We were able to spend our Spring Break in the Smoky Mountains this week. I realized on this trip that we spent our last Spring and Fall Breaks in the mountains. This trip made our 3rd visit in a year. We absolutely love the Smoky Mountains!
We arrived late Sunday evening and got everything set up in our condo. We decided to drive through the park on Monday. It was easy to see the fire damage as we drove around. After we passed The Chimney Trail the damage was below us. The kids asked a lot of questions about the fire (as they’ve done for quite some time now) and we were able to have some really good conversations with them. We drove on up to the Tennessee/North Carolina line. The temperature had dropped about 15 degrees by the time we stopped and we were freezing! We stopped along the way and played in the snow and grabbed some pictures. On our way back down, we found a spot and parked at the Alum Cave hike. We were not sure if we could hike the trail. After hearing that it was about an hour and a half hike, we decided to just explore the creek. Abby Kate and I stood around for a little bit, but quickly made our way back to the warmth of the car. The boys had fun walking on the rocks and crossing the creek. Unfortunately, Joshua missed a rock and ended up soaked.
We made our way back to the condo for lunch and then I walked with the boys down to town. We stopped off at the knife store (this is the boys favorite) and then picked up some candy from The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen.
I enjoyed fixing our dinners in the condo. I decided to buy all of our groceries here at home. I think this turned out to work pretty well. We had chicken noodle soup, enchiladas, and lasagna for our dinners. We also had eggs/toast and Jason made muffins for us one morning. We did eat out for breakfast at The Log Cabin Pancake House and we picked up some doughnuts from The Donut Friar.
We opted for an indoor activity Tuesday because of the cold. It had been years since we visited the Ripley’s Aquarium. We were able to meet up with some friends and we had a great time seeing all of the sea animals. I do believe that everyone else in Gatlinburg had the exact same idea because the aquarium was packed.
We spent the rest of our time really relaxing. It was so nice and a much needed break and rest for our family. We did walk back down to town several more times, but we spent the majority of our time indoors playing games and cards, putting together puzzles, and watching movies.
Our weeks are full of school, baseball, appointments, deadlines, activities and more. These school years are intense, but they are flying by. It seems just like yesterday that Jason and I were dropping the twins off for kindergarten and now they are about to enter middle school. I am so thankful for the breaks that we have in our school year and how we have made it a priority to take advantage of those breaks.
The mountains called and we went. And for that, I am grateful.