Friday, August 9, 2013

Family Road Trip

Momma, Daddy, Baby Bro, Britt (aka Baby Bro's GF and better be my future sister in law ahem ahem), Hubs and I had a lil road trip planned for the end of summer.

Back story:
My parents have been through  hell the ringer this summer with both of their mothers being in and out of the hospital. It's been pretty tough to watch and even tougher being 3 hours away from it the majority of the time.
This trip was planned the week before both grannies would be coming home. One permanently living with my parents, the other in her home next door with 24/7 care. This would also be the last week of my parent's summer vacations as both work in the school system.
To say my parents needed a mini vacay is the biggest understatement!

We wanted something easy. A place that we could drive to and back in a weekend.
So we headed to the smokey mountains in Tennessee and would end our trip in Cherokee, North Carolina.

And who doesn't love a lil weekend road trip here ya go

We met my parents about an hour outside of Lexington. I was so excited that we would be able to share the time together in the truck. It was so much fun.
We played road trip games, reminisced, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.
What better way to start our day than the first official photo of the trip.

Baby Bro and Brittany were able to catch up with us a little over halfway through the trip.
Does he look like a little redneck or what?

First thing on the agenda was to hit up the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge.
Two words: Apple Fritters!
We chowed down on some good country grub and made our way into a solid food coma before going wine tasting on the property.
Kev and I picked up a delicious bottle of apple-peach wine that was so sweet and refreshing.

That afternoon we hit up the Tanger outlets. Kev and I picked up some new workout gear.
After some brief shopping, we got all checked in at our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg.
We relaxed for a bit before getting freshened up for dinner at Cherokee Grill.

We rode the trolley all around downtown Gatlinburg....and boy was it crowded down there

Unfortunately, the rain put a damper on our friday night plans. So we called it an early night and were up the next day with the chickens for breakfast at Flapjacks.

After breakfast we set out to drive across the Smokey Mountains toward Cherokee, North Carolina.
It was a foggy/hazy kind of morning, but we still got some great photo ops.
The mountans are gorgeous!


We made it to Cherokee and hit up the local souvenir shops and checked out all the little odds and inns at the village area. But the real reason we were there was for this........
Harrah's Casino

I swear my daddy-o was like a lil boy. The man loves casinos in a very innocent (plays slots only) kind of way. Just picture this 6 foot 9 inches tall man sitting at the slot machines smiling from ear to ear. And dang it, he wins every.single.time. On slots!!
I kid you not... we were all still in our hotel rooms and my dad was gone for maybe 45 min and had already texted my mom he had won already won something like 400 dollars on penny and nickle slots.


We soon joined in all the fun.
(and they let us take photos in there! what?!?! yep, as long as there was no flash and the person at the table gambling wasn't taking it. Hey vegas ..did you hear that??)

Our plans to have a nice dinner Saturday night at Ruth's Chris turned into us gambling all day and night in our casual clothes. We refused to go back to the hotel to freshen up, afraid lady luck would leave us. No lie I wore a workout top all day and evening. You can do that on vacay!

The next morning Baby Bro and Britt had to leave early to hop a flight to sunny Florida with Britt's family.
Momma, Daddo, KR and I had plans to stop and see my grandfather who just so happens to live right outside of Gatlinburg in Sevierville, TN.
Grandpa was giving his wife (and my third grandmother- Della) a Christmas in July so to speak.
He bought her an ipad and we picked it up and set them up with wi-fi.
Hot diggity dog! My grandparents are so two thousand and thirteen.

Teaching my grandfather about face time was priceless!
I am so excited about having this avenue to stay connected with him.
His health has been bad for a while and trips to see him are shorter an shorter as he can't tolerate very much activity.
This was a very special moment for me and my momma.  

And Kev was such an incredible teacher in introducing Della to the ipad. The man is amazing at giving instruction and direction and is so patient. Soooo patient. I mean he has to put up with me on daily basis :-)
I love his heart!
and i love this photo!

Della made us an amazing brunch!
biscuits and gravy, hash browns, waffles, bacon, sausage, fresh 'maters - finger-licking-good!
It was a great way to end our three day trip.

Love me some family road-trips!

my favorite inside highlights and jokes from the trip
-that darn agenda
-my camera in all our faces
- my dad losing his cell phone in the casino
-my dad 's cell phone getting turned in and returned to him
-kev and i posted up at the black jack video machine. we would loose our money, win it all back, and sadly lost it again the next morning
- my dad being the luckiest freakin man and winning at every stinkin slot he touched. i swear it's not fair how lucky the man is at gambling. it's crazy! once he again he out won all of us.
- teaching my grandfather and della how to face time
-kevin rex teaching della how to use her ipad - melted my heart
-playing "adam from arkansas" in the car with my parents
-charlie making buddies with the man from south carolina at the roulette table
- watching someone place a 1200 dollar but at the roulette table and winning something like 7400 dollars. it was craaay.
- the lottery ticket frenzy
- scared we would be late riding the trolley and getting off half way there and deciding to hoof it the rest of the way, only to have the trolley pull up at the exact same time. so much for thinking we could out run it
-planning our lake house for the grandparents' retirement and their grandchildren ;-)



Pamela said...

Love Apple Barn!! Love all the cute pictures :)

Meredith said...

my fiance loves (LOVES) the apple barn, he grew up in Asheville NC and made frequent trips to Pigeon Forge. It looks like you have a cute family getaway

Diana Buchanan said...

I love that you guys were able to do this! I bet you made lots of special memories.

I have never had apple it like a donut hole?

Also-love your teal dress!
Happy Weekend!

Kelly said...

I had never been to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, let along Tennessee before I had met my boyfriend, him and his family LOVE that area! His brother got married in Gatlinburg last November and we just got back from a trip to the Bryson City area back at the beginning of July. We weren't far from Cherokee and wish we could have made the trip to the casino!

Nicole {Appalachian Charm} said...

I love Cherokee. We try to go there once a year. When we go to the casino I usually just like to people watch and play a few slots! Your grandparents seem so sweet and that is too funny you face timing with them!

Megan said...

We have the same cowboy boots!

We just tried visiting Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg the last weekend in July and couldn't find a single vacant room (for less than $200 a night). Boo!

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