Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gatlinburg Vacation, Part 2 - The Hike

This was the view from Clingman's Dome in Smoky Mountain National Park where we started our hike.

Our little family.  (It was cold!)

Ben and Ann Britton and their four kiddos: Caleb, Hannah, Lydia, and Daniel.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Patrick and Rachel (Britton) Dudenhofer and their two boys: Mark and Peter (with a little girl on the way!)
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

The whole group!
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Strapping Isaac into the Ergo carrier for the hike.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Off to the trail head!

Mom and Dad Britton

The beginning was easy - lots of man-made steps down a mountain!

Isaac enjoyed riding with Daddy!

Elizabeth was great help for the little ones.

The whole forest smelled like fir trees.  It was invigorating!

Beautiful red berries.

The happy little piggy-back-man!

Little peeks of splendor.

So far, a pretty easy trail.

Then, the stairs ended...

and it got a little rockier.

Waiting for the rest of the group to catch up.

Here come a few!

Off again!  (Notice who fell asleep in the Ergo.)

Destination reached!  St. Andrew's Bald.

(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Lunch time!  The soft grass on St. Andrew's Bald proved to be the perfect spot for our picnic.  And Nathan found a grove of bushes that cut the chilling wind, making it even better. :)

Still smiling!

Time to head back up the trail!

But first, a quick picture of our group that hiked to St. Andrew's Bald!  (The rest of the family preferred a shorter, less rocky trail.)

More glorious views...

Isaac fell asleep on the way back too.

In the warm car once again!

Totally zonked.

(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

We had a fabulous time in Gatlinburg with the Brittons!  I was reminded once again what a great family I married into. :)  It was wonderful to get away for a few days, and then it was wonderful to come home again!

Gatlinburg Vacation, Part 1 - Cabin Life

As Isaac mentioned in the last blog post, we recently had the privilege of traveling to Ohio and then on to Tennessee for a little vacation with Nathan's side of the family.  We stayed in this luxury cabin overlooking Gatlinburg.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

It was perched on the side of a hill.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

As a result of its location, the cabin offered fantastic views of the surrounding mountains!
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

The porch of the second floor (there were three stories in all).

The kitchen and dining area.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

The living room...
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

...complete with a cozy fireplace that got used morning and evening!

Making dinner our first night in the cabin!
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Isaac loved meeting all his cousins!  He especially buddied up with Daniel who is 15 months and more on Isaac's pace than the others. :)

It was so cute to watch them interact and "talk" to each other!

More play time.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

Isaac also enjoyed meeting all his aunts and uncles.  Here he is having a ball with Aunt Elizabeth!

His overalls are a little long for walking! :)

Lots of games were played over the course of our stay.

A birthday party was held for 4 year old Mark.

A mini church service was conducted.
(Photo credit: Rachel Dudenhofer)

And the cabin hot tub was enjoyed by many.  
(Check out the stylish swim wear!)

The question was posed, "Who has the biggest biceps?"

Britton Muscle Men!

Next up - part two, in which we hike the Smokies!