Monday, August 31, 2015

A Much Needed Vacation

K and I love the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area. It is where we got married, honeymooned (2008), and returned in 2009, 2013, and now 2015. Every trip we have made a different adventure. This time was definitely no exception. We did a few things that I thought we would never do...considering we are very indoorsy people (I think I just made up a new word.)

But, before I get into our fun adventure, I have to say this: I strongly urge couples to take a vacation together...ALONE. I know many of you have kids and I understand the want to be close to them. But I think it's so vital to a marriage to even just take a couple of days to get away together. Something to get away from your everyday life and routine in order to reconnect as a couple. No responsibilities or big decisions except where you will get some tasty food. It is amazing what a little trip away together will do for not only yourself, but for your marriage. It's not that troubles disappear or responsibilities aren't important, but it's nice to get away from the demands of life. While you are there, try some new food and definitely do something you have never tried before. But most of all, have lots of fun. This trip not only refreshed us as I am approaching a new school year with my 3 year old class, but it also rejuvenated our marriage. It was exactly what we needed. So I wanted to share some pictures with you:

Our Cabin:


Can you tell we are LSU fans?



We relaxed in those recliners every night after a fun filled day. Some day I think we will buy a recliner to put in our living room. There were two in the cabin!!


There was a place recently built called The Island that had amazing little specialty shops (one called Kyrptonite filled with superhero memorabilia that my nerdy husband and I loved) and a 200 ft Ferris wheel with closed in air conditioned rides. It was amazing!!






We ate some amazingly great food!!


Pot Roast at Old Mill Restaurant


Apple Fritters at The Apple Barn


Bacon Burger at Smoky Mountain Brewery


Our new adventure: ATV ride on a mountain trail!




 K and I aren't outdoor people. But we are from South Louisiana where 4 wheeler riding is a past love of mine. I used to love to go mud riding when I was a kid. This takes our southern ride to a whole different level. We were taken up rocky, steep, and wet terrain and through streams. We ended on the bluff of the mountain and although the view was foggy because of rain, it was completely worth it! The ride back was so much fun!! We loved it!

Our second new adventure: Zip lining!

I will be honest, I was not looking forward to doing this. K really wanted to try it, so I very reluctantly agreed to it since he was going to try the ATV ride. After the first line, I was done. I didn't like it. Our guides were amazing, I just didn't like the feeling of loss of control. K, on the other hand, loved it!! He did all 9 lines and even went upside down!! Can you believe it??





Hillbilly Golf:





Thanks to the encouragement of my sister (check out her awesome makeup blog and her fun and informative life experience blog), I definitely want to shed some light on traditions. I think traditions are very important for a couple. I know I am big about it. It wasn't something very big with my family, so I wanted to make sure K and I make traditions. Why? Because it is fun and you are able to revisit memories while creating new ones. When we travel together, especially to Tennessee, we have many traditions since we started for our honeymoon in 2008. 

Our TN traditions:

1) We always play the license plate game. We find different license plates along our journey as a competition. K almost always wins because I use a long drive to catch up on reading, but it is so fun seeing the different areas visiting with us. I even found Hawaii this last trip!

2) We always make a stop at No Way Jose's. It's a little Mexican restaurant we first stopped at with another couple who had joined us for our wedding trip. We love Mexican food and this restaurant is very authentic and has great tasting food.

3) Putt Putt Golf is a must. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have so many different courses to try and since our first TN trip, we have went to at least one. This time we revisited Hillbilly Golf, which consists of traveling by cart up the mountain and playing putt putt golf down the mountain. We always make it a lot of fun!

4) We make a stop at Smoky Mountain Brewery for some good old fashioned bar food. They have the best burgers and calzones!

5) Every time we are in the area, there are two shops that we have to stop at, one for me and one for him. For me, it's the Christmas Place. It's a huge building that transforms into a north pole like atmosphere and will make you think of Christmas even on the hottest of days! And K always visits Gatlinburg's China Bazaar. It has various swords and daggers. He has a small collection of swords and knives.

6) There are three things we always come back with from our travels: a shot glass for K, a key chain and an ornament of where we have been for me. 

And finally, I have to talk about hiccups. Every vacation is not without some snags and troubles. This time, we did have a few. At first, it seemed nothing was going right. Our cabin wasn't ready when we got there and the A/C went out. But the owner was amazing and quickly handled it and we only had to sleep one night in a hotel room that she took care of. I caught a bad allergy in my eyes that affected our morning ATV ride, but the guide graciously rescheduled us that afternoon and we missed an all rain morning ride! How do we handle these hiccups? I will admit, at times I thought our trip was not going to be so great. I was discouraged. But, with the encouragement of K and lots of praying, everything turned out great and we had an amazing trip! 

I hope you enjoyed our pictures and stories from our adventures! Until next time, have a great day!


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