My family arrived later Saturday evening, a week ago, after a very strong cold front was just pushing through. Needless to say the temps here in the 40’s that night were a big change from the 90’s they left in Florida one day earlier! Sunday morning we woke up to beautiful sunshine, which to me was a welcome and beautiful sight after two weeks of grey skies and rain. After learning that it had snowed in the upper elevations in the Park, we loaded up with as many jackets as would cram into the back of the van and headed into the Smoky Mountain National Park. We ate a quick and cold picnic lunch in the van on the way up, which proved to be quite interesting with seven adults and a baby. The journey took a couple of hours to make since everybody seemed to be going up to see the snow as well. On the positive side, only being able to drive eight to twelve miles an hour, due to traffic, you certainly have a chance to see everything around you.
Once we reached Newfound Gap it was time to get out and enjoy the snow while trying to keep warm. Being the first time my sister-n-law Alicia or nephew Tyler had ever seen or been in the snow, you can imagine it was pretty exciting for them as it was for us all. Tyler was way too adorable in his coat that Wes and I had got him that was a bit too big, but was very padded and warm! He was such a good sport as he walked along, periodically falling down and patiently lying there until someone came to his rescue and picked him back up, while the rest of us were all laughing at his precious misfortune. Tyler was also gracious enough to let his Aunt Rachelle gently throw an occasional snowball at him. We happily made the use of the quiet end of a trail to build a snowman and adorn him with my brother Marshall’s cool sunglasses and hat!
Monday was spent at the Knoxville Zoo enjoying all of the local residents. The highlight of the visit was getting to watch the baby Chimpanzee exploring and playing in its enclosure, with it occasionally coming over to give a “high five” to the small children in front of the glass window. He was just too cute, and I could’ve stood there and watched him all day! I think Tyler got as excited about all of the decorated pumpkins that were displayed throughout the zoo as he did all of the different animals and birds. It was a perfect day filled with fun and excitement with the gorgeous fall weather and colors adding to the overall beauty. Of course I had to make a personal visit to the petting zoo to brush all of the goats and pet the sheep, which by obvious faces enjoyed it! I also had to take a ride down a long winding slide in the children’s section, which was great fun until halfway down I realized there was water on it! This brought my swift, fun ride almost to a complete halt and totally soaked my backside! Oh well, what is life if you don’t live it 🙂
We enjoyed another wonderful day on Wednesday, driving up the Foothills Parkway and on up to the Cherohala Skyway. It was a gorgeous day with stunning views along the way showing off an array of beautiful fall colors. Wes and I enjoyed our return trip to Huckleberry Bald and sharing this gorgeous spot with my family. Most stayed on the lower bald, while my Dad, Hayley, Wes and I went on to the top bald. The view from the top was spectacular and afforded a 365 degree view of the surrounding mountains decked in fall color on the lower portions. It is the kind of place which I could take lunch and a blanket and spend hours and never tire of the magnificent beauty and sounds of nature! My brother Marshall and Tyler enjoyed playing and rolling in the grassy field on top of the mountain deciding they too could’ve spent hours there.
Friday it was time for them to say good-bye and head back to Florida, which was a sad departure for us all. Before they left however, we had a little more fall fun with me dropping piles of leaves on Tyler while he would stand in amazement and extreme excitement, and after the last leaf had fallen he would yell in a most adorable way “WOW”. I could’ve carried on this activity with him for hours. After they left I tried it with Wes, but somehow it wasn’t the same and I didn’t get the “WOW” response. Oh well, perhaps Tyler’s little sister, that’s on the way, will enjoy the same activity with me in a couple of years
Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