Friday, June 28, 2013

Pictures and more...

I got back in town on Tuesday night from a seriously fun trip to Gatlinburg, TN with (almost) all the women on my Dad's side of the family. There were 13 of us, ranging in age from one-and-a-half to 53. It was A BLAST.
The view from our chalet in Pigeon Forge.
We had a huge, 7 bedroom chalet with a great view of the mountains. We were right up the mountain from Dollywood, so we got treated to a free fireworks show every night at 9:30 pm. Not too shabby! 

The first night there, we all went to dinner at Calhoun's, which is a restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg. Then we walked a bit and checked one of my GB must do's off the list, the Sky Lift. 

Downtown Gatlinburg
That picture is basically half of all there is to see of The Parkway. Gatlinburg is only about 3 miles long, but it's jam packed with restaurants, stores, and super kitschy attractions. 

The second day we were there, everyone basically split up and did things they were interested in. Some people went back to The Parkway, some people went to the chalet's pool, some people just hung out. My Bonus Mom and I decided to drive through the Arts & Crafts trail, which is outside of The Parkway. It's an 8 mile long loop of sporadic stores that house mostly locally made artisan crafts, pottery, jewelry, etc. It's always my goal on a vacation to buy something that is locally made and unique. And boy, did I find it there. 

Buy all the things! 
I found a woodworking shop with all handmade wooden things and bought two ornaments and a bowl. Then I bought two dip mixes (Strawberry Fruit Dip and Onion & Garlic Dip) at "Santa's Claus-et", which is just as kitschy as it sounds. I found a handmade small mixing bowl with mini whisk at Alewine Pottery, and had to have it. Then, I found a pair of turquoise and sterling silver earrings handmade by a Cherokee. 

Later that night, we headed to dinner at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, which also has a cute shopping area. I got two more pairs of earrings - one gold filigree style, and the other black filigree wooden earrings. I also got Logan a magic t-shirt that turns colors in the sunlight. I bought myself a small white and gold bracelet and then picked out some taffy and fudge. And oh, holy hell. If you are ever in PF, go to the candy shop at The Old Mill and buy them out of Tiger Butter fudge. Vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate swirled together. Mouthgasms all around. 

After dinner, we headed back to the chalet for games. I brought my all-time favorite, Catch Phrase, and we had a blast! We also played Truth or Dare Jenga, which was fun, if not slightly awkward to play truth or dare with family that I haven't spent a lot of time with. 

So. Much. Fun
The above picture is of two of my cousins and an aunt. I just think it shows how much fun we were all having. (And, hi, Amber!) 

The next day was our last full day in town, so my Bonus Mom and I did the last couple of must do's on the list: lunch at The Apple Barn and a trip to The Incredible Christmas Place. I bought two more ornaments at the Christmas Place. Four ornaments. One trip. Worth it. 

A small group of us had dinner at The Park Grill, which is also usually a must do for me, and then my Bonus Mom, my cousin Sarah and I went to Old Smoky Moonshine in Gatlinburg. Remember on my last trip how The Hubs and I sampled the White Lightning? This time, we stuck with the flavored moonshines - all eight of them! 
Bottoms up! 
The Apple Pie moonshine was SO GOOD. Both Julie and Sarah bought a mason jar full. I bought a jar of the Blackberry because The Hubs' boss requested it, but didn't buy any for myself. I did get The Hubs a t-shirt there, though. At this point, I think I was just feeling guilty for all the money I had spent! 

We got home and watched the free fireworks show, then played a couple rounds of Scattergories and Catch Phrase, but everyone was pretty beat. The next morning, it was back to Cincinnati with my Bonus Mom. 

That night, though. Woo, buddy. It was NKOTB time. Boys II Men, 98 Degrees, and New Kids on the Block with My Friend Natalie at US Bank Arena. Second-to-last row, but I TOTALLY DON'T CARE. 

90's kid and proud. 
Seriously, so much fun. The next day, I talked the BFF into getting tickets to the show when it comes to Columbus in August. Can't wait to see it again! 

So that was the last week of my life. Other quick notes: I got a 2cc fill on Wednesday. Pokey McPokerson only had to stick me twice this time! Woot! And also, I have an in-person interview for a job I really hope I get next Tuesday, so cross appendages, please! 

1 comment:

Cheri said...

Sounds like a great time with family - I love the picture of the gals laughing. :-)