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Old 09-22-2008, 04:57 PM   #136
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Wow! Your photos make the area look so peaceful and relaxing. We have never been down that way, but it looks so nice. The views were absolutely breathtaking.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:19 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
I've already told you this but I'll say it again, beautiful photos!
Thank you Lessa, I really appreciate you following along. Your TR is fantastic!

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Originally Posted by Goofyluver View Post
First of all...where is the love without conditions??? No food porn pics??? Pfffft. Don't they KNOW??? Clearly...they don't KNOW. But I KNOW that they don't KNOW...what you KNOW...about how important it is to include every last detail in a trip! Pfffft!

And your pictures are soooooo beautiful. Well, except for the "view" from the top...that turned out to be no view from the top.

And... to you and Bill...who thought I was funny. So, now I like him even more. Which doesn't make me crazy...because I don't KNOW him know him...I just know him.



Thanks Tracy. For the awesome update.
I know I should hang my head in shame, I should have said my Enchanted and DISer friends came first and took the food porn pics anyway!!! That view from the top was just a little disappointing. right back atcha!! You aren't crazy, Bill gets a lot of love on the boards, it's those blue eyes and sweet heard.

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Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
Another wonderful update Tracy! Bill's parents sound like lovely people and you are lucky to have eachother. (Except for the not understanding food porn pictures thing... )
Hi Michelle!! Bill's parents are wonderful and they adore him, you can just see the love they have for him every time we see them.

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Great updates from the Smokey Mountains trip!! Beautiful pictures - the cabin & the nature shots. Can't wait to read more.
Hi Amy! I went picture crazy, but I always do. I just bought a 4gb card for my camera to go along with the 2gb we already have .

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beautiful photos.
Hi, thanks so much for posting.

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I am loving this Pre Trip report. The Cabin is gorgeous! DH and I got married in Gatlinburg! So we are very fond of that area.

The trail photos are so neat. I'm lovin' those mushrooms. We have eaten at the Mill House before it is yummy. You did really well if you had fruit! Great job sticking to the diet. Keep up the good work.
Hello and WELCOME!! You were so lucky to get married there, it is beautiful country. OMG, wasn't the Mill Restaurant yummy?? The fruit plate was fantastic, I didn't feel like I was missing out on the other food at all.

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How pretty! I want to go there someday soon! that cabin is just beautiful!!! Cant wait for more!!!
Hi, oh you should go, it is lovely there.


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Originally Posted by *KeepMovingForward* View Post
Wow! Your photos make the area look so peaceful and relaxing. We have never been down that way, but it looks so nice. The views were absolutely breathtaking.
It was very relaxing there. I am actually looking forward to going back in December after all the run, run, run of our upcoming Disney trips. I will be taking pictures again as if anyone didn't think I would. I want to compare them to the September pics.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:54 PM   #138
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What fantastic photos, the scenery looked gorgeous. How great that they had a wheelchair accessible trail too
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:10 PM   #139
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I love all your pictures! They are so beautiful!

I love hiking and looking at your pics makes me want to go on a big ol' hike right now! Too bad it's still so hot in AZ!

I can't believe you guys didn't have one meal at that gorgeous house! Bill's parents were truly on vacation, huh?
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #140
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What fantastic photos, the scenery looked gorgeous. How great that they had a wheelchair accessible trail too
Hi Jo, thanks for reading along. It was nice that there was a place Bill could get out and about.

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Originally Posted by SwansLoveDisney View Post
I love all your pictures! They are so beautiful!

I love hiking and looking at your pics makes me want to go on a big ol' hike right now! Too bad it's still so hot in AZ!

I can't believe you guys didn't have one meal at that gorgeous house! Bill's parents were truly on vacation, huh?
Hi, thanks. I can't imagine how hot it is there. Bill's mom wanted to make sure the entire house was perfect when the renters came in. The only thing that upset me is that they wouldn't let Bill and I pay for any meal.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:02 PM   #141
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# 3 Note to self NEVER go shopping with Marianne

Bill’s dad got the muffler fixed that morning and breakfast was at the Golden Corral buffet. Fruit again for me, Bill got sausage, biscuits, gravy, an omelet, and hash browns. I can’t get over how much food this man can put away.

