"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vacation memories

The cooler weather is tugging at my heart and making me miss family vacations to the Smokies.

While there have been a few truly miserable trips, due to a large dose of family bickering and a dash of drama, last year's vacation made up for the lackluster years in the past.

Since I'm feeling all nostalgic, I'm going to make this a picture post and share some of my favorite moments from our last trip.

We started off in Gatlinburg. I know I look rough in this picture, we'd been in the car all day. This was right before supper our first night there and I was giddy with excitement. Although we've been on trips like this countless times, I still feel like a kid when we finally get there. This is Chase, my youngest little brother, who will be 11 in just a few weeks. When did he get so old???
Here we are again, this time in the woods. I love this part of the trip. The sights and sounds of Gatlinburg are fun, but to me, the best part is being able to get out and enjoy nature.

Back in Gatlinburg, me and Chase are making idiots of ourselves. It was fun though! This was in the 3-D mini golf attraction. The pictures turned out to be the best part. It was hot and stuffy inside, and they kept playing carnival music, which kind freaked me out. I'm one of those nerds that read It and am consequently scared to death of clowns.

This was the view from under the swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain in Boone, North Carolina. It was my first trip up there and it was honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. This is the "mile-high" bridge — it hangs more than 5,800 feet above sea level. Of course I had to walk across it. :)

Also at Grandfather Mountain. This bear cracked me up. It was in a pen with some other bears, and they would all sit there and beg for treats. Chase got a kick out of throwing it food. It would catch it, gulp it down and immediately start begging for more.

Mama will be ashamed, but I can't remember the name of this waterfall. All I know is that it's the one you can walk behind. It had been dry that season, so it wasn't flowing very strong, but it was still pretty.

This is the view from the top of Grandfather Mountain. See all of those people standing on the edge of the cliff? I wanted to be one of them so bad, but was told that as long as I was on a family trip, I'd get nowhere near it. Guess I'll have to go back by myself for that one.

Overall, the trip was so much fun.

I wish I was there now...


Bethany@MyLifeinBlack&White said...

Oh, you're making me miss the annual Bailey family trips to Gatlinburg. It's a special place!

Anonymous said...

The waterfall is Grotto Falls, you access the trailhead via Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. We had a great time on that trip didn't we?
The hiking was my favorite too, and it wasn't that I didn't want you to go near the edge, I just knew Chase would want to join you -


Diane said...

Looks like you had a great time! I don't do family trips anymore ('cause I'm not insane and don't like the idea of spending the rest of my life in prison for murder) but I LOVE the trips Ryan and I take. We're really hoping to camp our way out to the Grand Canyon and Sedona next summer. Wanna come? I'll let you get near the edge ;)

Heather said...

Diane: I would LOVE to go. :) That sounds like so much fun. I know y'all will have a great time!!

Mel said...

Hey! My family is having Thanksgiving next year in Gatlinburg. You can come if you want.

One of my favorite stories about my grandmother took place there. She saw a sign beside a creek bed and said, "Look at that, that creek has an Indian name" My great-grandfather looked at the sign, laughed and said, "No Betty, it doesn't. It says Put No Rocks In Creek, not Putnorocksin Creek. Now every creek our family sees in the Smokey Mountains is automatically Putnorocksin Creek.

Anonymous said...

Heather, I love your newest background!!!


Jenners said...

Love the photos! My husband has mentioned how much he loved Grandfather Mountain and how we should go and your photos really made me want to go -- I want to go on that bridge!

And I love your new background too! I have to admit, the one with the circle was a bit hard to read -- it burned a little bit of an afterimage into my retinas or something!

Jessica said...

Aww I have never been to Gatlinburg. I've been wanting to go though for the past couple years so I loved the pics!
Shocker ~ saw It, terrified me, PETRIFIED of clowns. But I also have a peralizing(sp) fear of bridges so I would NOT be walking across that monster.
Uuummm.. good luck to Bama this weekend!

Jaded Jill said...

thanks for stopping by my blog!

Jenners said...

Hi Ya! Couldn't find your e-mail anywhere so I'm posting to your blog ... hope you see it. I will put a comment in the post for you too. Now don't be mad but the Little Man has assigned you the Letter Z for your favorite things! Sorry!

Kelly said...

I love Gatlinburg! I went to summer camp in Tenn. when I was younger and we would stop over in Gatlinburg for a couple of nights on our way home!