I always get very excited to see the first mountains! Obviously we don't have mountains where we live in Indiana. Geez we barely have hills near us! So I'm always like a kid in a candy store when I see the first big mountains. I LOVE the mountains. I don't know why but they are so peaceful and calming and majestic to me. They definitely call to me!
Like I mentioned we stayed in a cabin near Pigeon Forge. Mr. J and I had the BIGGEST bed! I love the log frame beds but with the canopy and the king size I was in heaven. And the pillows . . . OH MY GOODNESS the pillows!! If I wasn't fighting a cough & illness I think I would have slept like a log!
Our cabin was called the Chocolate Moose for good reason. First of all there was this guy! He looks down on you while you eat breakfast & watch tv. He really was so cute! We loved him! Also all over this cabin were moose! Moose furniture, stuffed animals, pictures the whole nine yards. It was fun trying to find all the moose and talk about what they were doing. Really cute small cabin just perfect for the 5 of us.
This was my porch swing. Every morning after breakfast I would take a blanket and my coffee outside and sit here. Some times for 10 minutes and some times for an hr. The cabin is situated deep in the woods so there were lots of birds that loved to sing to me. I would just sit and listen to the birds and pray and just generally be thankful that we were able to get away as a family.
Here was our nightly routine! After supper the kids would get their bathing suits on and go play in the hot tub for awhile. It was a great way for them to get out any extra energy and Mr. J and I would sit at the table on the deck and watch them. It was so fun! Then after the kids would go to bed, Mr. J and I would go and soak in the hot tub. We could see so many stars and hear the waterfall that was behind the cabin. It was a great way to relax and reconnect. We had some great talks out there about life and goals and just everything under the stars!
We stopped at the boot outlet and bought the kids each a pair of cowboy boots. These are Miss V's boots. They have silver hearts and chains and they are BRIGHT pink. She was in heaven in these and when she put on a skirt with them . . . watch out world! She is like a glam cowgirl!
We are also lucky enough to have family that live in Knoxville which is about an hours drive from Pigeon Forge. We are also lucky enough that our family has family that has a cave on their property. This is a fully natural and dark cave. The only light that gets in is the flashlights you bring. It's so neat to see a cave that isn't commercialized with lights or ropes or anything. It's a gorgeous cave that I could spend all day in exploring. Most of the areas are very tall and open which is great for me. But there are areas that you could squeeze through and explore if you want but I'm not into squeezing into anywhere and we definitely weren't dressed for muddy spelunking. So we stuck to the main areas and had a blast!
This is the opening to the cave. You can see it's basically just like God made it!
The boys & I having survived the cave!
Also on the same land is a farm with cows & donkeys & this sweet creek that the kids spent at least an hour playing in. It was so fun to see the kids be kids outside. They were throwing rocks and sticks in the creek. They came out muddy and wet but had so much fun. The water was crystal clear because it comes from an underground river in the cave!
These are the donkey girls. A mother and daughter pair of donkeys that live on the farm. They love to follow you around and beg for dog bones. They are really funny and soft! We had a great time feeding them and then they would silently follow you. They reminded me of the ghosts in Super Mario Brothers. If you turned your back they would come closer to you but if you turned around to face them they would stop and look around like "What? We weren't doing anything!" Too funny!
Just another shot of the creek! It is so peaceful out there! I could have spent my entire vacation just sitting by this creek!
I couldn't resist this fence post and the field it was in. It was just perfect!
And a picture down the road. Just the most peaceful place I've been in a long long time. This was most of Monday for us just spend with family. We went out to dinner at a place called Calhoun's which is like a BBQ and everything else place. It was pretty good but the company was better. It was so great to see family that we don't see nearly enough! Love them so much! We are so blessed to have family we can visit and their family who treat us like family! These people are the definition of Southern Hospitality! At one point they actually said to us "Whatever you want you can have and if we don't have it we will make it or do our best." They are just the sweetest people and was like being at grandma & grandpa's for our kids! What a great day!