Tag Archives: 50th anniversary trip. Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Oh April-50th Anniversary Part 2

6 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 10, 2021-Day 2

We began our first full day in Pigeon Forge with coffee on the porch, followed by a breakfast of peanut butter waffles and precooked bacon. I prepared the waffles before leaving home, so it was a simple matter of popping them in the toaster. Over breakfast we discussed our plan for the day. Afternoon rain was forecast so we decided to venture out to a short nature trail behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The trail was an easy 1.1 mile walk, more like a stroll through the woods leading to Cataract Falls. Perfect! Shortly after we began walking, we felt a few sprinkles of rain, but nothing more. We came across multiple signs like this one, It was interesting to know not only the name of the plants, trees and bushes, but how they were used.

Of course, no self respecting mountain trail would be complete without a cheerful stream running alongside.

Just before the bridge was this odd tree stump. What stories it could tell!

When we arrived at the falls, a light rain began, but it didn’t last long enough to wet us. An interesting interaction happened where people were having their pictures taken in front of the falls. A bystander saw a group posing and called out a man’s name. Surprised laughter followed. To the best of my eavesdropping ability, it seemed they were acquaintances from the same town and I think they were involved in a sport. You just never know who you will see. We did the picture thing too.

Husband and daughter

After leaving the falls we discovered a shortcut back to our car. Not nearly as picturesque, but with rain threatening, it seemed like the best choice. We followed a couple who were walking confidently and seemed to know where they were going. I’m glad we chose that route as it brought us out in front of the stone ranger station. We admired the stone work. There’s just something about it that says strong and enduring.

Back at the timeshare we had lunch then banished my husband to take a nap. My daughter and I decided to brave the impending rain and do some shopping in Sevierville. I got a kick out of the ducks in front of the Dollar Tree store. Just before I snapped the picture their faces were pressed close to the windows.

Taco soup that I made ahead at home was a perfect rainy night supper, followed by streaming one of our favorite TV shows ended day 2 of our anniversary celebration.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Oh April-50th Anniversary Part 1

29 Apr

On the porch

Onisha Ellis

April 9, 2021-Day One

Our daughter arrived the previous night. She drove up from Florida. We made the decision over supper to not rush around in the morning to get an early start. We would be spending 5 nights at a time share in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that our friend generously gifted us and check in was after 4 pm. The drive would take two to two and one half hours, depending on how often we stopped while driving through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

After coffee on the porch, a leisurely breakfast and some last minute packing, we loaded our daughter’s Toyota Rav 4 and set out. (Remember from last week, our car’s check engine light was triggered on our trip from Florida.) Over the years we have spent many happy hours in the GSMNP, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In our younger days we would day trip with my husband driving late a night, back to our rented cabin in Franklin, NC. Often the fog was swirling thick, but my husband handled the driving well. Many nights I held a sleeping, exhausted child in my arms. Sweet memories. Since we are well past our younger days we haven’t been able to explore our favorite places on the Tennessee side. We would have 5 days to visit favorite places and maybe find some news ones.

We were almost to the Oconoluftee Visitor Center when we saw cars parked alongside the road. This usually indicates elk in the fields but we didn’t see any. Our daughter spotted the elk in a river partially hidden by trees. We had seen pictures of the elk in the river but never witnessed it. My daughter and I grabbed our cameras and strode across the fields. They were beautiful.

The ducks enjoyed the water as well. There were more elk on the opposite shore but we didn’t get them in the pictures or the video.

This website

Where to view elk in the Great Smoky National Park has helpful information should you be planning a visit.

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we easily found our holiday retreat. We weren’t sure what to expect, as the property had several room options.

At check in we learned that we were assigned a Pedestal townhouse. I was thrilled.

The stairs were a bit of a trial, hauling our suitcases, coolers and the assorted things we felt we just had to have. After settling in, we were ready for some supper. In Pigeon Forge the main highway is called The Parkway. It is lined on both sides with every kind of business and restaurants. We decided our first holiday meal would be at Cheddars. It’s a chain restaurant but one we don’t have in our small town.

Our meal was excellent. A good choice for our first night. We returned to our rental and discovered the wi-fi surpassed our expectations. We brough out our Roku and settled in for television streaming.

Next week, day two and the hunt for wildflowers.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

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