We snuck up to the mountains for a quick getaway right after Easter. Keith & I were looking forward to this low-key trip for some time now since it’s been a little while since we’ve had a vacation. Our sweet children were beyond excited about this trip and talked about it for weeks. Here are the highlights:

Keith was on his *best* behavior. Really, he was incredibly fun and happy. No grumpy old man nonsense. He even suggested things for us to do that turned out to be a lot of fun. One thing he found was a Dude Ranch. We are low on funds and had to keep it simple, but we were able to walk around the ranch for free and we only paid a few dollars for some feed for the animals. The four legged ones, not ours 😉  We had a great time at the Dude Ranch and the people and staff there were very nice. After we left there, we checked into our hotel, which ended up being great for us. We had a room right outside the indoor pool and while it was on the small side for a family our size, (and a little loud at night since the pool didn’t close until 11:00pm) we were very happy and it was very convenient for what we wanted to do. The complimentary breakfast and hotel-provided pool towels were major pluses for us. It’s funny how the things I wouldn’t have paid attention to in terms of lodging amenities in my twenties suddenly becomes make or break now that I’m a thirty-something mom.

Another fun thing Keith recommended for us was the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.  I especially enjoyed this part of trip because I’m so wowed by the beautiful landscape of the mountains. My oldest child was a little bit bored. Luckily, Keith spotted bear and that provided lots of excitement, photos and banter with other motorists. When the children are a little bit older, we will do more hiking adventures. We have to keep it simple right now.

Really, there are two bears in there! Honest.

Heaven. For me, anyway.

We also went to “The Track” and the children enjoyed playing games and driving go karts. Well, two out of the three did…

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All in all, we had a wonderful family trip even though we were all glad to get home. Much to Bryson’s chagrin, we have more trips to Cades Cove planned for the near future. I actually heard him telling NK, “One day you will have children and you will want to take them to mountains to drive around and look at nature and take pictures of it. We will understand this someday…” Such good brotherly advice, don’t you think?


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