October 24, 2014


Have you ever been asked this question: Are you a beach person or a mountains person? Well, I’m a both person. I don’t think I would survive if I didn't get to feel the sand in between my toes at least once a year. I also think that there is no better vacation than a mountain hide-away when the air is brisk and the leaves are changing.

Which brings me to my topic of the day…My ENTIRE family took a trip to Gatlinburg a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure this is the first vacation that we have all been on since 2011. My parents rented an awesome, secluded cabin through Parkside Cabin Rentals and I highly recommend you check them out if you’re planning a trip to the Smokies. Getting to Gatlinburg was an adventure in itself. My brother and his family, my mom & dad, and I caravanned down south on Friday afternoon. My grandparents weren't too far behind us and they got to the cabin around dinnertime and Justin arrived not too long after they did.
We spent most of our time in Levi's favorite spot -- the swing 
My sister had to work a full day on Friday so she was going to be driving down late. After we ate dinner, we explored the cabin and hopped in the hot tub to kick off the weekend, relaxation style. Around 8:00, the phones all started ringing. My sister’s car had broken down 3 hours north of the cabin and she was stranded in the middle of Kentucky. It was the worst thing that could have possibly happened…and it was hysterical. My poor sister had to unpack her entire car and catch a ride to the nearest truck stop with the tow-truck driver. I know it's pure evil of us to laugh at her, but she gives you permission. Mostly because we gave her permission to hold this over our heads for the next 25 years. If you know my sister, you know she is a softball player and her bat is one of her prized possessions. She had to make the tough decision to leave it in the trunk…although we thought it would have been fantastic if she was sitting in a truck stop with a Vera bag, a coach purse, and a baseball bat in the middle of the night.

My dad and grandpa were the heroes who rescued her and got her to the cabin around 3am. My grandma was the lady who woke her up at 4:30 am by making coffee in the kitchen (did I mention we made her sleep on the couch?). She was a champ though and it was a good thing because we had big plans for Saturday.

We drove down to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park for a day of hiking. We started by hiking out to Laural Falls which was gorgeous. Justin and I hiked down the falls and Peyton and Kevin hiked up the falls. Mom, Dad, Brittney, and Levi stayed on the trail and splashed in the water.

We took a second hike out to an old schoolhouse which was a little more offroad. Poor Levi started in the stroller but ended up on Grandpa’s shoulders because it was so bumpy! I’m pretty sure he had the most fun hiking.

Levi went home with Grandma and Grandpa for an afternoon nap while the rest of us ventured into Downtown Gatlinburg for a Moonshine tasting at OldSmokey Tennessee Moonshine. We tasted 12 flavors and were more than convinced to buy a few jars on our way out the door: Two jars of Apple Pie moonshine, one jar of Pumpkin Pie moonshine, and one jar of moonshine soaked cherries!

We are so pretty after a long day of hiking


Justin & Brittney had to leave on Sunday to go pick up her car and get back to the real world. The rest of us were in for another day of hiking and relaxing. We found this cool covered bridge less than a half mile from our cabin and spent some time playing in the creek. We also spent more time in the hot tub. I really need a hot tub.

Best Buds

Monday was the last day of our vacation and we all parted ways to head back to the real world. Here are a few more of my favorite pictures from the trip!

Are you a beach person or a mountains person?
What are your favorite trails to hike?
Do you have a hot tub that I can come sit in?

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