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.
We had lunch in Highlands and enjoyed the downtown shops, the fudge and ice cream shop topped the list, as always.
We took another scenic drive back down…
and ended up in Dillard in time for dinner at the Dillard House.
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… It’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.
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. Because 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?!?!? And where else could you see an 18-wheeler kiddy ride?
Nobody enjoyed them more than this one. We had to peel him off of each one of them. I died at the big Tonka truck. It was his favorite and if I was into having coin machine rides at our house (ha)- this would be a MUST. :)
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.
Not before we stopped for a picture with the Chief.
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. We 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. It was precious. AB was too big for the swings, so she rode the airplanes. The whole family rode the Pigeon Forge Express. Oh the things children will get you to do. :) I 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.
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”)and AB getting to drive the go-karts.
The next stop was the Apple Barn.
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.
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.
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.
We got enough hugs for Grammy & Pop, too and then took what else, but a selfie to send them. :)
An 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.