Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Mini-Vacation

Our visit to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for two nights!

Please remind me that the days between Christmas and New Year's Day is NOT a good time to go to Gatlinburg, TN for any reason! The traffic was just like this for over 20 miles - "bumper to bumper" as they say - and it took us 3 hours to travel the distance from Lenoir City up to Gatlinburg. Unbelievable, I know, but it's the truth. This normally takes only 1 and 1/2 hours. We arrived just after sun-set.

But then, a family visit over a wonderful meal helped to relax the stressed nerves.

Brother Dewain is quite the coffee connesieur! His shirt says, "I'm retired! Every Day's a Holiday". Sis-in-law Deb is an excellent cook!

This was the scene from the balcony. The snowfall had been something like 14 inches. There were reports that some vacationers had been stranded in their mountain chalets and were running out of food and medicine. The temperature plummeted to 9 degrees in some spots around us. It's hard for me to imagine anyone with a medical problem of serious nature not going prepared with extra meds - but then I'm sure they thought they were prepared. The snows in the mountains here can be treacherous and surprisingly long-lasting.

This gas-log fireplace kept us all cozy and warm. No wood to cut. No soot to sweep!

Four of us went out next day with plans to ride the tram up to Ober-Gatlinburg, but wound up at the Grocery store, buying more food. The people and cars were so thick that we became discouraged while looking for a place to park. While the girls shopped, I took a few pictures which I thought would give you some idea of the snowfall and the cold.

The shrubbery around the "Food City" store was still blanketed by snow!

Here's another shot of that white blanket.

This sheer rock wall at the back of the parking lot also made a pretty site.

Thanks to the two brothers (Frank and Dewain) and their spouses (Jan and Deb) for treating us so royally. We had a wonderful trip.


Ginny said...

Gosh, you're right at the foot of the mountains? I must say I would have been afraid to make the trip in that weather, but the gas fireplace would be almost worth it, I would love one of those! Phil just backed up too close to one of those and burned his bottom!!! I have an upcoming post showing the damage, don't get too close!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Fred, I'm glad you even made it to the Gatlinburg area after Christmas... EVERYONE and their DOG goes there after Christmas --mainly to ski. AND--with the weather you had, that probably made things even harder trying to get around.

George and I love the Smokies --but seldom go to Gatlinburg. It's just gotten much too commercialized for me--and so has Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. I still love the Townsend end of the Smokies the best. BUT--we stay away from all of that area during the 'season' when tourists are there.

Glad you did have a good time though with your family.... That had to have been very special...

AND--I'll admit that the snow was beautiful during Christmas this year....

Happy New Year, Fred.

George said...

I'm glad it 'only' took twice as long as normal to get from Lenoir City to Gatlinburg. It could have been worse during the autumn color season!
I really enjoyed seeing your pictures of the snowfall. Thanks for sharing them, and I'm glad you had a good mini-vacation with your brothers and their wives.

jack69 said...

What a great time with the family, whether the right time for travel or not! LOL
Good pictures to show the area. I do know you and especially Frances enjoyed the visit.

I believe the song says something like "It was Gatlinburg in Mid July" for the boy named Sue!

Even in a motor home, that traffic that slow can get on your nerves I'd bet.

Thanks for the after Christmas report, y'all be good!
Love from Florida, nice and warm here.

Dorothy said...

Hi Fred,
Thanks for your comment on my blog!
My husband, Jeep, is th HAM. His call sign is W5REV and he is on 3.780.000 mhz most every morning from about 6 till mid morning or sometimes until noon if the band stays clear. He meets a group of from 8 to 12 of his regular buddies there every day. They talk about everything under the sun.
Thanks for reading about God healing my son. It was truly amazing to behold and although it was an awful thing, it brought us closer to our family, our church family and to God. I learned how to give thanks in all things!
Happy New Year!

Deborah said...

Mini vacations are always the best! I have a fireplace in my room that you just plug in and turn on, I love fuss, no mess!
Happy New Year! Have a great day!!

Dar said...

Love an occasional mini vacation. What I love more is curling up with one of my Dad's journals of his youth and getting into the moment. He was a very expressive writer, taking you exactly there. And, doing that in front of one of those no muss-no fuss fireplaces would be even better. We have a real fireplace but can no longer use it for its intent. The chimney needs repair.
Stay safe, warm and inside. It's cold out there. Have a wonderful, healthy, memorable New Year, my friend.

Darla said...

Looks like the bumper to bumper traffic was worth it, although a lesson was learned.

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton