A milestone has been accomplished as Micah and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on October 1st! I truly am so thankful that Micah chose me. I still remember so vividly the night he asked me if I "was available to date" on November 25, 2003. It had been a long 2 years and 4 months of praying and seeking God if this truly was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. The waiting was difficult but in hindsight totally worth it to have waited for the one God chose for me. Micah and I committed from our first date that we would not fight but rather agree to disagree when necessary and that we'd honor one another above ourselves. It has not always been easy to take the road of humility but we were told early on that "you can be so right, you're wrong", in other words, it's not worth being right at the sake of hurting the one you love most. We've had our moments of disagreement but I can proudly say we have not had a fight. For me that is so huge knowing from where I came. I'll be honest though, it takes intentionality and hard work but it's worth it!
So as we approached the big 10 we began dreaming about where we could go to make this special celebration a perfect memory... We filled a whiteboard with ideas from the east coast to the west coast, from tropical to skiing. And then we settled on Gatlinburg, TN to go hiking in The Smoky Mountains. As we began planning, we originally planned for our tax return to expend the trip. Our dreams were quickly dashed when our expected return was less than half of what we anticipated. Nonetheless we were still thankful we did not have to pay into taxes. For the next 6 months I had quietly prayed "God if there is any way..." Then just 6 weeks ago everything fell into place. A number of people individually contributed to making this trip happen (Gary & Karen - plane tickets, Kirk & Donna - much needed couples massage, Letreise, Rick, Sergio & Lucy, Scott & Tayton and I can't forget the wonderful friends who watched our boys - Heather/Andrew & Oz/Holly)
it wouldn't have been possible without each of you - THANK YOU!
Day 1: Early 5:20am flight, arriving in TN by 11:20am still giving us a full days worth of adventures. We drove into a connecting town, Pigeon Forge, and ate at the Griss Mill and walked around in the rain.
We checked into our hotel at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa. Location was perfect, staff very hospitable, amenities above expectation. Definitely would love to bring the boys back someday.
We headed in town to scope out Gatlinburg. A small touristy town had much to offer. We walked the streets and took in the 360 degree view of the mountains. Despite being terrified Micah made me ride The Lift up the mountain. I was thankful he did because the view was breathtaking.
We grabbed corn dogs for dinner - yum 😉
And then we actually went to bed early considering we had been up since 3am and wanted to get an early start for our hike in the morning.
Day 2: We stopped by the visitors center and thankful we did because the trail we had planned to hike was closed. The nice lady reccomended Alum Cave. Round trip hike of 4.6 miles.
So we didn't encounter any bears but we definitely heard a few in the distance - got our hearts racing for sure! The trail was beautiful but steep in some parts and us Texans were not used to the altitude either. I was thankful we purchase trekking poles, don't think I could've done it without them.
The decent was much easier! After our hike we grabbed a bite to eat in town and then I got adventurous... I decided I wanted to zip line! Now if you know me you know I have a terrible fear of heights so I'm not sure what came over me but I DID IT! Unfortunately we have no videos or pictures but it was an experience to remember. The staff was great and of course had to play up on my fear but they made it fun. We did a total of 9 ropes. My brave 4 year old would be so proud!
Day 3: Went mountain biking at Clymbworks. They said it was for all levels but that stuff is not for pansies. Again altitude, major climbs - it was brutal. The decent was terrific though. We only did 2 laps on the 1.7 mile loop.
After the mountain biking we went on another hike, shorter and paved but still a bit of a climb. It was called Laurel Falls. Round Trip hike of 2.6 miles.
Despite the sign, Micah took a plunge. Thankfully there were no deaths.
At this point a nap was necessary - 3 hours worth!
Dinner in town at a nice place called The Peddler.
Day 4: Slept in and then had brunch at FlapJacks. We had planned to go hiking again but agreed after 2 days of hiking plus mountain biking we needed a break. So we headed into Pigeon Forge for some miniature golf and go carts.
And got to see Taffy being made.
That afternoon we got a much needed couples massage at The Serenity Spa. Afterwards saw a show at The Comedy Barn and finished off the evening at a Japanese Steakhouse.
Day 5: Headed to the airport to head back home! And that concludes our trip, we had an absolutely wonderful time together making memories and enjoying each others company. Hope to do it again!