Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mountain Memories 2015

We took off for a few days during the first week of October, to have a little fall break and hoped to see some of the  leaves changing colors in the mountains. CSC_0098
It was a fun trip to North Carolina with Pappy, Nie-Nie, Kels, Uncle Adam, Nen, & Parker.
One of the highlights for Mames was the “bus” Pappy rented, so that we could all ride together while we were in North Carolina. She has become obsessed with 15-passenger vans since and yells, “There’s a bus like Pappy’s!!!” every time we see one on the road now. IMG_0887
a “bus selfie” – it was too long to even get everyone in.
The first day we went to Highlands. The drive over was pretty and we stopped to go under ‘Bridal Veil’ falls and for half the gang to get out at another falls. DSC_0007
We had lunch in Highlands and enjoyed the downtown shops, the fudge and ice cream shop topped the list, as always.DSC_0028DSC_0039DSC_0026DSC_0037DSC_0043
We took another scenic drive back down…IMG_0911DSC_0061DSC_0083DSC_0097
and ended up in Dillard in time for dinner at the Dillard House. IMG_0935DSC_0103IMG_0998DSC_0109
Friday we made our way to Cherokee. We took the road that runs by the cabin that DW’s Daddy used to have. Many pictures over the years have been taken in this same spot… DSC_0132It’s sweet to think back on how just our little family has evolved through the pics… DW & I have a picture of just the two of us there on my first trip to the cabin when we were 19 & 23. We have one with Cooper there when he was two and the last time we were up that way, Annabelle was 2 and I was pregnant with Mamie.
We’ve still yet to master the selfie-stick… We cut AB out…
We made it to Cherokee midmorning. IMG_1214
It’s so different than when we were kids. Much of it has closed and everything seems to have moved closer to the casino. The kids, however, thoroughly enjoyed the quarter rides. DSC_0163Because truly, we might could ride quarter rides in front of the ToysRUs or Wal-Mart, but where have you ever been that had TEN of them lined up and ready to ride?!?!? DSC_0176DSC_0184And where else could you see an 18-wheeler kiddy ride? IMG_1093
Nobody enjoyed them more than this one. DSC_0180We had to peel him off of each one of them. I died at the big Tonka truck. DSC_0188It was his favorite and if I was into having coin machine rides at our house (ha)- this would be a MUST. :)IMG_1154
After a good hand-wiping and some shopping for the standard Indian drum and headdress souvenirs, we grabbed some lunch and headed out of town. IMG_1238
Not before we stopped for a picture with the Chief. DSC_0212
We headed on through the Smoky Mountain Parkway and up to Pigeon Forge. Our plans were simple – enjoy the scenic drive up and eat dinner at the Apple Barn. IMG_1271We rolled into town earlier than dinner time, so we killed some time at the kiddie park in town. Pappy got the biggest fun card they sell and we let the kids ride the rides for an hour. They LOVED the swings. IMG_1441It was precious.IMG_1423 AB was too big for the swings, so she rode the airplanes. IMG_1350The whole family rode the Pigeon Forge Express. Oh the things children will get you to do. :) DSC_0226I thought I was smart and stayed behind to take pictures, but this only meant I’d have to later ride the carousel, which felt like it may tip over at any point. IMG_1461
Nen & I are never thrown to the wolves alone, though… our other halves are always right there with us. :)
We wrapped up our time with Mamie on the boat (with who she called “her wittle fwend”)IMG_1526and AB getting to drive the go-karts. DSC_0307
The next stop was the Apple Barn. IMG_1534
After dinner, we made the drive home and it was so neat to see the big group of elk in the valley by the parkway welcome station on our way back through.
Saturday morning we slept in and then headed over to DW’s aunt’s cabin to have lunch.
The drive over and back was beautiful and we enjoyed the colorful leaves. That afternoon, we all got naps and then had dinner at the Mexican restaurant in town. DW had us all cracking up with his Spanish speaking skills. IMG_1667
Going out of town on a weekend in the fall months can only mean the Gators either play away or have an off week. This time, it was an away game, so we made it back to the house to watch the game and cheer for the orange & blue. IMG_1638
Sunday morning we headed back home, but our little crew stopped at Beau & Kristy’s when we passed through Georgia for a little visit. These three were super excited to be reunited! Sweet little cousins. IMG_1702
We got enough hugs for Grammy & Pop, too and then took what else, but a selfie to send them. :)
IMG_1704An hour later, we were back on the road and it felt as good as it always does to pull into our garage, 7 hours later.
It’s always fun to travel, but nothing EVER beats coming home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gator Pics 2015

Every year, just before football season starts, we make a trip to the stadium to take some pictures of the kids.


DW has big plans for all of them to go to school at UF, and if they decide to, I can just see these pictures framed at their college graduation parties. ;)DSC_3769



Last year, we got some with Parker, too, and this year decided to get all the cousins together for a photo op. DSC_3724


Nie-Nie & Pappy and the grand-gators… :) (Mamie was HOT and OVER it) ha…


I love family traditions – especially those that span over several generations. My FIL’s season tickets are seats that have been in his family since the 1950’s. Pretty neat that our kids are part of the fifth generation to cheer for the Gators in them. DSC_0110

Years of memories and quality time spent together at that stadium.  DSC_3655I’m so thankful for all the future ones to be made, too. DSC_3794