It was shopping day, I had learned that there was a Disney store within my reach and that is the only request I made the entire trip. I had to be with my people somehow.



Isn't that sign pretty, ahhh happy place!!

Matt dropped Marianne and I off to find a parking spot. Ok, I would have loved to go in this store with Bill only. Marianne looked like a nervous wreck with all the people, the Chap Stick came out and was applied liberally. She does that when she is upset. When she first met me and realized Bill and I were a couple, she never put the Chap Stick away . Now I hardly ever see it, but it was whipped out about 2 seconds after we walked through the door because just like anything else associated with the word "Disney" the place was packed.

I couldn’t really enjoy even looking, then Bill showed up. Matt was hanging out at the door looking miserable. I took Bill to the pins, he picked these out for pin trading:





They are ok to trade in the parks aren’t they? I think so. I almost got a Minnie ears headband, but thought they would think I was nuts so I didn’t get it. I regret that now.

Matt declared that he and Bill were off in search of shoes for Bill and would meet us later. Marianne knows Tanger Outlet like the back of her hand. She said she and one of her girlfriends had even taken one day and went into every store, over 100 stores. I was thinking “well I don’t want to do every store, this is going to be a great day”. We looked at Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, home stores, etc. I was thinking about a new pair of shoes for Disney.

Then I saw the Lane Bryant outlet. Being overweight all my life, clothes shopping is very close to last on my shopping meter. I am a “go into the store, look at it, take it to the checkout and try it at home” kinda gal. I don’t spend hours looking, trying on, debating. I either like it or don’t and that is it. Who wants to tell their sort of MIL what size you wear, NOT ME, but hello she was right there. Then she started pulling out shirts for me to try on, discussing colors, even doing the “putting it up to your face to see how it goes with your eyes and coloring” thing. Too much, it was too much, I wanted to find the nearest exit. She even talked me into trying on some shirts I knew I wouldn’t like, but I tried them on for her. I nixed those quickly, but did find some I liked. I did admit that most of my shirts were way too big now, and ended up walking out of there with 5 new shirts . I was on a roll we got to the shoe store and walked out with new shoes, and OMG they are just like hers. What happened to me, what did she do to me?







We called Bill and Matt, they were in the Nike store. Marianne told them we would be over in a couple of minutes, then she saw the Jockey store. Let’s just say I know way more about the type of underwear Matt wears then I ever wanted to know. TMI, TMI, TMI . I told her I was scarred for life now .

We found the men in the Nike store and when I saw the Jordans on Bill a few tears leaked out. I couldn’t help it. He had dreamed of wearing shoes with no braces for as long as I have known him. He had the biggest smile on his face, he was so happy. He ended up with two pairs of shoes that day, Nikes and a pair of Skechers. Bill is from Indiana, so he got Larry Bird ones. I would bet when he was little he probably wanted a pair and couldn’t because of the braces, well he has them now.





Back up the mountain we went, Bill’s dad decided to look at the muffler again. The van is equipped with a slide out ramp. The van can kneel like some of the busses at Disney. Well when the van kneeled it made the hot muffler touch the bumper and it started melting the paint of the bottom of the bumper. So while we took our purchases inside the house, Matt went back down the mountain to the muffler shop.

Tonight was dinner at The Chop House. We thought it would be more crowded on a Friday night, but it wasn’t. Bill’s dad forgot his wallet and I was told that Bill’s and my money was no good, so Marianne paid. This started to annoy me and I told them we were capable of paying for things and would like to. I got the “don’t even think of arguing with me” look. Bill got Prime Rib which he loved, his mom got a huge Pork Chop it looked so funny on the plate in front of her, and Bill’s dad and I got the chicken breast. It was blah, dry and not flavorful at all. The salad was great though.

This night Marianne had plans for us. She had wanted to see “The Miracle” for a long time. What is The Miracle you say?

The Miracle is a stunning musical recreation of the life of Christ told in epic proportion. Featuring an enormous cast of actors, singers, dancers, technicians and live animals you will be awed by the magnificence of this performance.

We arrived at the theater and Marianne saw a sweatshirt she liked:



Matt saw a front license plate he liked ( in Indiana, you just have to have a plate on the back, I see a Disney one in our future since the van is licensed in Indiana ), this is not the exact one, I couldn’t find a picture of it, so this is close:



Marianne didn’t bring her wallet in and Matt had no money so I jumped at the chance to buy those two things for them. It made me happy to finally buy something for them for a change. We went into the theater and got to our seats, most of them were regular theater seats, but in the wheelchair aisle there were some bigger more comfy seats, I got one of those, yay!! They asked Bill to move up because the actors would be walking behind us? Behind us?

I didn’t have a chance to look this show up before we got there to see what to expect, Marianne thought it would be a play about Jesus. Well, it was a MUSICAL about Jesus, I kid you not. Bill and I just looked at each other in awe when a donkey, a camel, some sheep, and horses went behind us. HUH? Angels suspended from the ceiling on cables, water to wine, etc. All I can say is it was different. I will not say anything bad about this, I will say it was not the best two hours I have had in my life, would I do it again? NO, but we were all together so I am glad we went.

I will say Bill and I are not church goers, we are not heathens, we just don’t go to church that often. It doesn’t mean we don’t pray or believe. Bill’s mom is aggravated by this fact. She tends to go on and on about how we should be in church. So Bill shocked her by stating the inaccuracies of the play. He knew much more than she thought he did about the stories that were retold that night.

It was madness on the strip that night with the car show. People were going at a snails pace in the outer lanes to look at all the cars. Matt knows the back roads so we got to avoid much of that mess.

Sometimes I have to interpret what Bill says because of his speech patterns with the Cerebral Palsy. Some people don’t even try to understand him, they try to rely on me. His speech isn’t bad at all after you have been around him for a bit. His parents are pretty good at understanding him, but sometimes I still have to help out.

On the way back up the mountain, Matt was driving, I was in the passenger seat and Marianne was in back with Bill. She let out this huge sneeze and I heard Bill say “Mom that is gross”. I had to bite my lip to not bust out laughing. Why is this funny? Well a couple of Christmases ago we were at their house in Indiana, Bill started coughing like he sometimes does because of the CP and Bill’s mom had said it was “gross”. Sometimes she speaks before thinking. It had hurt Bill’s feelings that day, I saw it in his eyes. I was very close to saying something to her, but Bill asked me not to. Well over the last year Bill and I have made a joke out of it, we call each other “gross” when we do something, well gross. So when he said that to his mom, I knew he had to be grinning from ear to ear to finally say it back to her. What was even more funny was that she had no clue what he said and asked him to repeat it. Matt then said “Bill thinks you are gross”, well I lose it. I had a giggle fit. Then she asked why, I had to explain what had happened at Christmas and how now it was a joke. Matt was cracking up at this point.

I found out a wonderful thing that night. I knew that the bed had been very comfy, I had told Bill it was as “good” as my Marriott heaven bed, well it should be it is a Marriott mattress set. OMG YAY WONDERFUL. I have so much energy after I sleep on those beds, they are one of my happy places.

Next installment…Is it a vacation if you are riding in a van all day?
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:11 PM   #142
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Way to go Bill! (we sometimes have to dish it back to our parents to survive them )

And I laughed soooooo hard at the musical. I'm with you...I'm a Faithful person. But, I probably would have laughed too. Okay...a lot.

and I soooooo think the chapstick is a funny thing. I won't tell you what my own mother does...but let's just say...chapstick is waaaaay better!

Great update hon!
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:11 PM   #143
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"Bill thinks you are gross."
Cute shirts-and I bet you need them.
Yepp, those pins are tradeable.
And for Bill's new sneakers!
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:22 PM   #144
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I was at the same Disney outlet store in June - I felt so at home there!

Love your purchases - the shrits and shoes (both yours and Bills) are great! Gotta love the outlet mall!

Too funny about The Miracle show - my FIL wanted to see that when we were in Pigeon Forge but the brochure didn't impress me. We have a wonderful Christmas pageant show at a church near us that we see every year and it is fabulous! The show in TN just looked like it would be cheesy.

We did go to Dixie Stampede though - and it was really good! I didn't think I'd like it but it was a lot of fun!

I think you need to get yourself a Marriott mattress at home Tracy!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #145
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Gorgeous hike! WOW I love those pictures! Reminds me of Colorado.

Great to find a Disney Store! Nice buys!!!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:38 PM   #146
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I am finally all caught up from being MIA! The rest of the plans for Disney look great! And the pictures from TN are amazing...it looks like you had a great time.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:02 PM   #147
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Looks like you guys had fun shopping! Tell bill I LOVE the shoes. I also LOVE yours because they are PINK!!!! Your shirts are adorable & I am glad you got them for yourself you deserve it!!!
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofyluver View Post


Way to go Bill! (we sometimes have to dish it back to our parents to survive them )

And I laughed soooooo hard at the musical. I'm with you...I'm a Faithful person. But, I probably would have laughed too. Okay...a lot.

and I soooooo think the chapstick is a funny thing. I won't tell you what my own mother does...but let's just say...chapstick is waaaaay better!

Great update hon!
It still cracks me up that Bill said that to her. I didn't laugh (on the outside) during the musical, but Bill and I kept looking at each other with the "do you see what I see" face.

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"Bill thinks you are gross."
Cute shirts-and I bet you need them.
Yepp, those pins are tradeable.
And for Bill's new sneakers!
I did need the shirts, thanks for telling me about the pins, Bill really does love his shoes.

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Originally Posted by mkluvsmickey View Post
I was at the same Disney outlet store in June - I felt so at home there!

Love your purchases - the shrits and shoes (both yours and Bills) are great! Gotta love the outlet mall!

Too funny about The Miracle show - my FIL wanted to see that when we were in Pigeon Forge but the brochure didn't impress me. We have a wonderful Christmas pageant show at a church near us that we see every year and it is fabulous! The show in TN just looked like it would be cheesy.

We did go to Dixie Stampede though - and it was really good! I didn't think I'd like it but it was a lot of fun!

I think you need to get yourself a Marriott mattress at home Tracy!
I can't believe we were at the same outlet store, that is great! You didn't miss anything not going to that show. I want to try the Stampede, I might just do it since you recommended it.

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Gorgeous hike! WOW I love those pictures! Reminds me of Colorado.

Great to find a Disney Store! Nice buys!!!
I really enjoyed our walk, it was beautiful there. I always try to find a Disney store .

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I am finally all caught up from being MIA! The rest of the plans for Disney look great! And the pictures from TN are amazing...it looks like you had a great time.
Thank you, we had a wonderful time.

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Originally Posted by TinkAsh2001 View Post
Looks like you guys had fun shopping! Tell bill I LOVE the shoes. I also LOVE yours because they are PINK!!!! Your shirts are adorable & I am glad you got them for yourself you deserve it!!!
Bill said thank you and I say thank you too.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:58 PM   #149
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# 4 Chik-fil-a, scrapbooking, and more scenery

We were up early, got showers using Bill’s big walk in shower. It is 5 feet by 8 feet:



This is the closet for the rental guests:



I forgot to take a picture of the walk in closet that is locked and not used for renters.

Here is Bill’s room:



Family room pictures:







The 3rd bedroom and bath:







The wet bar and looking back towards “Bill’s room”:



This is a close up of the painting on the wall of the wet bar. Why take a close up shot of it? Because Bill painted it in high school. I didn’t know I was sleeping with an artist!



We all loaded into the van and headed for Chik-fil-a. We don’t have one of these around us, Bill’s parents said they liked the chicken there. The restaurant was spotless, the employees were friendly and efficient, and they even came around offering to get drink refills and throw things away. I am not used to that at a fast food restaurant. Even the manager was walking around talking to the customers. It was a nice experience.

Marianne wanted to take me to a scrapbooking store and Matt wanted nothing to do with that so he and Bill dropped us off and went to the Home Depot. Before you ask, he did NOT liberate any Mickey head paint chips for me and I am still hurt by it. Oh my goodness, let’s just say they had a lot of Disney stuff at the scrapbook store and I held back as much as I could but I did buy some things:

Scrapbook pages and stickers:















From the clearance store:









Matt and Bill picked us up and we went back to the cabin. Matt mowed, worked in the yard, put some grass seed down etc. Bill and I just talked, Marianne was cleaning something. They have a hardcover book on the countertop in the kitchen that has most of the restaurants in the area. Marianne gave Bill the book and told him to pick a restaurant for dinner. He chose Carino’s Italian Restaurant.

We drove back into Pigeon Forge, on the way down we saw this:



We went to the “Christmas Place”. Marianne had wanted to take me here the entire trip. We went ahead of Bill and Matt and I didn’t like that. I wanted to be with Bill.






~continued in next post~
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:59 PM   #150
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# 4 Continued

I dutifully followed her around looking over my shoulder trying to spot Bill and Matt. We found some nativity scenes that Marianne really liked. The Christmas Place has a website and she is getting one of those for Christmas, plus some black miniature schnauzer things from there she went nuts over. She collects schnauzer things and it is so hard to buy thing for her and Matt so when an opportunity comes up like that where I actually see her looking at things she wants I make a note of it.

It is a big store and we kept walking, then all the sudden I heard myself say “ohhh” when I saw this:





Bill was mean this trip, every time I tried to take a picture of him I got this look:



He thought I wouldn't post the picture if he did that, boy was he wrong .

Seeing the Disney stuff made me happy!! I didn’t care if people thought I was nuts, I took pictures. Then Bill and Matt showed up, I had to take him to the Disney things, we both smiled at each other. Matt and Marianne are looking for a 12 ft Christmas tree to replace the one they had to throw away last year, she had had it for a long time. We then saw a Halloween Village:





It was really cool.

Then there was a Snow Village:



Bill and I both really liked these. Marianne has many of the pieces from this collection. We went toward the next room and saw this:











Then this:



On the way out we saw Santa:



We then headed to Carino’s. They seated us right away at a table for 8, I thought that was funny. Marianne ordered this appetizer and wouldn’t stop bothering me until I tried it, some nachos thing with chicken and tons of cheese. I succumbed to the peer pressure and tried it. O M G it was great, but I don’t need that stuff. I got some chicken dish and a salad, Bill got spaghetti and meatballs, and his parents shared some pasta skillet thing. None of us wanted dessert, except for Bill that is. The smallest person at the table putting away the food, cracks me up every time .

When we left we had no plans, look, I got to see a castle:



Gas prices went crazy while we were there. When we arrived they were $3.69 by the last night we were there it was $4.49. It went up 80 cents a gallon in one day. Matt pulled off at a gas station and would not let me pay for the gas.

He decided to take us up to the top of the mountain they live on, Bluff Mountain, to the observation point. We got out of the van and had a steep hill to go up, I was worried about Bill’s wheelchair, Matt told me not to worry about it. After we got up there we saw this view:



Some pictures from the observation point:



The “K’s” taking in the view:



It was such a beautiful view. We watched the clouds come in and as the sun was setting we could see the moon too:





Marianne wanted to take a picture of Bill and I (sorry it is blurry, but it is the only one of us together on the trip):



Down the hill we went:



Next installment…the end of the last night and the trip home
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