Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Weekend Getaway

Usually Wednesday is when I do my WordPlay posts, but I'm going to postpone "U is for..." until Friday so I can tell you a little about my trip while it's fresh in my mind. We went to the Smoky Mountains, specifically to Pigeon Forge, TN. No offense intended to any residents or fans of Pigeon Forge, but I have to say that is NOT my favorite destination in the Smokies. It's too crowded and there's too much traffic. Call me crazy, but when I go to the mountains I want to see, oh I dunno....mountains! In Pigeon Forge I kind of feel like I'm trapped in Outlet Mall Hell. I have a lot more fun when we go to the North Carolina side of the mountains, where it is (so far) a lot more quiet and less crowded. But the friends we meet nearly every year wanted Pigeon Forge this year, so off we went. We stayed at a log house just outside town. This was the view off the back deck. Not bad. Not the most spectacular in the world, but not bad. That photo was taken the first afternoon. Here's one taken early one morning that shows the Smokies living up to their name. The house itself was new-ish and really nice. Because J and I NEED another remodeling project now that we've finished the kitchen (HAR!) this porch gave us Ideas. You see, we have a porch about this size. Well, ours is a deck really. It's on one end of our house and it is open rather than roofed, and even though it's quite large - around 12' x 36' - we never use it because there's no shade on that end of the house and it's brutally hot out there. But sitting on this cabin's porch made us think that it might not be a super-big deal to roof ours. We could add some posts, buy some trusses and roofing, maybe a couple of ceiling fans that are rated to use on porches to stir the air on still days. We might even divide it in half and screen in one end. We both think we'd use it a lot if we just had a way to get some shade and better air circulation. Hhhmmm...Yep, we are Thinking. That's always dangerous around here. Stay tuned... We used the hot tub every night and are kind of lusting after one of those too, but we both want the porch covered more, so we aren't holding our breath on that one. (But man-oh-man did that puppy ever feel good on my back! We got in right before bed every night and slept soooooooo good.) We also kind of fell in love with this pool table down in the basement. One night J and I played Jimmy and Diane so many games I lost track. We each won a few but I lost track of who won how many. It didn't matter! We had fun. Sadly, we didn't get to do any hiking or anything. This visit was just way too short and the weather was pretty iffy every day - fairly nice in the mornings but we had some rather violet thunderstorms in the afternoons. So instead we shopped. Have I mentioned I'm not much of a shopper? Well, I'm not. Unless it's books, shoes, or OPJ (Other People's Junk - antique shops, flea markets, etc) - then I enjoy it. So did I buy anything? Yep, I bought books and shoes but no OPJ this time. I never said it was a complete loss! {grin} We also went to a Christmas shop that had a ceiling that made me go "Oooooooh". I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but those aren't painted-on stars, those are lights. I have no idea where I'd put such a ceiling, but I really like it! When we get together with this group of friends, we try to take a group photo every year and this year was no exception, but I wish we'd done it earlier. We snapped this one right before we were all ready to run out the door for home and I think we all look a little tired and grumpy. Oh well, maybe we can do better next year. Front: Johnny, Jimmy, Gerald Back: Me, Emma, Diane, Amy, Marge Anyone know what this flowering vine is? Diane is right - it's Mandevilla. I looked at Google images and the pics I saw looked exactly like this - flowers, leaves, and all. Thanks, Diane! Now I know what to look for if I want to plant some next summer! It was at the rental office and I thought it was really pretty. In fact, I thought it was so pretty, I used a photo of it to make today's Daily Art Thang: "Pretty in Pink"

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