Monday, July 20, 2009

Mini Vacay

The Fam in Gatlinburg, TN

Last Wednesday Barry and I packed up and drove to Dillard, GA to meet up with the family. My parents used their timeshare to rent a condo in Sky Valley, which sits right on the border of Georgia and North Carolina. It was the first time that all 11 of us were able to spend a vacation together (2 Grandparents, 3 daughters, 3 son-in-laws, and 3 grandchildren!) Its so beautiful up there. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much on the drive up because we got in after dark.

The next day we (all 11 of us!) drove to Helen, GA to go river tubing. It was a great surprise to arrive in Helen and feel like we just drove into Bavaria! All of the houses have the same Hansel and Gretel look and there are all these fun shops and restaurants. We quickly found the tubing place and got our gear. Tubing in the mountains is nothing like moseying down the Ichetucknee! The average depth was about 12 inches, the river had a rocky bottom and goes much quicker than in flat Florida. We had so much fun! Towards the end they take your picture, so we got all linked together so we could hope for a fun group shot. When we got back to the main camp, it turns out they only charge 9.95 for a CD that includes all the pictures you want (up to 400!) So we got some GREAT shots. I'll try and remember to post them soon.

From Helen, we drove to Tallulah Gorge. Its in between Dillard and Helen so it would have been ridiculous to be this close and not visit. It is beautiful! Barry and I ended up going down one side and up the other, and probably took 1000 steps to do it!

(going down wasn't nearly as bad as coming up!)
I know the baby got plenty of oxygen that day because my heart was racing. But we took it slow and I was very proud that we did it. :)

At the bottom of the gorge!
On our way back up, maybe?

My Parents. How cute are they?

On Friday, we drove north to Gatlinburg and visited Ober Gatlinburg. Its a quaint amusement park in Gatlinburg that was a lot of fun for both the kids and us big kids. The coolest part of the day, though, was as we were going up the ski lift to the Alpine Slide, a black bear walked right underneath us!!! It was unreal. I love wildlife. Seeing it in the zoo is one thing, but seeing a for-real black bear in the mountains was just unbelievable. I was only quick enough for one snapshot before he went into the woods. It was a-mazing.

Getting ready to go down!

We passed my dad on the way up!
From Gatlinburg, we drove across to see Angelle and Laurie and their families, but broke up the drive by stopping at my brother in law's parents house for a much-needed good night's sleep. I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of the dogs barking and the smell of bacon. mmmm... to my happiness I walked into the kitchen to see the largest pile of bacon and sausage links that i have ever seen. :) After a delicious breakfast, we headed east to Monroe.
We arrived just before 1:00 and spent the next day and a 1/2 with the Maddex's and the Galler's. We always have so much fun together and I was so sad we were only there for a day. But we made the most of it and played lots of games (Loaded Questions is hilarious!!), watched the kids play and just caught up. By Sunday afternoon, Bryan ALMOST had me convinced to talk to Rhi about buying her house on the cul-de-sac. Sorry, Rhi... its a no-go.
After a 6 hour drive home, we came home to an empty house! Our roommate had gotten the keys to her new apartment and ended up moving out just a few hours before we got home. The first thing we do? Get nekkid in the living room. It was marvelous!! It was nice to have her, but it's nice to have our place back.
Now it's back to the daily grind. *sigh*


Rhiannon said...

Come on, we would give you a sweet deal!!! I think we are about to have to evict our renters too, it's perfect timing! lol.

My brother and his family just got back from Helen, GA and loved it as well! They booked the cabin they were staying in for a week in the winter they like it so much! Looks like you guys had fun! I am so wanting a mini vacay.

Alix said...

Sounds like a marvy vacation, Mandi. And the photos are breathtaking! Good show. Glad you all got to be together for such a fun time. You look awesome, by the way. Hope you feel as good as you look!

Jim and Garret said...

The photos are awesome! It looked so tranquil.... sigh.