Smoky Mountains

On Monday, I shared a tshirt pillow I made after a recent family reunion. A family reunion that was in Eastern Tennessee. Where exactly? Exactly here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Yeah.

If you visit the Smoky Mountains and you don’t want to camp, you MUST stay at Deer Ridge Resort. Many of the places to stay in the area are at the base of the mountain. Deer Ridge is on the mountain. The first and third pictures are views from their deck. They have cabins (nicer than my house) and condos to stay in. We camped this time (at Smoky Bear Campground which I also recommend) but next time we go — and there will be a next time — I think a week in a cabin at Deer Ridge is our plan.

We hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  and even saw a black bear!

Ok, the photographic evidence of said bear is underwhelming but I have witnesses. Lars, the kids, and my parents all saw it too. As did everyone else on the trail with us. It was AMAZING.

We also went white water rafting with Wildwater Adventures. They have a course on the lower Pigeon River that kids as young as 4 can enjoy. Those pictures will be coming as soon as I get them developed. Yes, developed. I bought a disposable waterproof camera so I could (hopefully) capture some fun shots of us on the river. Some of my cousins went ziplining and LOVED it. We’re definitely doing that once Eden hits the 45 lb minimum weight requirement. She’s so close. Maybe I can just dress her in heavy clothes.

Even if you don’t have 60 of your favorite cousins converging on the area, the Smoky Mountains — particularly in the wonderfully kitschy Gatlinburg — is a must-see destination. We came home planning our next trip out there.

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