Another mountain weekend for the books

It’s been a long week, with Jon on a business trip and all kinds of shenanigans in his absence, but Friday is here, he’s almost home, and I’m going to take a few minutes to post a handful of photos from our family trip to the Smoky Mountains last weekend. These trips have become such a highlight for our family. It was unusually cold, but we did some hiking, anyway. We also ate like pigs and enjoyed each other greatly for a few too-short days of vacation.


















(Sorry, Veronica, the exposure on this one just wasn’t working!)


And a blurry cell phone group photo from a Gatlinburg shopping plaza already decked out for Christmas. That crazy town certainly has its many faults, but we forgive much in the place where so many traditions are rooted and memories made. (Also, if you want to know the good Gatlinburg spots, ask a Geary or a Sharp.) 

October in the Smokies

Of the things I inherited when I married into Jon’s family, one of my favorites is the tradition of regular trips to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. The Geary/Sharp clan has the outing to a science, finely-honed over more than 30 years. Truthfully, Gatlinburg falls into the… quirky category of vacation spots. Much of what you find there would kindly be labeled kitsch. But there’s no doubt it has character, and this family has found the gems. These mountain vacations have come to mean as much to me as they always have to Jon. So much of what we love about the area is wrapped up in years of family tradition and memory. Now we find great satisfaction in passing all of that along to our own kids.

This year’s trip found Corin enthralled with every aspect of the vacation, from the cabin to the mountain trail to the always-bustling streets of Gatlinburg. Lina also seemed to enjoy all the people watching and outdoor air, and she made it a true vacation by sleeping in until after 8 a.m. every morning. We ate ourselves silly, turned pruny in the hot tub and relaxed in ways that just don’t happen at home. This year, we also keenly felt Grandma Geary’s absence, which made us all the more thankful for the addition of family we see far too seldom: Aunt Nelda, Cousin Veronica and her son Colin.

It was back to reality with a vengeance this week, but we have our memories of this October in the Smokies carefully tucked away, the newest entry in a priceless compendium.