We had a beautiful week in the Smokies with Andy’s family. We started the week off with a hike to a beautiful waterfall. We picked the best day to do this because Monday was rainy and the rest of the week was pretty chilly.
Monday we went to the resort’s indoor water park which the kids loved. They had an indoor/outdoor hot tub that was Harvey and my favorite. Max tried the slides and eventually warmed up to them. Maverick still wasn’t tall enough, to his disappointment, but he made many new friends swimming in the warm pools (without floaties– I am sure he’d want me to mention that). Beverly had a blast too, hopping from the lazy river to the various pools in the park.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday we went to DollyWood. It was our family’s first time going. They had really great shows that our kids actually sat through and LOVED. We rode a few rides, including the coal and steam powered locomotive. Papa even got to hammer out his own knife. All around everyone had a good time. Even Harvey enjoyed the shows and lights.
We celebrated Beverly’s birthday with cake and presents Monday night. The kids had their own hotel room and they lived it up up there!
The kids even got to play Dungeons and Dragons with papa; it is becoming an annual tradition when we get together.
The only down side to the vacation was we kind of jinxed some things by picking “Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation” quotes for our family t-shirt. Papa and grandma pulled up to the hotel with their brand new Dodge Ram smoking, Walmart messed up again and had canceled my grocery pickup order, of course travel time was longer than estimated, and we all seemed to catch a little bug while we were there. We even had a visit from a mouse in our hotel room, but all and all these just added to the memories and we will laugh about them later. (Much later for the truck, as they’re still trying to figure out how to get it home to them and fixed). We finished the vacation at the resort’s mini golf, which was a lot of fun.
I just want to close with a bit on gratitude. I’m so grateful for this family of mine. I spent the month of November writing something I was thankful for every day. I realized at the end that my focus was mostly about those in my life that have enriched it and made it better. Of course I’m grateful for air conditioning, a heater, a comfortable home, and cozy life, but above all the people in it are what make it truly wonderful. I love sunsets, beautiful scents, delicious tastes, and exercise, but those things alone would not be as wonderful as sharing it with friends and family. And above all I’m grateful for my Savior who has created this beautiful world, promised an eternity with these wonderful people, and helps me notice the beauty in the world around me.