Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good friends and the mountains

Some people may think I'm crazy. We just got back from our beach trip and I'm off to the mountains with the girls.

This time we left Daniel at home to meet up at a cabin near Gatlinburg area and the Smokey Mountain National Park with my dear friend Claire and her children Drew and Nora. They lived close to us when we lived in Indianapolis and quickly became some of our closest friends. Claire and I would go out several times a month for MNOs (mom's night out) and we would have playdates at least once a week with her family and the Weidenbachs too. (Shael couldn't make it on the trip but I think we'll convince her for the next one.) I have missed her terribly ever since we moved to SC a year and a half ago. And the girls still talk about Drew and Nora often.

Let me go back to what I was saying before about being crazy...driving 5-7 hours alone with the kids, staying in a small cabin with 2 moms and 4 kids under six. Well, if you've ever had a good friend that you really missed and were desperate to see again you'd understand why we went to the trouble. As Claire wrote, good friends are the spice of life. Of course, we could have gone several more months or years without seeing each other. If you know me you'll understand, I couldn't wait any longer. My friends are very important to me and my emotional health. I think they are for all of us and especially those of us who thrive when spending quality time with people. Thanks Claire for making the effort...it was worth it!

The first night...Party time in the hot tub. The kids thought this was the best part of the vacation I think. The tub had groovy lights and a little water fall that as soon as it lit up the kids started jumping around and singing "party time." They continued to ask us all the next day about when their next party time would be.
After 18 months apart still best friends!

The second day we drove through the Smokies and into the National park. We saw tons of deer, more than I've ever seen. We took a short half mile hike to some old cabins in Cade's Cove. Oh, have I said yet that it was pooring down rain almost the entire trip? I should add that in here. Since we were planning on lots of outdoor adventure this made a big difference in the way things went while we were there. It's difficult to be on vacation in the rain. With 4 kids and 2 moms it can be pretty challenging. Our cabin wasn't small (when we first got there we were very impressed with how spacious it felt) but after having everyone inside for a while it did start to feel smaller:) We shared yummy cooked meals inside, read stories and played with the few toys we brought. The hot tub was also an added bonus since it was covered outside. The kids did find some creative ways to be outside between storms.

Hiking in the rain.

Spending a vacation with good friends...there's really not much better than this, right?! In the evenings after the kids were in bed Claire and I relaxed together and stayed up way too late catching up for the year we were apart. The last night we even ventured out into the hot tub alone and had a wonderful time. We thought the cabin was appropriately named "Wines Retreat."


William said...

Nice! Cades Cove used to be one of my favorite places decades ago. It's probably the soil in which the seeds of my desire to live in a log home first were nurtured. Haven't been in many years, but I remember the Cades Cove loop road as being like driving through Narnia or Middle Earth -- dark green, misty, quiet -- very nice.

Tracee said...

Awesome Jennifer, looks like a good time.