Monday, March 31, 2014

Smoky Mountain Vacation - Part 1

We just got back from one of the most amazing family vacations. It was a great week away with lots of memories made.

Our trip did start on a sad note though, my wonderful Aunt Eunice passed away on Friday, March 21. My Aunt was such a fantastic woman with the most infectious laugh.

We left early that Saturday morning to head to South Carolina for the funeral. This was the kiddos first road trip and we had no idea what we had in store.

The trip up was pretty good. Scott and I split the drive up a little and made it in no time. The funniest thing that happened the entire trip was our first pit stop. Jillian went into the bathroom (which was pretty gross), took one look around and said, "This is disgusting, I will hold it." We stopped again, she went into a much cleaner bathroom, sighed and said, "Oh, this is much better!" There is no doubt that she is my daughter.

We made pretty good time and actually arrived the same time as my parents, sister and two of my brothers.  We all had rooms on the same floor, all next door to each other. The Hyatt Place shall never be the same.

Even though the circumstances were not favorable, it is always great seeing family. We were able to spend some time with my cousins and my other Aunt.

Tay Tay even brought road trip presents for the kiddos. You know, like any good Aunt, she brought them Pez. She also brought Cheez-It's because you cannot have a road trip without Cheez-It's.

We attended the wake on Saturday evening and this was the first wake the kiddos have been to. That realization hit me on the drive up. I wasn't sure how they were going to handle everything, but I came armed with coloring books and crayons.

The kiddos did really well and handled everything wonderfully. They had a few questions about my Aunt (it was open casket) and then they hung out with my brothers (one of them even taught them a secret handshake).

We all had a chance to meet the priest that would performing the service and he was pretty fantastic. I think he was the perfect person for my Aunt. We even learned about a new gin, New Amsterdam (if you ask my Mom it's Blue Amsterdam).

The service on Sunday was perfect for my Aunt. My brother Kevin gave the eulogy and perfectly summarized my Aunt.

I was really proud of the kiddos, they were fabulous the entire time and really handled the situation fantastically.

After lunch (which my cousins friends made and it was so great) we headed North towards the cabin we were renting in Gatlinburg.

We finally made it to the cabin around 10 p.m. and let me tell you, driving those mountain roads at night is quite the experience. I'm pretty sure I white knuckled it the entire drive.

All four of us pretty much passed out and didn't do any kind of exploring. I would however like to thank both my sister and my niece for sending me pictures that referenced The Shining, because nothing says, "home sweet cabin in the middle of nowhere" quite like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Stay tuned for more about our vacation!

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