him.
Mary brought a fun game to play - ladder something or other.  We were all awful at it.
We stopped at a lookout on our way back to the hotel - Hudson was awake, but peaceful in the van, so we didn't want to get him out and then make him get right back in his car seat.

Day 4
We all ate breakfast at a pancake place again -the food wasn't as good as the first place, but the views were so pretty
We tried a Davy Crockett raccoon hat on Hudson and he immediately wanted it off
Brian's parents were leaving to go back home, so we wanted one more family picture
After Hudson's nap we decided to go into the park and check out the views and hike.  The park is what I love best about Gatlinburg.This park is the most visited park in the United States and it really is so gorgeous. 
We drove up to Newfound Gap - you can see Tennessee and North Carolina.  It was a gorgeous clear day.  It was 72 degrees at the base of the mountain, but only 60 degrees at the gap.
We decided to hike to Laurel Falls.  It was only 2.6 miles round trip, but had a pretty steady incline the whole way there.  Hudson loved riding in the back pack.
The falls- so pretty.
You can't tell, but there was a really steep drop behind us
Love this picture of my little guy - he enjoyed sticking his toes in the cold mountain water
I carried Hudson part of the way back down the hill - I wanted to try out the back pack, too.  -It wasn't until this picture that we realized Hudson could pop up this high if he wanted to, so we tightened him back in. 

Day 5
I thought this bear was cute, so I wanted to get a picture with Hudson riding it.  This was right before we left
Brian's sister took this picture the morning after we left- bear tracks.  A bear decided to check things out at our hotel.  Thankfully he didn't do any damage and went back home.
We had such a fun trip.  We hated for it to end - we had been looking forward to it since about Christmas time. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mini Vacay

Brian, Hudson, and I went on a little 5 day trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Brian's family had a reunion on Sunday, so we decided to extend our trip a little bit. Brian's sister and her husband and his parent's also extended their trip a little bit.   We had so much fun.   It was a good test to see if we're ready to start vacationing again as a family.  
Day 1
Here's our van loaded down.  I don't know if we'll have room for any more kids
Sweet little Hudson slept part of the 3 1/2 hr trip - thankully
This picture was taken soon after we arrived - Hudson was hungry.  We stayed at a great little mom and pop place.  We've stayed there before - it's basic, but so clean and so close to everything.

We went out to eat at a great Mexican restaurant.  
I loved all the flowers everywhere

Hudson loved sticking his head out of this display - he thought he was hot stuff

Day 2
Saturday morning we all ate together at the Pancake Pantry.  I remember eating there once as a kid.  
In the afternoon, Brian, Dick (Brian's dad) and I met a few other family members and we went whitewater rafting.
Part of the view on the drive
The group beforehand 
Me, Brian, Dick, Ramona, Austin, Amy, John, and Tim (left to right)
Austin was our guide - he has been a guide for 13 summers -I am the back right and Brian is in front of me
I've actually whitewater rafted several times, so I wanted everyone else that hadn't been before to ride up front and really get soaked -love Austin's (white helmet) face in this picture 

 When we got back, Brian played in the pool with Hudson - I don't think you can tell, but there's a stream that runs along the pool
Hudson loved the water

Showing off his new hat from Grandma
That evening we all went out to eat
Amy, Tim, Melissa, and Michael
The rest of the family
The flash was a little too bright for Hudson

Great days 1 and 2.