Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Anniversary Trip 2016- Day Five (Down from the Mountain)

We woke up to another cloudy morning.  We decided that we'd hang around after breakfast to see the llamas come up!    They come up three times a week to bring clean linens and food supplies.   I really wanted to see them, and get "the whole LeConte Experience".

A few last pics:

The view out our cabin door

The date of the day we left


While we waited, we packed up, sat in the office and read for a while and the moved to the deck behind the dining hall and sat in rockers in the sun.    They still didn't come, so we went ahead and ate our lunch.

Overlooking the valley

Finally, out of nowhere - there they were!

They were so amazing!

They were so calm and patient as they waited to be unloaded



Soo cute!!

Experience complete!!

Our last picture before heading down

It was much warmer hiking down, and the Bullhead trail was a lot more sunny

A pretty spot on the trail

Perfect rest stop!

These rocks were amazing

At one point, we heard something very Large crashing through the woods off to our left.  We never saw it, but I'd like to think it was a bear. =)

We made it down in three hours, and were super happy to see that our little green car was still there!

We DID it!!!

One last picture with Pinky =)

As we turned our phones back on, we were flooded with texts and emails.  Philip had 200!

We drove to Chattanooga, checked into our hotel and had an AMAZING shower!!    I was thrilled that there was a Ruby Tuesday close by (since we loved it in Florida, but don't have one in Wichita).

 Yum!!

The next morning we drove to Atlanta and took our tired bodies onto a plane and home to our babies!!!

Wow!    What a trip!!   It was absolutely amazing, a perfect get away for the two of us, and the kids had SO much fun with Grandma!   THANK YOU, Mom for helping make this happen!
Thank you God for twelve amazing years!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Anniversary Trip 2016 - Day Four (Life at LeConte Lodge)

We had planned to get up early and hike to Myrtle point to see the sunrise, but when our alarm went off and the place was totally shrouded in clouds, we stayed in our warm bed until we got a "15 minutes 'till breakfast" knock on our door.

Breakfast was delicious.  I opted for eggs, ham and grits (they also had pancakes and biscuits).  Yum!

Yup, now I know what life looks like in the middle of a cloud! =)



We read in our cabin for a while, (and I finished reading The Giver, which I both enjoyed and was disturbed by), hoping the clouds would move on, but they weren't showing any signs of letting up, so we decided to get out and take some pictures.

We bought rain gear for this trip and ended up Loving it!!

Caleb gave Philip this tiny pink bunny for Christmas last year and Philip takes it on all his trips with him.  We made sure he got in a few pictures at the top.

Some of the other guests saw a bear while we were up there, but not us (I was so disappointed)

The trails and all the world around just looked so eerily beautiful in the fog..

It's like something out of a fairy tale

Our rings on some pretty moss

So lush and green!


...and here's the "most commented on by facebook viewers" picture of our trip

So beautiful and peaceful

Pinky in what I think looks like a fairy house

This day was potentially the most relaxed and restful day of our entire marriage =)

The valley completely blanked out by clouds

A beautiful (working) loom in the office

Not sure if this is readable, but it's the lodge rates from 1945 and it cracked me up

After lunch I picked up a book from the office to read (which ended up being very strange), and tried to work on a puzzle that some others had started, but didn't make much progress.   We headed back to our cabin to take a nap.

Raindrops

These pretty red berries were everywhere!


We stopped by to check out the work crew's set up at the shelter the next day - pretty slick!

We decided to hike out to Myrtle Point.   We figured we wanted to see it whether or not we got a good sunrise out there


Talk about zero view.   It was like we were closed in on all sides by a white wall!!

Still so great to be out there with this guy


We actually sat and chatted for most of an hour and had a wonderful time connecting and talking about where we're at and where we're going.

As we waited, the clouds would open up, give us a glimpse of the beauty beyond..and within minutes blow "closed" again... it was amazing!!


Philip at the exact same spot where I stood a few pictures back on our way up to the point (look how different it looks now!)



A view up at our cabin


Our porch again

Pinky at the front door

The dining room
(We sat with two different groups of people, both wonderful, during our time there)
Our favorite meal was cream of broccoli soup, mashed potatoes, pot roast, green beans, baked apples and a peach half

After dinner, the clouds had totally cleared away, so we (along with most of the people from the lodge) hiked out to Clifftops to watch the sunset!

What a way to spend an evening...







We had prime seats!


What a gift this evening was.   It was so gorgeous to watch the sunset change from minute to minute across the sky...







After the sun went down, the sky was SO clear and full of stars!   We could even see several planets and the Milky Way!   Wow!!   It had gotten Quite cold, so I didn't stay out to enjoy it as long as Philip did.  =)