As we made the turn to start up the mountain, we had no idea what was in store for us. My daughter had warned us that it was a one lane road complete with switchbacks, and straight up. You had the Smokey mountains on your left shoulder and a huge drop with tree tops on your right. Tennessee is a gorgeous place and the topography so unique for this Nebraska girl who is used to flat plains, big sky, and miles and miles of no native trees in sight.
Once we made our turn into our driveway, our home for the next several days, we were greeted with hugs and a glass of champagne to start our evening and an unparalleled view of the Smokey Mountains.
After a quick tour of the “cabin” I use this term very loosely because this house was large. 4700 s/f and yes it was a log home but it came with 6 bedrooms, all with on-suites, so each family was able to occupy there own floor. Plenty of room for the 9 of us. Grandview Lodge in the Royal Vista Cabin
Being the “old people” we were given the main suite on the main floor complete with living room with huge stone fireplace, kitchen/ dining room, laundry room etc. The loft had a pull out and two more bedrooms and the the lower level had two bedrooms and a gaming area with a pool table, pinball machines (the husbands favorite) and the grand boys too. Ok it was loved by all!
The house had everything we needed and nothing we didn’t. The dining table could seat 14 people very comfortably. It sat all 9 of us with a 3000 piece puzzle on one end and we still had plenty of room!
A quiet first day as we awaited the arrival of Florida and our granddaughter who flew in from Omaha as she had the tightest time frame. So we prepared potato salad, deviled eggs, and all the easy stuff for a meal for a few days.
The next day brought more hugs and our family unit was finally complete. After being apart for over a year it felt good to be all in one place. I had come armed with a huge box of family photos that I plopped down on one of the end tables, there was no coffee table. It was fun to watch individuals in a quiet moment rummaging thru the box.
Monday was a day of discovery. Onward into Gatlinburg. I had been told by one of my Quester friends that it was very touristy. OMG this was an understatement. I can’t really even describe it. A cross between Las Vegas Strip and Dog Patch USA!!! Yes there is lot’s of fun things to do if you like that kind of thing, I really don’t. My days of swarms of people and wandering up and down a street are over. However they did have Baskin Robbins Ice Cream! We had to treat ourselves. Jamocha Almond Fudge tastes just as good now as it did 20 years ago! You had to pay to park and 35.00 seemed to be the going rate whether you were there for 10 minutes or a few hours!
The kids were off to Ripley’s Believe it or Not, which they enjoyed and found quite interesting, the husband and I were off to the sky lift that takes you over the mountains.
It leaves you off to take the extension bridge that goes over a gorge, or you can walk around it. We took the bridge, I like that kind of thing but, I did have a bit of vertigo as I crossed because the wind was up, so I was glad when we got to the other side.
We took the long way back! A quick meet up at some legendary bar known for it’s sarcastic wait staff and throwing menus at you, and putting silly hats on your head, well let’s just say it was memorable!
Homeward bound I was tasked with the job of setting a pretty table! It was my birthday and Florida’s anniversary. When faced with a huge table as we had and absolutely nothing to accessorize with, it was any port in a storm! We laughed because I had to get creative. I mean really creative.
I had the sign for the husband brought from Omaha. I had a stuffed bunny, for our first great grand baby to come. I had lots and lots of puzzle pieces, and of course the Yahtzee box, a pair of candlesticks off the fireplace but of course no pillar candles.
I had bought a couple of redware mugs in St Genevieve and some candles. The mugs fit the pillar candle holders perfectly and I just plopped 2 candles in each mug and lit them! Oh and I had my big stoneware crock I’d picked up in Franklin. Yup any port in a storm. I tossed some old photos on the table with a scattering of puzzle pieces and called it good. The dishes were old fashioned white Correl and the silverware was mismatched. There were paper napkins that didn’t cooperate with my fold, and plenty of glasses of any kind. Florida had commissioned a cake that was delicious and my SIL had brought steaks from Omaha, no they were not Omaha Steaks they were much better. He is a beef snob and the steaks were melt in your mouth. The room filled with lots of chatter and giggles, it was perfect.
We discovered quickly the evenings were meant for the fire pit. Every evening at dusk we wandered out with s’more makings along with the beverage of choice. We sat around and told stories and just enjoyed the sunset over the mountains. It was so quiet and peaceful. Well we weren’t quiet and peaceful but ours were the only voices.
The next day was more exploring so we all got in the cars and went to the Titanic Experience. I didn’t get pictures but it is worth the effort. They give you a passenger to track and of course it is set up very much like the ship with attention to detail even in the steerage! They have the Wheelhouse where they steered the ship on open water and it is surrounded by water. You immediately feel the colder temperatures and then you’re instructed to feel the 28 degree water. The temperature at the time of the sinking. Yeah that was very cold!
In the afternoon my daughter and grand boys, and both my Sons in Law took me white water rafting. This is something that I have always wanted to do. Since non of us had been before we took an easy course. OMG it was so much fun and probably the highlight. The next day the boys did it again on a more challenging course which they said was even more fun. The girls went to Biltmore. More on that later.
Thanks for stopping