It was a long one for us --
so we took half a day Friday
and headed to the mountains.
Loved that the holiday lights were still up
and shining a nice welcome!
We stayed at a favorite place of ours -
Right across from the aquarium - and while it's
right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of things
[just one block off the parkway -]
when you're in your room with the
back door open to the creek
you feel like you're out camping somewhere
- They also have rooms around the bend there, where you can walk down to the creek - love it.
So, here's the deal -
I've set a couple of goals this year
[we all do , right?]
One is to use my REAL camera more -
Honestly - I've had it for over a year -
AND HAVE NEVER READ THE MANUAL. ha
[I'm still not sure I love it -- it's a Nikon, you know --]
But ---> I DO LOVE THAT ZOOM.
Can you see the little buck out there with a few points?
[That tiny spot right below the building -]
How about now? -- lol
And his friend --
Like, I said - I love the zoom.
And the pixels - MEGA.
The reason I bought this instead of the Canon -
[But I'm a Canon girl at heart --]
So - I'm determined to use it weekly and give it a fair shot [ha] before going back to my one true love.
Another goal is to
GET MORE ACTIVE
- especially since I've been cleared
by the heart doctor to DO ANYTHING -
We decided to do a couple of little hikes while there -
Starting with the easy one miler
[mostly flat] behind the visitor center to
The Great Smokey Mountains
Love being out in God's creation --
And the water fall at the end was a nice little reward...
But the one we REALLY wanted to do was Laurel Falls.
It's about a mile and half UP THE MOUNTAIN and then the mile + down. I won't lie - there were times when I wanted to turn around and head back down
- but I was determined to not be a quitter...
and with Craig's encouragement we made it to the top,
stopping along the way to enjoy the gorgeous views -
And the falls were beautiful!
The walk down was much easier - of course --
[I didn't love being on the edge of the mountain - especially with signs along that way that said things like 'Warning - falling deaths HAVE OCCURRED' ha]
And I know those of you who are in great shape are thinking - whaaaaa?!?! - but here's the thing - we can easily walk three miles - but that incline [about 20%, we figured] was TOUGH.
We were tired - but so glad we did it.
We also walked up and down the main parkway and shopped and people-watched
and of course got a caramel apple...
and ate pancakes -
It's all part of being in Gatlinburg. ha.
After dinner we took the tram up to the ski area
- loved the night view below us!
So fun to see they were opened for night skiing!
The next day we drove out to / through
Cade's Cove on our way out of town...
It's still as beautiful as ever --
I cannot imagine living there back in the early 1900s...
Shoot -- who am I kidding?
But it IS a beautiful place to visit -
And as much as I enjoy being a 'city girl'
[I want my shopping close and my restaurants closer - ]
I do LOVE being out in nature...
and the The Great Smokey Mountains
It was a much-needed weekend away...