Friday, May 29, 2009

The Great Smokey Mountains

May 15- May 19 2009
Matt was very lucky his freshman year in college to find his male soul mates. He had a lot of freshman buddies that he was very close to, but two of them have literally been his soul mates. They are as thick as brothers. Through the years we have tried to stay close through vacations and this year we decided to meet Joe and family from Florida at a halfway point and go to the Smokey Mountain National Park. Justin and family flew in from Canada.

Here is a view from our cabin showing just how the Great Smokies got their name. They are gorgeous!! Here are some more pictures of our cabin:The view from the hot tub.

The back "wall" was pure windows showing off the view from above.

The kitchen where many delicious meals were made.

The porch where I loved to sit in the morning and read my scriptures and take in the morning fog.

The back of the cabin.

The Scottish Festival:
On our first full day there we decided to hit up a local Scottish festival. It actually ended up being kind of a bust, but we were still able to get some laughs in.

A real live yak. I personally have never come into contact with a yak before. They seem to only be in Carter's books for "Y is for Yak."

The manly axe throw. Justin actually got his axe to stay on his first throw, what a man!!
Laurel Falls:
Our first hike of the trip.
Double Trouble: Carter HATES to wear his shoes! In fact his right big toe is a never-ending bloody mess because he refuses to wear shoes and scraps it up every day. So here Milly is helping Carter get ready for the big hike by taking his shoes off for him.

The water was really cold but still intriguing to the boys who wanted to put their feet in.

Evan was the bravest of the boys, I believe he got completely soaked in the waterfall.

The soul mates showing off how tough and good looking they are.
Matt far right, Joe middle, Justin left.

I know this looks like some team building exercise but no it's just Justin and Matt being themselves.
Justin has this affect on Matt, whenever Justin is around Matt is always doing crazy things. Though let's be honest it doesn't take a lot of pushing. And believe me, that water was Freezing!

The Boys

On Sunday we went for a drive to hit the tallest point in the park. It was freezing and I was the only one prepared. What can I say scouting was always a part of my family's life even though I wasn't officially involved.

The Squirrels, I mean Girls.
And can I say , Woo Woo!!
Action shot of how these boys are 24-7 when they are with each other.

This was our second hike we took in Cade's Cove to another waterfall. Carter loved hiking and was doing a fantastic job. I think he went for at least a mile. I was pretty proud of him and wished my family could see him. Hiking is a big deal in my family and it is almost a rite of passage when you start hiking on your own.

For the rest of it, he got to ride in his comfy backpack. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Again, Craziness! Matt and I were both wishing my brothers could have been here for this one. This is right up their alley!


Go Carts:
For the last day, the boys decided to go go-carting. It was really fun for them until Matt had a serious allergic reaction afterwards and his face swelled up and he had hives all over.

The best action shot I could get. Carter was a little nervous.
They had some kiddie rides there as well, so we took advantage. And of course Carter always loves a good Choo Choo train.
Matt and I are so blessed to have had some once in a lifetime friendships with some exceptional people. Family is very important, but there is something so crucial as well to friends that are as close as family. We are so grateful to those friends who we love so dearly!!


Trevor & Lindsey said...

Looks like an awesome, & fun trip! I cant believe how big Carter is getting!

Dan and Jen said...

I've been wondering when you were going to post pictures of your trip. Looks like you had a great time! I love the Smokey Mountains. It really is a beautiful area. And that cabin looked awesome! I'm glad that you were all able to get together.

And Carter, good hiking, buddy! I'm proud of you! You are such a big boy!

Whit said...

Looks awesome!!!!! We are all freakin out over here over how old Carter is getting. Dang!

Justin, Kira and Evan said...

wow, your post was so much better than mine! It is funny though, I always thought it was Matt who brought out the extreme crazy in Justin. Maybe they both just try to impress eachother ... who knows!! Love you Amber

Becky T said...

Oh my awesome! I am jealous beyond measure. That cabin looks positively perfect for hanging out with friends--put the kids to bed, settle it up, build some railroads, farm until all hours of the morning. It looks like an AWESOME trip. I loved seeing all the pictures! And what do ya say...we plan a little one of these get togethers with your family and ours??? I think it needs to be done!!!

Jon and Becky said...

That looks so fun! I recognize some of those other faces. I remember thinking Matt's friends were nice too. That's really cool that you guys are all still close. You're right, we all need friends like that. And way to go showing the boys up with your scouting-preparedness!