Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mountain Views!

Family vacations. Annual road trips. Good times! Some of my favorite vacation memories are of my family's traditional trip to the Smoky Mountains over summer vacation. We'd pick up my grandma and cousin at the airport (they'd fly in from Washington each year) and all of us would pile into the van and hit the road. We knew we were close when we could see this out the windows:
Our particular area of interest was the Right-Wing cabin. It was set fairly high on one of the mountains and was nestled between several tall pines, maples, and other trees and bushes. Part of the tradition was shape macaroni. Weird, yes, but true. Each summer, we'd stop at the same little convenience store at the foot of the mountain and stock-up on funky Krafts Mac & Cheese. Pokemon, Scooby-Doo, and even the Fairly Odd Parents accompanied us on our adventures.

We'd always visit Gatlinburg and try out the water slides, toboggan run, and go-cart track. The black bear rescue center was also a traditional spot. We all had our favorite bears, mine was named Blueberry.

Dollywood was also a favorite stop. My favorite ride was White Lightning and the famously wet log ride. Another great thing to do if your ever there is to watch the birds of prey show. The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is amazing. One of the bald eagles that we saw every year had only one wing. Her handler managed to rig a special harness so that she could go hang-gliding with him, the only way she was able to experience flying.
Although I haven't been back to the Smokies in a few years- busy schedules make things difficult, I still have great memories. I still prefer the mountains (any mountains) to the beach, and I still keep an eye out for bird shows and nature reserves no matter where I'm traveling.

So what do you like to do on vacation? Are there particular attractions that pique your interest?

And don't forget to see what Samantha's doing this summer in Just One of the Guys!

Iris Black
enter Sam's Space now!

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