Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chaney Vacation '09

Why is it that work weeks go by so slowly and vacations rush by like the speed of light?

We hit just two states, but we did quite a lot. It was a little strange - in years past we've headed straight for the beach when we've had a few days off, but now that seems a little silly, given that we can "hit the beach" just 20 minutes from our house. So, we decided early on that we would visit the Smokies. We'd been before for our first year wedding anniversary, and thought we'd go back this time of year since it is supposed to be so pretty.

Sabian suggested we stop along the way, so he mapped out a route taking us through Savannah and Atlanta, GA, where we could see some sights that were totally new to us.

That's the famed fountain in Forsyth Park sprouting out of Sabian's head. I posted a little from Savannah, which you can read below, and you can check out more photos of our time there. We had a great time wandering around the park and the streets all around it. It is worth it just to see the homes there. As we strolled around I wondered why buildings aren't built like that any more. I am sure someone has an answer, but I don't think it could be good enough. They are amazing. We took some time to walk by the river and in and out of some of the shops in downtown Savannah. When it got too chilly and when we were just plain too tired to go on, we went back to the hotel and dreamed of the trolley tour that we were going to take in the morning.

We did things a little backwards by taking the tour the morning we were leaving, but we're glad we did. We saw some places we'd visited the day before, learned more about others, and caught sight of other places we'd like to visit when we go back.

It was time to move on to our next stop, which was Atlanta. We spent a week in Atlanta a couple of years ago with a group of students from our youth group in Illinois, working with homeless people on the streets of the city. During that trip we did have some free time and were able to visit Centennial Park, the aquarium, and we took the CNN tour. This time, because it was along the way and was another good way to break up the trip, we stayed one night there.

We pulled into town with enough time to grab dinner at The Varsity before it was time to put Addie to bed.
We booked early tickets to see the World of Coca Cola, something we didn't do the last time we were in Atlanta, and then we took advantage of the beautiful day and spent a little time in Centennial Park. We enjoyed it, but we had to move quickly so we could get on the road to Pigeon Forge and check into our cabin for the next few days. Check out more of our Atlanta pictures!

We arrived at our cabin after dark and encountered a bit of an adventure trying to find it. Some of the streets were not as accurately marked as we would have liked. But, we made it, set up camp, and tucked in for the night to begin the rest of our adventure the next day.

While we were in Pigeon Forge we made our way through the Smoky Mountain National Park, visited Cade's Cove, and hiked to see some falls. Along our hike we did see some bear cubs in the "valley" down below us and while there were some onlookers stopping to snap some pictures, we kept moving. I'm a fan of all of my fingers and toes and wanted it to stay that way. No bars or barricades here!

We also took a day and went to Gatlinburg and stopped by the wax museum. Another day we took a tour through the Forbidden Caverns, and then wound our way up through the mountains again for some pretty awesome mountain views. The colors this time of year make for a very picturesque setting no matter which way you look.

The photos don't do the views justice, but you can see more if you like.

Coming back to real life is always bittersweet. While we had been on trips before with Addie - a couple of conferences and to Illinois a couple of times - this was our first time as a family on vacation. We enjoyed it and made some fun memories, and can't wait to revisit some of these places when Addie is a little older. In the meantime, it will be fun to show her the photos later on and tell her of where she went when she was too little to remember.

I am thankful for being able to go on this trip, and even though I always feel like I have a period of "transition" when we get back to Wewa, I see the provision that has been made possible for us here.

I hope you enjoy our pictures and that viewing them is less like being forced into slideshows at someone's house and more like simply checking out the fun we had.

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