On the morning we were to leave on our vacation, Henry and Seth woke us up. At 3 in the morning. Yes, they did. I think they were a little excited. :)
We ate a little breakfast, piled in our van, and left our driveway at 4 AM. Fortunately, after the kids got over the initial excitement, they fell asleep again for a few hours. The rest of the 10 1/2 hour drive went along pretty uneventfully thanks to the kids' Nintendo DSs, movies, and books.
Near the end of the drive, we were all focusing on the amazing views of the Smoky Mountains rather than any other form of entertainment.
Our home for the week was nestled right in those mountains. You can imagine our excitement when we pulled up to it, and saw our family from Texas, from Florida, and from Illinois.
Words can not describe our excitement at being able to spend an entire week with them in such a beautiful place!! There was a lodge shared by my mom and dad, my sister, brother-in-law, and their family, and my family, as well as another lodge right next door shared by my aunt, uncle, cousins and their families. BLISS!
Here are my kiddos with their cousin, Annie. She took us on a tour of the place.
There was a family room with a fireplace,
a well-equipped kitchen ready for preparing lots of family meals,
a big dining room ready to eat said meals,
and then there was the kids' favorite, the gameroom. It was upstairs, and had a pool table, air hockey table,
and a t.v. area.
Right outside of the gameroom was one of four porches our lodge had, and the views from them were spectacular!
There were also two identical bedrooms and a bath upstairs. We used that level as kid headquarters. ;)
There were also four more bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, two on the main level and two on the lower level, and they were home to two kids, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law as well as Dave and I.
In the lower level there was a media room with a big projection screen, perfect for everyone who needed a little time to rest and watch a movie.
However, the best part of the whole place (aside from the company!) was the views!They took our breath away!
Sitting on this porch and enjoying God's majesty...what a way to relax!
The kids loved that there was a hot tub on the main floor balcony! Three more cousins, Will, Callie and Evie, are pictured.
Seth, Evan and Caroline loved the hot tub too!
And the view at night...wow. Seeing the moon rise over the Smoky Mountains is not something I will soon forget!
Coming up next...Smoky Mountains Reunion, Part II: The Characters.