They say any day that starts with a deer spotting is bound to be a good day, right?
Or…. maybe I just made that up, but let’s go with it.
Our last day in the mountains was a quiet one filled with pretty trees and visits with friends and family. It started with sleep and my inability to rise from my warm and comfy bed until after 8:00. Some cabin beds are awful, but this is one that may be more comfortable than I have at home.
I skipped a workout and instead dug right into a bowl of oats after 8 blissful hours of sleep.
Topped with honey peanut butter, cinnamon, freshly picked rome apple, and crumbles of apple walnut bread from The Apple Barn, it was my ode to fall in a bowl.
The rest of the morning looked like this.
We took a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains and took advantage of all the photo hot spots. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get any more picturesque then this. Aren’t my parents the cutest?
My parents and I weren’t the only ones enjoying the beautiful leaves and fall air this weekend, everywhere we went was PACKED with people and cars. The trails? Grocery store? Downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge? Packed! Apparently it’s a good time of year to be in the area and I could totally understand why. The weather is perfect, the sites are beautiful, and really my only complaint is the crowds.
However, we did the unthinkable this afternoon and braved the crowds of downtown Gatlinburg to have lunch with my Great Aunt Rachel and her family. I haven’t seen my aunt or cousins in a good 15 years, so it was fun to play catch up.
We ate at a little pub where the company was better than the food. I had a veggie burger with fries, but left the bun and a majority of the fries behind.
I think my dining companions may have enjoyed the fries a little more than I did.
Love that little ketchup face.
Little ketchup face (and his ketchup sister) belong to my beautiful and wonderful friend Ashlee who also made the trip to join us for lunch on this beautiful fall day.
I met Ashlee and her husband Lew at last year’s Foodbuzz Festival and we’ve remained internet friends since. (We even had the chance to see each other last time I was in Tennessee this past April. ) Ashlee and Lew may be one of the sweetest and cutest couples I’ve ever met and their little twins just melt my heart every time I see them.
Ashlee and I left lunch a little early to do a little exploring and treat the babies to some ice cream.
And by ‘babies’ I mean me too – I enjoyed a small coffee ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s
(which immediately caught LB’s attention)
Don’t worry – LB shared a small brownie ice cream with his sister and Mom. I think he was a fan.
The twins were too cute.
It’s funny – whenever I tell a new person I have a twin brother I always get the same standard questions 1) Are you identical? (ummm…. since my twin is a BOY I’ll let you ponder that question for a minute) and 2) Do you have a secret twin connection?
I generally giggle or smile at the fun nature of the second question, but the general answer is no, we do not have special twin powers.
However, LB and Daisy just might. Ash informed me this afternoon that they have developed their own twin baby language of sorts and (for the most part) completely understands what one another is trying to say at any given time. How cute and adorable is that?!?! I need to remember to ask my mom if my twin brother and I had the same thing when we were really little. Kind of wish we still had it now!
Hats off to Ashlee (aka SuperMom) for raising two adorable little ones and for being just plain awesome. She rocks. Enough said.
Our time in Gatlinburg was a little bit longer than expected, I reunited with my family after saying goodbye to Ash and watched some football and chatted a little more with the extended fam. When we did make it back to the cabin a couple of hours later I was feeling munchie and had an apple with some Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for a snack.
We kept it pretty basic for dinner tonight with leftover chili, butternut squash lasagna, and apple walnut bread.
Simple and easy.
We head back down south early tomorrow morning.