Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pigeon Forge, TN: Week 1, Part 1

Ah, the rolling hills dotted with farms, a back drop of blue mountains in the distance.  The colors orange and white decorate houses, cars, and people… we must be in Tennessee!  We always have loved traveling to this state and have long desired to live here.  It has been a true treat to get a whole month to enjoy autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains!  We pulled into our new home Oct. 1st and we were welcomed with the first colors and temperatures of autumn.

We woke up to cool temps on Sunday morning, excited to be attending our first church service since we left Florida.  We went to The Gathering in Pigeon Forge.  It was so nice to worship the Lord in His house!

We spent the Sunday afternoon and Monday settling into our new home, shopping at Tractor Supply Company, installing a toolbox, doing laundry, schooling, exploring the RV park, and fishing in "our" pond.

And catching tadpoles...

Daddy's helper--learning how to install a truck toolbox

Picnic Table Schoolhouse

Finally, on Tuesday Oct 4th we were able to head to Great Smoky Mountain National Park!  I was so excited to share it with the kids.

We started at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.  The kids were eager to start the Junior Ranger Program. ( Jr Ranger Program link ).  We went on a ranger led hike to Cataract Falls, watched a movie about the park, toured the museum, and of course… spent some time in the gift shop :)  Who out there loves the gift shops at nature parks like me????  I want to buy everything!

Eagerly working on their Jr Ranger books!
Ranger led hike... 

Cataract Falls
DT learning about snakes that live in the park....we may have seen this one on the trail!

Faith mimicking one of the many animals we learned about :)

On the way home from the park, we stumbled upon a true treat…. The Apple Barn!  Boy, howdy---did we enjoy the Apple Barn :)  I have some new favorite eats---fried apple pie and apple cider slushy!!  Yum!!! 

After enjoying our afternoon treat we enjoyed another gift shop!  I adore the smell of cinnamon and autumn in country stores!  I looked around for a special treasure to bring home and realized, I really didn’t need anything.  Living in such a small space puts very tight constraints on shopping.  This was very hard at first, but then I found a new freedom.  I could just enjoy looking without having to deal with the whole interior struggle that I go through when wrestling with buying that perfect something.  We left with a gallon of the best apple cider...ever!

A “quick stop” at the Wal-mart and we finally made it home...

The week was so full of activity that I'll continue the updating in Week 1, Part II!!  Our Wednesday turned out to be a very unexpected special day!

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