Monday, November 1, 2010

Smoky Mountain Memories

Come and listen to a story 'bout a group in Tennessee
A bunch of local Texans took a trip, but not for free.
They went to see the trees changing colors for the Fall,
And all they really knew is they were gonna have a ball--
With no kids, that is, the good life.

Well the next thing you know, the whole group is on the town
From riding on some horses to taking zip lines going down.
Eating all day long and nighttime fires on the deck,
Cirque de Chine and gondolas, and we got into a wreck--
On some go carts, that is, old school and tons of fun. :)

***If you are wondering why I have SOOOOOO many pictures, it is because I was designated to document the WHOLE trip. That's right! No one else brought a single camera! Except, maybe an iphone! Ha! ***

6 us flew to Atlanta, and then drove the 4 hrs. to Pigeon Forge. Kim and Grady, met up with us later that night.
Conn/Me, Greg/Stacy, Whitney/Seth

Our 'home away from home' for the next 5 days. Thanks, Stace, for planning all of this! You done good, girl! :)

We headed in town to Pigeon Forge to meet up with Kim and Grady, walk the cute shops, and grab some dinner.
Seth/Whitney, Grady/Kim, Greg/Stacy, Me/Conn

Friday was an amazing, fun filled day! We decided to head to a local apple orchard, go down some zip lines, ride horses through the Smoky Mountains, and hit up some local go-kart tracks! I love how everyone on this whole trip was SO adventurous and SO laid back about everything we did. Our goal for the trip: to try new things and to do activities that we would or could never do here in Houston! We were all so spontaneous and just literally decided everything hour by hour!

Getting ready to head out for the day.

Apple Orchard

Zip lining
Only about 3 of us in our group had ever zip lined. Some us were VERY scared and almost didn't make it off the platform of the first one (we did three). But, everyone fought back the tears and did awesome!

If you lived through the zip lines, you were asked to sign your name. Ha!

Horseback Riding
I don't recall ever riding a horse in my 31 years of life. But, my parents informed me that I have. :) Whether I have or have not, this time was a great experience. We rode on a beautiful two mile trail up the mountains. It was an unguided ride, meaning we had no guide leading us. We were all a little nervous about it being unguided, but the horses knew exactly what to do and where to go. I guess they have done this just a couple of times. Ha!

On our way back to the cabin for a little rest before dinner and go-karts, we spotted a Smoky Mountain version of a Stop-N-Go. :) Well, it was the most beautiful gas station I've ever seen! It was this little shack that sold drinks and snacks. It was built on this absolutely breathtaking river that had a waterfall. Of course, we couldn't pass up this perfect picture taking spot.

The only thing that Whitney wanted to accomplish on this trip, was taking a picture in front of the DollyWood sign. :) Well, we all made sure that her wish came true! We waited until it was about to close, and we were able to drive all the way to the entrance with out paying for parking. It worked out perfectly!

Our cabin is the speck right in the middle of this hill.

Such a fun night! I think we hit up about 3 or 4 of them. We were acting like total kids on the tracks. No, we never got kicked out. But, some of us did get flagged down a couple of times.

At nights when we would get back to our cabin, we would hang out by the outdoor fire place, make s'mores, and some even ventured into the hot tub. I loved our night times at the cabin. Laughing, sharing stories about life, and talking for hours. Such a great way to relax from our busy days.

Me and my man!

On Saturday, we drove to Gatlinburg to meet up with my brother, Dustin, and his family. They moved to South Carolina over a year ago, and were so sweet to drive the 4 hours to come meet up with us. I cannot tell you how awesome it was to see them and hug their sweet necks. We were able to spend the whole day together in Gatlinburg and then they came back to our cabin to hang out for a while. We love and miss them SO very much!

While in Gatilinburg, we... rode the Gondola, ate some nasty German food, danced a little jig, raced through a Maze, rode carnival swings, saw the beautiful scenery while riding the ski lifts, and slid down the mountain on some Alpine slides! Such a fun, fun day!

We all headed back to the house for an awesome dinner that was being made by Kim and Grady. And, of course, more s'mores and late nights by the fire!
See the haze across the tree line? I guess that is why it is called the Smoky Mountains. It was there every night just before sunset. Hmmmm....
My brother and his family. Miss them SO much!
Cole, Kelly, Dustin, and Cade

Sunsets from our cabin. Not bad, huh?!
The guys figured out a way to rig up a t.v. outside on the deck so they could keep up with all of their games. Boys!

Yummy dinner of steaks, grilled corn and vegetables, and Grady's homemade apple pie for dessert. Mmmmmmm....good!

We were all so stuffed! Ha!

But, we somehow still had room for the pie! :)

Pancake House
We all literally rolled out of bed the next day, and made our way to a Pancake House. These are HUGE around where we were staying. So, we figured we would be good tourist and check one out. It was yummy, but we weren't overly impressed. I'll take IHOP any day of the week. :)

Cirque de Chine
For our last night, we decided to check out one of the local shows. These were huge tourist attractions, too. We all decided on going to see Cirque de Chine. We all thought is was really entertaining and that the cast did a great job. But, Whitney and Seth, who have seen the real deal, informed us that it was nothing like the real deal and we must see a real Cirque show to make up for this one. :) Conn has always wanted to go to real one, so maybe they'll be coming to our area soon.

We were so sad that it was our last night. But, Whitney and Kim, did a great job of keeping our minds off of the fact that our vacation had come to an end. Thanks, girls! :)

Back to life, back to reality.
Yes, this is our plane. Yes, that is a rainbow.

So, so sad!
But, such a great, great trip!
Thank you friends, for all the wonderful Smoky Mountain memories!


gdj said...

God is SO GOOD! Thanks gang for the wonderful trip and memories for a lifetime. Great job of bringing it all together Ashley. I'm ready for the next trip!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the pictures can not receive any other impression than that the trip was more than successful. to have such wonderful friends.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, girl, for documenting our trip in such an amazing way!! The pics were so awesome and beautiful!! You did an incredible job! Love you! Thank you!


Heather said...

This Tennessee girl is J-E-A-L-O-U-S. The beauty of TN is spectacular.

Lacey said...

So sad we had to back out although it wouldn't have worked out anyway. Glad you guys had a blast!! As always, beautiful pictures and I know GREAT memories!!! Count us in next trip... :)

Amy said...

Sorry we could not make this trip...I know there will be many more! Looks like you guys had a fantastic time.

stacy said...

This was defintiely one of my FAVORITE vacations!!! Loved spending time with y'all and making so many great memories!

Ashley Fisher :) said...

LOVE this post! This looks like so much fun and adore your brown boots!

Misty Straley said...

So fun! :) Brian and I rode alpine slides in Colorado...they were a blast. I will have to try zip lines one day!

Exum Family said...

What an amazing trip and a great idea! I'm so glad your are blessed with these opportunities.

Toni said...

oh my, I'm sad we missed such a great trip! Next year??? Glad y'all had so much fun! Amazing pictures Ashley, of course you were chosen as the group photographer, you take such good ones!!

Connie McWhorter said...

Oh, my, SOOOOOO beautiful!!! Glad you had a wonderful time. Happy to see Dustin, Kelly and the boys. It is such a blessing that you have sweet precious friends to share life with. Love you!

Summer said...

So sorry we couldn't get together
:( Looks like you guys had an awesome time and you got to see your brother!!!

Missy said...

It looks like y'all had such an amazing time! So jealous!!!

Kelli said...


We have become such mountain peeps and this looks like the perfect trip!

What a blessed time with friends!