Monday, September 05, 2011


My mom and dad took us to their timeshare in Gatlinburg, TN for our final hoorah of the summer! It was a great getaway! We ate bar-be-que, looked for the black bears that Gatlinburg boasts of, hiked to a waterfall, ate more bar-be-que, enjoyed some live bluegrass music at the pottery place, watched pots being thrown, and the list goes on and on...and we ate more bar-be-que.

Here's a sample of Alewein Pottery's gorgeous pottery! My mom secretly purchased a gorgeous water pitcher for me, and my dad bought me these matching "salsa" bowls.

We loved this "live music" sign!

...but we loved the live music even more! They even let us join their band!

Tate played the..."dancing man?"

...then Naomi played while Darby danced.

These are the only black bears we saw aside from the stuffed bears Grammy bought for the kids. After spending a week there, I was sorely disappointed that we did not see any live bears, but only sort of. One doesn't want to REALLY have an "encounter" with a bear, after all! However, I'm not entirely convinced that all this "black bear hype" is not one big marketing ploy!

We drove up a mountain to a ski resort and went down the Alpine slide! That was a lot of fun, and the view from the top was amazing!

Here is our big, happy family (excepting Darby...she was "hot" and wanted "water")

Still, there MUST actually BE black bears in those Great Smoky Mountains, because when we went on our hike (where I was SURE we were to see some bears), we first walked past this sign.

My dad and mom. Isn't this spot just gorgeous?!!

Tate and Naomi jumped around for a minute before we continued on.

The scenery was fantastic!

We finally made it to the waterfall and were not disappointed! It was beyond gorgeous!

...and Tate swam underneath the waterfall for the first time with only a small amount of convincing!

Naomi, however, could not be convinced.

If you've ever been to the South, you know Krispy Kreme is famous for it's "HOT, FRESH, NOW" sign! I swerved through traffic to make sure we made it there before the sign went off! Our kids experienced their first ever "Hot, Fresh, Now" Krispy Kreme donuts!!

Tate peeked through the windows at the hundreds of donuts!

Darby wanted "more."

"Happy all around." Isn't THAT the truth!

Tate was one happy camper, and Naomi was too busy eating to notice anything else!

Dallas took Tate and Naomi to "Hillbilly Golf" while Darby took a much needed nap. They took this little tram thing up the side of the mountain and golfed back down.

Then they went to Parrot Mountain.

This reminded me of the time Naomi was bit by an ostrich...yes, an ostrich. But, I'm not going there...I don't need any nightmares tonight!

This bird had some strange affinity for Tate's neck. Dallas said it sat there licking his neck for several minutes.

You can call him "birdman."

Our last night, we went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, where Tate and Naomi posed with the Southern Belle out front.

This guy was from Pennsylvania! Go figure.

Darby loved all the horsies!

Thanks for a great vacation, Gramps and Grammy! We love you!

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