Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great times around Gatlinburg!

Our trip to TN was amazing! We had the very best time with one of the sweetest and most precious family's I know, my sister and her crew. God truly blessed us with this lovely mountain getaway with them at this time in our lives. It truly could not have been more perfect! We left on a Thursday afternoon and drove half way. Then we were able to get a nice hotel for a little sleep before going the rest of the way the next day. After we ate a GREAT lunch the girls hopped in one car and the boys in another and we headed for our quaint cabin in the woods. After a nice mountain drive Friday afternoon this is what greeted us on a cool brisk evening. We really were all overwhelmed by the cosiness of this place. It had ultra comfy beds, the gas fire place, a hot tub, and a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom. The name of it was Bear E Cozy! And it sure was!

So we unpacked and while the kiddos enjoyed a nice warm bath in the BIG tub (Karina was so excited about that) my sis and I enjoyed each others company as we made a really yummy dinner of taco's, burritos, rice and corn. Somehow things tasted even better up there too. :) I think the guys maybe went down stairs to play pool. Oh did I say there was a pool table and HUGE flat screen tv there as well? Yeah.

Here Karina and Joseph wasted no time Sat. morning and went to coloring. It was so sweet to see these little cousins having a great time together.

Oh and don't think we didn't enjoy that thing over to the left in the picture above after a long drive (actually every night). Tam, Jeff and I (Jonathan didn't last long enough the first night) were so happy to retreat to the hot soothing waters bubbling all around us as the kids (and Jonathan) were snug and sleeping.

This is the tub the kids had a blast in. They must've taken an hour bath in it. :)

The loft leading to our lovely room..

And this is our comfy bed(mmmmmmmm cozy)..

And this is Karina's (soooo cozy too).

I was really please with how well Karina slept on this little mattress all three nights. Jeff said he woke up once when she rolled off, but she didn't even fuss and got right back on and went to sleep. Thanks again Em for letting us use it!


The next day, a gorgeous Saturday, we all had some fun playing outside in the little bit of snow God left for us right in front of the cabin. Wouldn't ya know it was just enough for the kids to build two adorable little snowmen. They had talk about this for weeks before going and that is all the snow they needed.

Karina's having a grand ol' time. Can you tell?
She was in deep thought building her "Fosty da noman."

Natalie and Joseph so proud of their work!

Our cozy cabin (thank you Jonathan!)

Oh and back to building or is she about to steal his nose?

Mr. and Mrs. Frosty

After the kids got their fill of snowmen we packed up some lunch and headed for Gatlinburg. We drove through downtown but didn't stop. It was SO busy so we were glad we didn't.

Our desire that day was to make it to Ober Gatlinburg which was ten minutes away. That is where they have some great ski slopes (Oh how we wanted to ski, but already have a plan in our heads to come back as couples only for that), a tubing hill, a ski lift to the top for picture taking and a REALLY fun toboggan ride as well as a great ice skating rink.

After deciding that the tubing was too pricey and too long of a wait for the little ones we headed over to the toboggans.

Jeff and Karina by the tubing hill.

Me and Natalie coming down the toboggan ride which was a winding, twisting, turning 1/2 mile slide! SO MUCH FUN! You could pay for a one time ride or all day. So our first day we paid to ride once and the next day we did the day pass.

Me and my tired little lady.

After having our fun outdoors we went in and enjoyed a snack while watching all the ice skaters.

Then we headed back home for some time to relax and made another yummy dinner. That night we made a tasty meal of lasagna, garlic bread and salad. Again while the kids enjoyed a dip in the hot tub (we turned the heat way down) and then a bath, and the hubby's another game of pool.

Natalie and Joseph living it up.

Our sweet men.

After the kids had their tub time and dinner was still cookin' they all piled in the bed for some movie time. I love this picture of them all chilled out after a fun filled day.

Oh and I should mention it was my dear sisters birthday that day. So of course we had to celebrate. I had made the cake and cupcakes and brought them with us and the kids had fun decorating them with icing and sprinkles after dinner. They all got into the noise makers (I think we threw them all away the next day. Heheheheh.)

They are ready for some of that cake! I had another picture in here of me and my sis with the cake, but I'm not sure what happened. So I'll share that later.


This was Sunday morning and after sleeping in and a nice hot breakfast of toast and grits we were ready to head out again. Aren't these cousins too sweet!

