So, I promised my most wonderful friend, Heather, that I would blog today in an effort to actually finish the road trip entries sometime before our next road trip. Thanks for the little push, my friend :-)
My last entry had us landing in Pigeon Forge, TN after 2200 miles logged in the minivan, which is about 33 hours for those who like the stats. The kids were really exceptional in the car and I think I speak for all of us when I say the time together was a blessing. Once we arrived in Pigeon Forge we checked into our lodge which was perched precariously on a mountainside. The views of the lush Tennessee forests were breathtaking and the sound of the cicadas in the trees magical. The home itself was a little more run down than I would have liked, but the views and the arrival of family made up for it. Soon there were eighteen of us sharing the 8-bedroom home. Cousins quickly ran off to quiet corners to giggle and share highlights of the last year, while the adults breathed a contented sigh that vacation had come.
One of our first endeavors was to head over to MagiQuest to have a little fun and, boy, did we! What a fun and enjoyable time. Gustav and the older kids ran off to fight dragons, puzzle out riddles, and cast magic spells. Kurt and I acted as a team and had a blast. After the quests were completed we spent some time in the hall of mirrors getting ridiculously lost and loving it.
We finished the day off with some local TN BBQ and some more catching up with family. Happy tummies and happy hearts.
The following days brought plenty of adventure. We spent a day in the Smoky Mountain National Park. What a beautiful, lush place. The greenery, rivers, rolling fields, and old churches and homes were just beautiful. A wonderful time to appreciate the handiwork of God!
Foxfire Mountain. Kids and grown-ups alike had a fantastic time riding the different lines through the course, including a 1500-foot zipline!