Vacation time was fun - a much needed break from all the chaos that goes on around here! We got to go to my youngest brother's high-school graduation! He wasn't keen on having his picture taken, so decided to go for silly / serious. His answer to why he was goofing off and not giving a serious or happy photo? "I graduated. Whatcha gonna do about it?"
We spent some time in Nashville, visiting other grandparents and saw classic cars.
After Nashville, it was off to Knoxville for a couple of hours. Chris had fun showing the kids his Alma Mater, and they all enjoyed standing at just the right angle so they could get a good picture by Neyland Stadium and see the sign over the scoreboard.
Gatlinburg was our next stop, where we had a much needed vacation staying at a cabin and hiking. We were excited to see a bear up close (relatively speaking - the zoom on the camera was helpful). A hike to Abram's Falls was a must - Chris proposed to me there, and we really wanted the kids to see it. The sign said it was a 2.5 mile hike there. GPS said it was 3. So, we compromised and said it was a total of a 5.5 mile hike. As you can see, the kids were excited that they made it (and kept up!) the entire trek.
A journey of nearly 2000 miles (more, if you start down in GA) begins with a single step. So, we took those first steps down the Appalachin Trail. Eventually, we hope to hike the entire trail (though not at once, of course!) We began at Clingman's Dome, which is the highest point. It's all downhill from there!
Our journey ended in Georgia, where we stopped in Savannah to stretch our legs for a little bit. It was later in the day, so most of the shops were closed. I did snap a picture of the "Lady and Sons" restaurant sign. We also wandered around the historic cemetery, which has been closed for burials since 1850.