I made Natalie and Joseph's hat and am so happy with how they turned out.

Here we are taking the lift to the top to snap some pretty pictures.

Our little family

Then once we got our fill of the toboggan ride again we went inside to try some ice skating. I say try because I did end up flat on the ice a few times. But we did manage to keep the kids up somehow. The plan was for me, Tam and Natalie to go skating, but after the little kids saw us they wanted to try too. I didn't think they had skates small enough for Karina but they did. So off we went on the ice for her very first time ice skating.

What a wonderful memory this is with my precious sis.

That night Tam made some delicious chili and rice with a yummy salad too. We had decided to eat our dinners at the cabin and we were so glad we did. It wasn't much trouble bringing our food with us and it meant we didn't have to go hunting down a grocery store the minute we got there. The thought of spending our days outside and then coming home to change and going back out with all the kids to find somewhere to eat wasn't as inviting as just staying where it was cozy. And I know we ate better then we would have going out. Most of all I treasured that extra time with my sister and cooking didn't seem like a chore at all while chatting with her. And the kids and men were all mighty happy taking there baths and playing pool.
Our last night there Tam and I thought it would be fun to go downtown for a bit if only to walk the shops and take some pictures. Most of the stores had closed by the time we got there. Natalie came too and the guys put the other little ones to bed and had some time to relax. So here are some shots of Gatlinburg at night.

I loved how they used the street lights and made them look like frosty trees.

This little nook of shops to me was the true Gatlinburg. It was so cute and quaint and very old timey. The rest of downtown was nice but all the stores were more contemperary.

This kinda reminds me of the little town in "Beauty and the Beast" with the old store fronts and the fountain in the middle.

I love this picture of Natalie skipping. It was so much fun taking her with us. She is such a beautiful little lady inside and out. I have loved watching her grow and learn and I always look forward to the fun I will have with Karina at that age when I see her and Tam together. I love that we both had girls first.

Natalie was having fun with this old phone booth. The funny thing is Tam used to love these things and I think we might have a picture of her peeking out of one when she was younger.
Well that's it for the weekend. Our drive home was great and so very pretty. We made a few stops as we drove through the mountains to snap some of the snow, ice and mountain views.

Tam and I bought the sweatshirts we have on at Ober Gatlinburg and I love how the colors pop and look together!

Tam and I in one last picture at the cabin on the back deck.

The kids were so patient for this one. It was freezing with the wind chill so we didn't stay out of the cars for too long. Oh and Tam and I bought these cute Gatlinburg sweatshirst for the kids in a little shop that was still open the night we went downtown.

Isn't this ice amazing?! I love how it froze when it was falling to all the different levels!

I had to include this one of my amazing man. Oh how I love him and am so glad he wanted to take our family on this trip with my sister's family. He and Tammy's husband are becomming such good friends and that blesses me so. And my sister and I are feeling a bond like never before. We had great times growing up and it seems even now that God has knit our hearts even closer together and I am forever thankful for her. So thank you Tam and Jonathan for taking us with you on this great mountain adventure. We are all ready for the next one and look forward to many more fun and wonderful times with you! We love you guys!


Heather said...

That cabin looks amazing! The hats you made are so cute! What a great place to fellowship!!

BrandonandBethanyHartman said...

LOVE the pictures Cuz! I vote we have a reunion there in Gatlinburg sometime!What a blessing to have such wonderful fellowship! We love you guys!! (oh and Karina ice skating,does not get much cuter than that!!!)

Tam said...

I feel dumb... Okay, so tears aren't streaming down my cheeks... but my eyes did get a semi-thick layer of film on them by the time I finally reached the end of this nice long post that so wonderfully recaps a time that I will always cherish! You did a great job fitting it all in one post! What a blessing it has been finding with you that God has been knitting our hearts together more deeply. I love our heart to heart's and that we can be there for each other on so many issues of life. I love that our husbands can enjoy one another. Remember when we use to talk about how it would be if ever we got an apartment together. Our dreams "together" never got as good as we have it now - married to men that are friends and would want to vacation together...being mom's together...etc :) I'm thrilled our families can vacation together and end wishing our vacation together had been longer! That says something. I love you and I so totally meant what I said when we talked the other day! :)

nancygrayce said...

I love that cabin! It is so great that you can have a family vacation and enjoy one another so the frozen waterfall too!