Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation ReCap

We left Thursday morning for the Smoky Mountains. Woo hoo! It was FireGirl's first time going, and we took both sets of in-laws, so I was a bit nervous about how everything would go.

We rented a cabin (the Creekside thru Auntie Belham's Realty), and after settling into our digs, we went for dinner at Mama's Farmhouse.  We'd never been there before, but I have to say the food & service were both excellent. It's Southern cooking served family-style, and it is yummy!

The next day FireMan, his dad, and I went horseback riding, while the rest waited for us at the free petting zoo they had there. Horseback riding was a must for me. After my car accident in 2002 I was told by my doctors that I would never ride a horse again. After my surgery in January of 2006, I first got on a horse in October 2006, also in the Smokies. Just a simple trail ride. No experience necessary. But the fact that I'm doing it means so much.
I had really hoped to take FireGirl on her first horseback ride that day, and we picked this stable because they allowed children to double with adults. But once we got there FireMan was concerned that she wouldn't handle it well, so it was a no-go for her. Boooooo! LOL. We had a great time anyway. The "cowboys", as they call them, were sweet as could be, and kept bringing horses over to the fence for FireGirl to pet. I was riding directly behind our trail guide, and had the chance to talk with him throughout the ride, and it was obvious he had great affection for "his" horses. All the horses appeared to be healthy & well-cared for, and they had ample pasture space for the horses when they aren't working. Can you tell I check my places out, LOL? When it comes to animal welfare anyway, LOL.

Anyway, back to the trip.

Friday night we had dinner at the Dixie Stampede. It was FireMan's idea, thinking FireGirl would really enjoy the horses & singing, and that the adults could all enjoy it too. He was right. It's a bit pricey (around $40 per adult ticket), but you do get a pre-show of live music / comedy, plus the live show with meal. In my opinion, it was worth every penny. FireGirl was mesmerized. I could have spent the entire night just watching her reactions. Oh, who am I kidding? I spent at least half the night doing just that. She absolutely loved it. When the horses would leave the arena, between "scenes", she would start fussing & signing "more". So cute! And when they were out there, she was just mesmerized. Eyes wide, mouth agape, just staring, taking it all in. The occasional squeal of delight or clap of the hands belying her happiness. Just wonderful. I think as a mother, to see your child so entranced with joy... {sigh}. Is there anything better?

Saturday most of the day was spent at Cades Cove, a favorite of mine. It's a nature preserve in the heart of the Smokies. Love it! Final count of the day: one bear, seven deer, countless turkey. FireGirl saw her first real, live deer. The first one was up close. She waved, and blew it kisses, and got made when we started pulling away. So cute! After that, every time she saw one she would wave & blow kisses. So cute!

Somehow we all got split up, and since cell phones don't get reception... we were on our own. So FireMan, FireGirl & I went to a local bluegrass festival that was going on, and got some local barbecue for dinner. Would have been nicer if it weren't for the rain. Booooo!

One night FireMan & I even got out of the cabin by ourselves, and went on a drive. Found ourselves at Taste of Tennessee, sharing a deliciously giant hot fudge cake.

And Sunday morning, we headed home. We had a very nice time. Always do in the Smoky Mountains. Always do.

I'll try to get some pictures up in the next day or two. We downloaded them all to FireMan's laptop, which is with him at the firehouse right now.

Have a great Tuesday!

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