Friday, October 28, 2011

Impromptu Vacation

We recently enjoyed an impromtu {mini} vacation to the beautiful mountains in TN, to visit our vacationing family.  Mark's parents and uncle had rented a cabin for the week, to enjoy some rest, relaxation, and fall colors in the beautiful TN mountains, and they graciously invited us to join them for the weekend.  We obliged with little (if any) hesitation!

Although our time was short, we enjoyed our wonderful time with the family, and the beautiful sights of the mountains.  We spent the majority of our Saturday meandering through the beautiful Cade's Cove area.  While there, one of our first sights was this field of horses -- as you can imagine, we had some extremely excited kiddos from the start!  And, though I'm not exactly what you'd call a "horse lover", I couldn't help but want to take pictures of such a beautiful view...

And, who could go through the mountains of TN without taking at least one picture of them?  Not me!  I loved seeing all of the leaves showing their true colors across the valley, below the mountains...breathtaking, to say the least...

Katie watched, with her camera in tow, only steps behind me as I trampled through an overgrown field of weeds in one of our Cade's Cove walks, as I tried to capture this lone butterfly as it searched for nectar.  I thought it was an odd time of year to see them...and this was the only one we saw the entire day...but, who knows!  It was beautiful!!

Katie & Austin had a great time exploring the woods and  mountains with Pawpaw, Nana, and Uncle George.  Their goal was to look at every kind of rock and leaf, and anything that moved!  I think they did a great job, too!

Did I mention how much I adored the beautiful foliage throughout the mountains??

We also enjoyed giving the kids a little "history" lesson as we made each stop throughout the Cade's Cove area.  What's better than an impromptu vacation that can also count as an educational field trip!?  I love homeschooling!!

And no good trip to Cade's Cove would be complete without seeing at least one deer or bear...we actually saw 1 large buck, several does, and a yearling -- which totally made Austin's day (he just wished he could have a gun and go hunting with Pawpaw)!

And, toward the end of our trip in Cade's Cove, we came to an almost complete stand-still.  After a long while in the cars, we finally realized why!  There was a large black bear in a nearby field, which caused lots of "slowing down" and the entire forest ranger force to arrive for precautions.  This would be where that great telescoping lens would have been awesome to have handy! ;-)

And, what better way to end our Saturday, than to stop by for a picture at the HUGE haybale scarecrow and puppy (and to try out their great icecream)!

It was a quick, impromptu trip full of more car time than anything, but we all had a fantastic time visiting with the family and enjoying the sights.  Gotta love memories like these... ;-)