Monday, November 5, 2012

Visitors from Afar and A Mountain Trip with a touch of Christmas

Last week BDJ was home for a visit, Mini was on Fall break and Wonder Hubby took the week off.   It was a great week but filled with too many activities.  Truthfully, we were worn out.

He brought home his girlfriend for us to meet.  First time he has been home since last March and bringing home someone special made for a nerve racking time! lol  Thankfully that turned out well.

We always try and get the whole family together when he comes in and this time was no different.  We planned a huge cookout with family and friends.  We picked BDJ and friend up at the airport a 1 am, drove home, visited for a bit (oh yeah, I stayed up another 2 hours with the dog thanks to storms) got in bed at 4:30 am.  Up at 8 when a friend of Wonder Hubby's brought his giant smoker over.  I think the timing of the cookout was questionable don't ya'll?    Sadly, it was such cooking chaos (or maybe lack of sleep) I got NO PICS of Wonder Hubby doing that southern pork smoking thing! 

Mini and BDJ....I know they are glad to see each other.
The Nana, BDJ and P

I did happen to catch Wonder Hubby playing corn hole..hmmmm maybe his smoking meat wasn't as big a job as he made it seem?

Wonder Hubby and best bud Fred in action

BDJ, Dad and P

That's right even I found a little time to play!
It was freezing pretty cool outside but everyone seemed to enjoy hanging out and playing corn hole.  We had a couple of serious corn hole games going outside and football inside and lots of food.  All in all it was pretty awesome (must have been since some folks didn't leave until 1 am.).   We had great food....thanks to all the family for contributing! It allowed me to have some time to enjoy and not just slave in the kitchen :)  

This is the only pic of food I took!  Yummy cocktail weenies wrapped in bacon!  Hands down favorite...thanks Nana.  Yikes, I have to start chilling out and take the time to take pictures.  What a shame to have that much beautiful food and no pics! 

Next morning we packed up and headed to Gatlinburg for a couple of days in the mountains.  I was so excited to take in the fall colors and awesome views.  Day one was cloudy and drizzly but that was okay since we were all exhausted.

Our chalet was so cozy.  Lots of wood, stone fireplace and huge wraparound porch.

Love the stone on the peninsula.

  Day two......pouring rain and fog!  Mini, Wonder Hubby and I were disappointed but BDJ and friend were thrilled.  BDJ has only seen rain a half dozen times in a year and a half in Vegas.  We drove up the mountain to see some awesome views fog.

Believe it or not there is a beautiful mountain behind the kids.

Wonder Hubby insisted on pictures of us.....naturally since on this day I let the hair go all natural and didn't fight the humidity!

We gave up on seeing any stunning mountain views and headed off to Pigeon Forge.  Had lunch at Big Daddy's Wood Grilled Pizza.  Great pizza but pricey, yikes!

 Then we visited the Titanic exhibit.  I hate that you can't take any pictures but trust me if you have any interest in history you will enjoy all aspects of this exhibit.  Plan to take your time there is lots of reading but it is fascinating.

After that, off to The Christmas Place.  I completely lose my mind in this place.  There is just so much Christmas I could spend 3 days there.  Here are a few pics of my favorites.

Wonder Hubby has a huge nutcracker collection so we had to study these close in case we need to add a new one! lol  We did not purchase one this trip but Wonder Hubby is taking Mini and I back Thanksgiving weekend to spend the night at The Inn at Christmas Place (I can hardly contain my excitement!) so I will have another chance.

I loved the organic elements on this tree and adored this little bird with hat and scarf.

We had absoutely no room in the 4runner or this baby would have been hanging over my fireplace tonight.

I think by now everyone knows I am Christmas crazy so I am always adding trees or changing themes.  I have been working on a ocean themed tree but this door decor with flamingo and shells made me think it might make a great tree.

I love elves yet I don't have a tree of them.  Guess I need to add one of those too!

Candy and a Snowman....heaven :)
I really need this 3 ft tall gingerbread beauty to sit beside my gingerbread tree.

More stunning nutcrackers, I love the pastels.

The winter wonderland tree was stunning in white and blue.
My favorite part of shopping at The Christmas Place......the village room.
When I first started coming here Halloween villages didn't exist. 
When they first displayed Halloween they had only a couple of haunted houses and a gypsy wagon....look at it now!
So many spooky houses and creepy characters.  I love it, right down to the little bitty lighted jack-o-lanterns.
Of course there are the traditional villages.
The diner is just precious!  Oh heck they all are and I want them all.
So as I skip wander about completely engrossed in this miniature world I see Wonder Hubby with this face....
This is his "oh no she is going to want it all face."  At first glance it just looked like more village until I saw the sign above his head.
Yes, it says Merry Grinchmas!  For those of you that don't know...I LOVE THE GRINCH.  I mean love, love, love it.  Watch the cartoon version and movie multiple times per Whoville was a dream.  Funny thing was, about the time I spotted it BDJ (who had by the way, escaped this area before I saw it) called me on the phone to tell me and sell his dad out!
This is was cute.  It was complete with plenty of Who's, The Grinch and even had Mt. Crumpet.  I was so well behaved and didn't purchase a single thing.  I mean just because we were packed like sardines on the trip up and couldn't fit another thing in might have played a part.  I suppose the fact that we are going back in November might also have been a factor, but I prefer to look at it as an excellent job of self control.   After this area was discovered, everyone was about getting me out of the place asap!
The whole trip was such a treat and despite the drizzle, clouds and fog we enjoyed it very much.

How bad can it be when you are able to have all your family with you? 

Wonder Hubby and BDJ
Thanks for taking a wee little trip with us!


  1. Looks like you had a blast having BDJ home and visiting in Gatlinburg. I love the pic of you and Wonder Hubby.

  2. I came here to read yesterday, but my stinking computer wouldn't let me comment. UGH.

    It all looks so fun. We've been there several times and love it each time we go. In fact, my daughters and I feel into some rocky water that looks just like one of your pictures. It was behind our hotel, and we took a wade, and...

    BDJ has a very cute friend there, and he looks so much like his DAD!! Handsome two men you have.


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