Mea Culpa, mea maxima culpa. It was the Road Trip birthday party for my husband's sixtieth birthday. He and his siblings started getting together for each others 60th birthdays when his oldest sibling (brother) turned sixty.
His sibling next in line to celebrate a 60th birthday is his sister. Beryl wants to go to Italy for her celebration. Hoping we can make that one. Haven't married off the daughter yet, or been anywhere in Europe on our own. We might win the lottery and make it happen. Check upcoming postings for 'Lottery Winners' to see what happens!
For my honey buns' sibling celebration they selected to meet in Gatlinburg, TN as it is almost a half-way point for everyone, and a beautiful location for a get together. His cousin had previously offered his mountain retreat for anyone in the family to use if they ever got to Gatlinburg. Calls were made, offer still available. Road trip on!
I packed very carefully. I put battery charger for my camera in my computer bag. Battery charger for computer, Nuvii, ipods. Put husbands camera in my computer bag so we could document the momentous celebration in photographs.
Husband/Wife excited and racing to get out of house. Husband threw packed bags in car. Threw packed ice chest and grocery bags in car. I threw pillows in car! Ready! Ready? Ready! Off we go...even used detour I-40 due to rockslides....EEEEEK!
Stopped several times along the way. Damaged back and nerves in leg demand I get out and walk around. Drowsiness of husband demand stops for coffee which in turn demand stops for potty breaks. We make a good team, as long as it is just the two of us in the car. Additional passengers tend to get antsy riding with us. I wonder, WHY? Still managed to get there before dark.
Beautiful, gorgeous house! Overlooking mountain, upstairs deck with hot tub and tv. Bedroom and billiards table upstairs with sitting room. Downstairs another bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room and screened in porch. Wrap around deck. Lovely!
On first day we followed the Arts and Crafts community trail. As it was off season, not everyone was open. Praise be to the heavens we found the pottery places open and with sales! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Checked out the woodworking stores for brother-in-law. Gene wanted a chain saw carved American eagle. Didn't have luck that day on an eagle, guys took a mulligan for the next day. Explored a few more places and then it was time for a late lunch.
Pulled up to one of the few open places to eat. Looked interesting and a possible good choice. When we first walked in we were the only people in the restaurant. Several possibilities here:
1. Terrible food, we should leave.
2. New to area no one knows about it.
3. We were late for the lunch crowd, way early for dinner crowd.
We chose the third possibility and asked for a table for five. My brother-in-law was wearing a Saints Super Bowl Champions t-shirt. (They really do seem to be conversation starters, see posting: *I Saaaaaidddddd It Ain't Easy Getting Old). Our server it turns out was born in Covington, La. and attended high school in Mandeville, La.
Oh the six degrees of separation keep on coming! Beryl, my husband's sister lives in Covington, her kids attended Mandeville High School. Later our friendly server's parents moved to Hammond, La. After Katrina the entire family moved to Gatlinburg, TN after they had lost everything to Katrina. Oh how I hate that storm.
Anyway, it bodes well for New Orleanians to run into other New Orleanians when it comes to dining! We do tend to know excellent food when we taste it. The food was wonderful and our server was a real charmer. Told us how he had watched the Super Bowl right there in the restaurant and was screaming and going crazy the entire time. Can you imagine?
We returned home relaxed, watched some of the Olympics on tv, and later had a dinner of hot roast beef sandwiches I had actually brought for lunches. Nothing wrong with crusty french bread, hot roast beef and gravy served with chopped lettuce, horseradish mayo, tomatoes and relishes of choice.
The next morning rather late, we headed out for a pancake breakfast at one of the MANY pancake houses. Wouldn't recommend the one we chose.
Then we traversed and I do mean traversed to the outlet malls. Seems our driver and co-pilot were into taking the long way round. Finally, we arrived at the Tanger outlet mall. The gents in the group, that would be hubby and his brother, decided to look for a place to hike while we ladies shopped. Not a problem, we didn't need their whining...! Several hours later and several bags to the better we were done. Brother-in-law found his chain saw carved eagle. It really was a work of art! Will look wonderful at his fishing camp in the marshes of southern Louisiana!
We piled into the car, made our way back to the beautiful cabin and everyone was ready for the hot tub. Was a wonderful place to view the Olympics on tv and the gorgeous mountain scenery.
Now back to the first paragraph and packing. It seems in my rush to get everything packed and out of the house I had managed to omit a few vewyy vewyy important items. I had packed the battery charger for my camera. Not my camera. I had packed my husband's camera, not his battery charger. Not good, not good. I did manage to get off a few shots with my husbands camera before battery would die. Trouble is when we arrived home, we can't find his USB cord to his camera.
Therefore....this is a posting with no photographs from one of the most beautiful places to visit. We even had snow on the mountains in the shaded areas. ARGGGHHHHHHH!!! That leaves me waiting for my in-laws to send digital photographs of the weekend. I love them, I really do, but they lead busy lives and I am still awaiting digitals. Until then, as I mentioned at the beginning...Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.