Wednesday, April 25, 2012

my day in Narnia

the top of Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park
my grandson made a lil snow man

entering Narnia

apple dumpling from the Apple Barn in Sevierville...go there ASAP

This past weekend was one of the most amazing weekends of my life.  Since my oldest daughter Christina and her husband Suj, and our grandson Kavi  moved to this area, we have looked forward to taking  a family vacation together.  Before their move here,we dedicated our trips to and from Florida to see them so it had been a while since we went somewhere different for fun.  First thought from Suj and Stina was a trip to NYC, where my girls were born and where I grew up, but that had to be put on the way in the back burner because of the cost involved.  Then, Stina and Suj thought of a Gatlinburg trip and we were all in on this idea as it is only a 4 hour drive away.
My dream came true of staying in a cozy cabin in the mountains with a view and with us all chipping in, it didn't cost any more than a motel room.  We stayed at the Bear Tracks cabin in Mountain View Cabin Resort which Stina found on  Go there. Get your family together,and go there.  Really, I am not kidding.  When we arrived at the cabin, Jenny (youngest daughter) and Stina went in before me and all I heard was squeals of delight.  I rushed in  to see what was what and immediately joined the screaming and dancing around the dining room because it was even nicer than the online pictures.  High ceilings, fireplace, big dining room table, cozy log cabin innards, TWO decks overlooking the mountains, one with rocking chairs, one with table and chairs and jacuzzi.
Needless to say, we were happy campers! 
We visited some friends who coincidentally were staying nearby, at the Apple Barn in Sevierville, a place we went to when we vacationed there when the kids were youngins.  Delicious apple dumplings, muffins filled with apple butter, donuts, PIE!  When you go to this area...GO THERE!  You won't be sorry.
The next day we were wondering what to do and Suj really badly wanted to go to the top of a tall mountain, so we rode the Smokey Mountain parkway through the park which has stop offs of gorgeous views and we headed towards Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park.  It had actually snowed the night before at the high elevations which we could see in the distance from our back deck.  Of course, it never occurred to us that we would see snow at Clingmans Dome, but the closer we got to it, the more magical it became.  As if we stepped through CS Lewis' wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia.  This was the end of APRIL and there was snow covered trees that looked like a huge spray gun had perfectly and artfully placed the frosty magic on them.  Dandelions poked through the icy snow showing the contrast of spring and winter.
I thought that I must be in heaven, but, no, my hands were freezing off and I knew that there was no pain in heaven.  It was surreal.  Awesome and surreal, and I will never forget the beauty that I saw that day.  Kavi made a mini snow man, we took about a million pictures, we laughed , smiled till our jaws hurt and danced a little jig,  thanking the Lord for giving us this special gift and leading us there at the perfect time.  It was only so beautiful on that very day.  No snow the day before and mostly melted the next day.
Narnia.  Never forget Narnia.

Monday, April 9, 2012

a hairy subject

I have been growing out my hair since last year because I want to be able to try styles like the pictures above.  A side ponytail, side bun, side braid!  I see a side trend going on here, huh?  The whole braided thing would be so fun to sport on my head.  I am getting there, just have a few more inches to go! 
Here's to happy hair days!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

shoe shop till ya drop

Patricia by Crocs
KORKS Brenda Sandal

Carlie Flat by Crocs
Mosaic Sandal by White Mountain

Every change of season, it seems that I go through a "gotta find comfortable shoes for (insert spring, summer, winter or fall here)" . Sounds simple enough, but man, it couldn't be more complicated. You see I want comfort AND style which seems to be the odd couple of shoes. I don't want to look orthopedic you know, I just have foot issues and need something more than a flat, thin sole, I need arch support, but I am not at the "I don't care what my feet look like " stage in life. Granted, I am not that far away from that stage, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do until then!
So last weekend, Jenny, Rachel and I drove 60 miles to a nice mall in Birmingham. Christina opted out of this venture as she dislikes marathon shopping trips, which shoe shopping can certainly be. We looked at all the department and shoe stores in the mall with nothing to show for it, so we went to the DSW outside the mall. We were there right up to closing, battling with styles and prices. Let's face it, comfort and well made are no longer 25 dollars or less. So...we left DSW with NOTHING! None of us. Nada, zilch, zip! Jenny really loved a pair of wedges that were actually comfortable but expensive, and I had the same dilemma, a few pair I liked...but oh the price....I am sooo cheap.
The next day we went to our local Mall, which has limited choices, but oh well, what did we have to lose? Lo and behold, the Belks there had the same shoes Jenny tortured herself over with different wedge height choices for less than at DSW! AND,and a similar pair of the shoes I was interested in were there also for 20 dollars cheaper! So we each got some nice and comfy shoes right in our own backyard!
I bought some crocs that weren't hideous! No hot pink or orange clogs for me, no sir! The peep toe flats I got are very comfortable and easy slip ons, which some days are all I want on my feet! My second pair is the Mosaic sandal by White Mountain. Even though there is a little heel, the arch support and memory foam make them feel wonderful on my feet!
I may be hooked now, on better made shoes. I would seriously be willing to toss away all the cheapo shoes in my closet for a few shoes that didn't make me limp after 20 minutes .
Rachel also got a cute pair of crocs and Jenny got wedges by Kork Ease that she can wear all day at work without pain. (she is on her feet most of her day)
So....hope you can find some shoes to give you happy feet! They may be right in your own backyard!