After a whirlwind fall break (I use the word break loosely), we packed up Friday morning and headed to the Smokey Mountains for a couple's get away with our church group. Does it really count as a couple's get away when you're traveling with a whole bunch of other people? Just curious. ;)
We unfortunately spent ALOT of time stuck in traffic during the 48 hours we were there. The upside to all that sitting in traffic is that it gave me and Brian plenty of time to catch up, debate, listen, talk.
Brian's parents met us in Pigeon Forge and took in some of the tourist attractions with the kiddos. I hear Rory climbed to the very top of a huge rock-climbing wall and that Camden quickly became a driving expert on very fast go-kart tracks.
My favorite part of the trip was Sunday morning. We drove to Cade's Cove (after a quick stop at Starbucks to fuel up for the day). It may have taken us 90 minutes to arrive and we may have actually missed the church service at the old wooden church, but the mountains are just so beautiful. There were deer and gorgeous horses and curvy one-lane roads, morning mist, old gravestones and wooden cabins. Really peaceful and soul-stirring.
We arrived home Sunday night and then the whole family proceeded to spend hours helping Brian grade papers (report cards go out today, and he was seriously backlogged). I'm working from home the rest of the week, which is an incredible blessing because my mom arrives Saturday to keep the home fires burning while I'm on a work trip all next week. When did our lives get so crazy? I am craving simplicity and trying to carve it out as best as I can. I think you'll see that reflected in the very few pictures I took this weekend.
Sitting in old wooden rocking chairs on an old wooden platform eating free popcorn and drinking a cream soda from a glass bottle while we people watched at Alewine Pottery.
Those bags under my eyes? That would be the result of approximately 2 hours of sleep per night while we were gone.
Because every weekend needs a little ice cream, we stopped for these old fashioned, homemade milkshakes on our way to pick up the kids. I watched them pour 1/2 cup of cream into the mixer. Yes, it was as good as it sounds although I could only manage half of mine. It was a good way to celebrate before the kids joined us and we started the trip home.