Monday, August 25, 2008

Places That Begin With the Letter G

We were in the Smoky Mountains last week.

Residing in a lovely little chalet without internet access
(insert very shrill shriek of despair here).

This was a minute yet critical fact I would have remembered if I had bothered to read last year's
post on the same event. Instead, I lugged up my laptop expecting to blog surf shop at least keep up with work while the kids napped. Instead it was one blissful week of hiking, swimming, hot tubbing, and meandering about town wondering why the Mayor of Gatlinburg doesn't put the kibosh on eager "entrepreneurs" wanting to hawk more tie-dye, fudge, and garage sale remnants masquerading as fine art. In addition to the wealth of tchotchkes, various and sundry weaponry, and pancake restaurants are all the rage. Basically, we vacation in Kitschville. It's charming folks. Why don't you join us next year?

(Speaking of work, did I mention I was losing yet another bookkeeper at the end of the month? No? Well I am. She's leaving me to pursue her dream of becoming a
Wagnerian Soprano. Unfortunately for me, it's something she needs to do in Germany rather than in DC. Which brings me to say, I've been broken up with for many a reason, but being dumped for the Opera -- let's just say it's a first. The stress of having to rehire and retrain, however, is only too familiar.)

I digress.

One thing I did remember from last year is that we needed a decent baby carrier if we were to survive the day hikes with the progeny. I wanted this sweet Kelty Kids model but was loathe to fork over the $255 necessary to call it my own.

Miraculously, days before we left I managed to find the exact same Pathfinder child carrier on Craigslist for less than half the retail price!

Peyton loved it. More importantly, the people who carried her around when her little legs got tired loved it. Suffice it to say, it was worth every cent - especially since those cents came from the Craigslist sale of our old Crate and Barrel kitchen island a few days before.

One of the places we enjoy hiking with our rockin' child carrier is Greenbrier. We discovered it last year and loved it because it goes right along a mostly child friendly creek.

There are loads of small rocks for throwing...

and larger rocks perfect for an almost 4-year old to climb.

The shallow pools are just the right depth for people only 30-inches high on a tall day.

You can even take off your shoes if you want.

But if you do, you are definitely going to need your older brother's help if you want to get anywhere. (Please take a moment to observe and note that Carter is not hanging out in his jags like he was last year. Peyton, well, let's just say I hadn't anticipated her enthusiasm in wanting to try EVERYTHING her brothers were doing.)

It's a dogs life, really. Wait a minute. We don't have a dog.

Oh Hello, Cousin Patrick and Cassie. Cousin Patrick is one of those friends who sticks closer than a brother. In a pinch, he also makes a great 3rd parent - a manny of sorts.

Greenbrier is also home to a variety of compelling wildlife. Along the edge of Injun Creek, I snapped this picture of a delicate butterfly.

Meanwhile, Carter was doing a little exploring of his own. It looks to me like he's found something.

He's going in for a closer look. Whatever could it be?

Why it looks like he's found a snake with a fish in its mouth. Every mother's dream nature discovery! (Insert Jeff imploring Carter in a panicky tone not to touch it here. Repeat 5 x.)

It's the kind of sight that makes an afternoon in Gatlinburg look both enticing and tame. I may even spring for a haute couture airbrushed t-shirt.

Yeah, this is definitely more my speed.


  1. Did you at least let Carter touch the snake???

  2. These are definitely the cutest kids on Planet Earth - what a fun adventure for them!

  3. OH HEAVENS TO BETSY you have the cutest kids ever! Peyton is soooooo sweet in her piggie tails. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh