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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Birthday Week

Last weekend we spent three nights in the Smokies, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  I went ahead and gave the boys their birthday money so they'd have it to spend there and it seems they are still obsessed with all things knives.  And jerky. There is no shortage of jerky stores in Gatlinburg so they bought elk jerky, boar jerky, ostrich jerky, alligator jerky, kangaroo jerky...  Who knew people ate kangaroos?  That is so wrong.  But I tried to keep my opinions to myself so as not to rain on their birthday jerky parades.  

We took all three dogs with us.  It was our first time traveling with Lucky the Lemon Beagle and he is not the best traveling companion though he did seem to settle down once we were rolling good.  But slow down a bit and he was all up in everybody's faces and laps with his anxiety dance.  On Friday we actually found a woman who ran a doggie daycare in her home so he spent the day there.  Dear Lord, I thought I lived in a mad house!  She had eleven dogs of her own and a three or four year old boy.  That child probably thinks he's a dog.  But Lucky seemed to enjoy himself much better there than in the cabin with the chillin' Dachsies since she had tons of fenced yard to play in.  

On Saturday we decided to do something we could bring the dogs along on so we hiked a four mile trail that I'm hoping burned off the giant waffle cone of double chocolate brownie ice cream I scarfed down the day before...  
At the beginning of the trail, we were greeted with this WANTED poster...

No luck spotting him, however.

Dracen, Lucky, Charlie and the Dachsies all took a dip in the ice cold Little Pigeon River about halfway through.  The Dachsies were put in by the Dracenator, against their will, and neither of them were pleased about it in the least. Charlie decided he didn't really want to finish out the day in wet shorts so he opted not to go in much past his knees but Lucky and Dracen were another story.  They thoroughly enjoyed their ice water dip...
The day before we road the tram up to Ober Gatlinburg, after waiting in line for a ridiculous amount of time. Lines make me have mean thoughts but thankfully I was able to keep myself in check.  
At the top we visited with Mama Bear and her cubs, some owls, and some otters before checking out the view one good time and getting back in the anger-inducing line to head back down the mountain...
I personally could have sat on one of the two porches and soaked up the awesome view at the rental cabin for the entire trip without any complaints...

But the boys had money burning holes in their pockets and knife stores to explore...
They continued their birthday celebrations at home with Pawpaw Paul who has been visiting us from Georgia all week, homemade brownies with ice cream for the teenager who has never liked cake (how is he my child?) and an orange cake I made from scratch for Dracen, thanks to this recipe I found on Pinterest, and dinner at Red Lobster Wednesday night, complete with a Happy Birthday song from the wait staff.  We didn't see that one coming and received some very dirty looks from the birthday boys over it. 
The cake wasn't the prettiest cake in the world since I seem to have lost my matching cake pans but it was really yummy anyway...
And now I'm going to try not to blink too fast because I get the feeling they'll be turning sixteen and twenty if I do! 

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  1. I love the views in the Mountains.

    I was always a knife fan as a kid. I still have most of the ones I collected. None are valuable but bring back memories.

    Nice welcome sign on the trail. I bet that gave you some warm fuzzies.

  2. I like that you take your dogs with you on your trip. Beautiful pictures of the mountains.

  3. Looks as though you all had a great time.

    Kangaroo, emu and crocodile can be on the menu at some places here. For a while they we advertising roo as a healthier red meat.

  4. Such sweet bears! And a beautiful's hard to come home from a place like that!

  5. Who waited on you at Knifeworks?

    If lines generally make you mad, I could see how a Gatlinburg line might have put you in the red zone. It's regional. That's why I want to move.

    A great birthday trip for kids that age...

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Wow! The boys have grown since I last checked in! Looks like a fun time...minus all the jerky ;) Speaking of kangaroo...I didn't realize that was something edible either...but my sister's dog has had lots of allergy problems and the vet put him on kangaroo food! I thought that was so weird.

    And...I have a 5 month old mini Dachshund now :)

  7. Looks like you and your family had a blast!