Monday, November 28, 2016

With Gratitude


 We shared a beautiful Thanksgiving in Sieverville, Tennessee with Grandpa T om's side of the family! It was a great weekend with Sam, Adam Lily, Grandpa, Ryan, Jay, Grandma, Katie, Auntie Ann, Veronica and Max!  
 We had a pretty serious red-eye (that I did not sleep on at all...)  but arrived in time for Thanksgiving dinner and a good amount of play time in our amazing 3-story piney cabin.
 We spent the weekend enjoying the smokey mountains, watching a lot of football, playing some games, and really just playing lots

 I"ll have to find pictures, but Uncle Ryan and I went on a pretty great hike down behind the cabin and through the woods.  I was stoked to find a dog skull (could tell by the nearby rotten collar) and a wrecked car.
 We also enjoyed a great hike all together in the Smokey Mountains, all the way up to a nice waterfall.




 I was pretty excited to explore the river


 After the hike we spent some time in Gaitlainberg, which was pretty busy.  THe folks and Uncle Ry spent some time in the Sugarlands moonshine tasting room... after 12 (!!) tasters, they came home with lots of moonshine to share.


 Uncle Sam and Uncle Jay found another moonshine place and added to the collection!
 Lily provided lots of sweet, adventurous, busy entertainment, she is super sweet and we were all so excited to meet her.
 Saturday, we headed out to Pigeon Forge to go to Paula Dean's restaurant.  It was a family-style, full on southern food extravaganza!  We had the works, catfish, ribs, fried chicken, meatloaf, porkey beans, creamed corn, fried okra... and much more!  Mom has rediscovered banana pudding which makes her really happy.


 Outside the restuarant there are some scattered but awesome rides to enjoy.
 Max and Grace started on the merry-go-round

 and Dad, Uncle Adam, Grace and I ended up on this HUGE ropes course.  Max got to do a little version, and Grace was excited to do it with him, but she was a bit too tall for the littler course, and so they let her go on the gigantic, four-story, ropes course!




 We all spent quite a bit of time on it, and loved it!  Grace was super brave and said she didn't feel scared at all once she was hooked in!  It was also great to get some of our energy out!


 We wrapped up the rides with a really big Ferris Wheel.  It gave us a pretty cool view over the whole area.  Although it was smokey while we were there, we didn't really smell anything or experience much of the effects of the nearby fires. Mom saw in the news today that Gaitlanburg was evacuated in parts!    





After a fun weekend with everyone, Uncle Ryan drove us to back towards the airport.  We had a nice afternoon in Knoxville, including a great bbq place 
 a nice cuppa
 some exploring (there are great art installations in the gardens in town!)

 Checked out the Christmas decorations.


 And then we stumbled on an ice-rink!  What a surprise and fun treat to ice-skate in Knoxville!


Thank you to our wonderful family, It was such a treat and blessing for us all to spend time together... it is no small feat to figure out how to get us all together and doesn't happen nearly enough, but I am so glad that it did!

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