Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Smoky Mountain Memories

An awful lot happens in the blogosphere when you are away for a week. When you've been more or less incommunicado for a week do you try to read back posts or do you just forge ahead? I'm thinking forge ahead. Except of course I'm going to go back to last week and catch you up on what I did because I'm pretty positive you wouldn't want to skip over that.

Now, if only I can figure out how not to overwhelm you with all the words in my head and the pictures on my camera.

I've had the best week with my girlies and with some extended family as well.
Last Tuesday morning I flew to South Carolina so I could have a little extra time with my kiddos before Easter. I left NJ in a monsoon and arrived in sunny South Carolina to blinding sunshine and warm weather.
I love the South.

Why are we living in NJ again?

I stayed with my sister and took my girls shopping and out to eat as their
class and work schedule permitted.
Oh, and we gabbed.
A lot.

The campus where they attend school is known as one of the prettiest in the country. I took lots of pictures but I think I'm going to chat about that in a separate post because I need to talk about Easter here. Daughter2 and I did do some talking in this spot though...

This is a seating area just outside the on-campus Starbucks.
Beside the lake.
Yes, they have a rough life.

Hubs flew down Thursday night and Friday morning we drove to Tennessee for the weekend. The hubs brother and sister in law own a cabin in the Smoky Mountains and we rented one near theirs for the Easter weekend. Hubs sister and brother in law and their two boys joined us and his parents drove back and forth from their house in a nearby town each day so lots and lots of family fun.

We had a beautiful view from the deck of our cabin and spent most of our time out there or on the deck at my sister in law's place.

The view is okay I think.

Saturday afternoon we piled in the cars and drove just a few minutes up the road to see some pretty falls.

The cousins had a ball clambering over the slippery rocks.

So did the hubs.
Like I said-mountain goat.

The Smoky Mountains are one of my favorite spots. To get there from SC we had to drive through the tourist trap town of Pigeon Forge which we secretly like. Daughter1 was on the phone trying to explain Pigeon Forge to the boyfriend as we came through town and she said it pretty well...

"Where else could you see The Worlds Best Beef Jerky Outlet, a hammer store, a replica of the Titanic, and a German hotel with a Christmas theme all in the space of less than one mile?"

It is such a lot of fun. And such a lot of traffic on Easter weekend especially. But once you get past Pigeon Forge and into the mountains there is glorious quiet.

And beauty all around.

After our outing we went back to the house and dyed Easter Eggs.
Here is daughter1 working on hers...did I mention she is an art student?

You probably figured that out from the look of serious concentration she has going on here.

Somehow making one ugly egg has become a tradition at our house.

I do believe Daughter2 has perfected the technique.

We don't have all the cousins on this side of the family together very often and they really enjoyed being together.

There was lots of laughing and lots of front porch sitting.

Back porch too.

Easter morning we gave the girls their baskets and made let them hunt for Easter eggs before heading down the mountain to go to church with my in-laws. We were married in this church so its always special to go back and visit.

It was just a gorgeous day and the service was lovely. There is a gentleman who sings in their choir who should seriously record an album plus they sang the Hallelujah chorus at the end and who doesn't love that? After church we all went back to the cabin for Easter lunch. We originally thought we'd eat out but after I described in my blog a few posts back what we normally would be having for lunch the girls said they were going to miss the traditional home made meal so mother in law and I cooked a ham and all the trimmings. Which may or may not have included a yummy coconut cake (Thanks Carol!)

Monday morning we packed up and made the drive back to South Carolina for our flight back home. I was definitely not ready to leave but knowing I'll be going back in a month helps. Daughter1 is graduating from college.
Is that right?
That doesn't sound right?

I could write a whole post about that and hey, guess what?

I will.


  1. Oh what fun. Such great photos, beautiful view, precious memories. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

  2. Looks like a wonderful time! Glad you all had fun!
    PS-where is the picture of the art student's egg?! :)

  3. WOW...beautiful family...beautiful memories! What a beautiful week of fun and love!
    Hugs, andrea

  4. What a wonderful way to spend Easter! I love the Smokey Mountains...your pictures made me yearn to visit again. Great post, I almost felt like I was there with you! Blessings, Kathy

  5. Glad y'all had such a good time! We ended up going to SC a different way through the mountains...sometimes it's good to have a husband who rides motorcycles!

  6. What beautiful photos! I know you must be thrilled to have visited with your girls! Back porch conversations are the best. ;)

  7. That is such beautiful country! Glad you all had a great time. I'd like to see the art student's egg, too.

  8. What a lovely trip!

    Congrats to Daughter#1 on her upcoming graduation. I was rather in shock when mine graduated, I must say. But I'm enjoying her even more now than ever, so there's a nice bonus coming to you!

  9. What a perfectly beautiful place to spend Easter. Frankly, I find that "ugly" Easter egg to be quite pretty myself.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful getaway. I think we were on that same bridge over the stream not too long ago. :)

  11. Girl, if you went through Pigeon Forge, I was ONE HOUR AWAY FROM YOU. We could have totally gotten together this weekend!

  12. Joyce,

    How funny, seriously an ugly egg contest? I think the one you have pictured here is so unique looking I love it. I am so happy that you and the family got a chance to get together and relax while being with one another. Family doesn't get any better than that.

    Please stop by my blog today to meet a blogger in need of help!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  13. I know you had a wonderful time with your girls! Your family is beautiful! Can't believe you have a daughter graduating from college. You must have had her when you were 14!

    I am curious to hear about her plans since my daughter is majoring in Graphic Art..... isn't that her major too?

    I know they were glad about getting their cars washed. I ran errands today and had to wash my windshield off twice while I was out. We MIGHT get rain Thursday. That will be such a relief we do.

  14. *sighhh* Such beautiful surroundings, family gathered in, celebrating Easter together. It sounds heavenly and I'm so glad you all had such a great time, Joyce!
    AND doesn't EVERY family end up with at least one ugly egg at Easter egg dying time? :-) We always have!
    Thanks so much for sharing your Easter vacay and pictures!!!

  15. You have some awesome pictures! I had so much fun with you this weekend but it went by way too fast! I love your new background by the way-very cute. xoxo

  16. Joyce, it looks like you all had an awesome Easter vacation with the girls and Tim's family. What fun!!! Your girls are as beautiful as ever! I can't believe that Shannon will be graduating soon. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. Love & blessings from NC!

  17. The pictures are beautiful. What a lovely location. Look like you had a great time.

  18. What a fun time! The pictures are beautiful. We spent a little bit of time in the Smokies on our honeymoon. It was beautiful! Would love to go back sometime. It sounds like all of you had a wonderful Easter. Memories in the making!

    until next time... nel