Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our North Carolina Mountain Retreat!


We spent a wonderfully relaxing week in a secluded Mountain View Escape located in Franklin, North Carolina.
North Carolina Mountain Retreat!
Retreat!






North Carolina Mountain Retreat!
Hot tub and sitting area on the middle deck.

North Carolina Mountain Retreat!
Sitting area on the 'lower' deck
 


















Now, when I say secluded, I mean  s-e-c-l-u-d-e-d!  No neighbors, no people....just the crickets, the wildlife and a spectacular view --- oh, and did I mention that half the fun was just getting up to the house?

Off the main road, a gravel road turned into a steep dirt road.  The only way to go was up, up, up!


After much prayer, we arrived at our destination and were rewarded with peaceful tranquility and an awesome view!!

North Carolina Mountain Retreat!
The view, oh the view from the screened-in porch!!!
The house was perfect for us.  Simple, nothing fancy, just the basics + a game room complete with ping-pong and foosball.


Every morning, a cup of coffee and a spectacular view invited us to sit on the rockers out on the screened-in porch and take in the view in our p.j.'s.  In fact, on one particular day, I sat on the porch, rocking away, reading and drinking coffee clad in my p.j.'s well into the afternoon --- AH!!!!



North Carolina Mountain Retreat!
Smokey Mountains















Escaping from the Florida heat, we enjoyed highs in the low 80's with no humidity.  The gorgeous weather and peaceful rest lifted our spirits.


North Carolina Mountain Retreat - Family Time
Family Game Time!
Cades Cove
Near Cades Cove
We took a few cruises on the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway:


Stopped for some shopping at Millie and Eve's Bookstore   (The boys found a bunch of great reading material!)


Fun Factory - North Carolina
Fun Factory!
Played together at The Fun Factory (think Chuckie Cheese, but better!).  It's a warehouse filled with video games, putt-putt golf, bumper cars, laser tag, go-carts, bounce house and carousel all reasonably priced.
Fun Factory - North Carolina
Nip Napper's  first carousel ride.....doesn't he look thrilled?
Fun Factory - North Carolina
Milking Cow Game!
Where else can you milk an electronic cow?



Gem Mining - North Carolina
Panning for Gems

           
Panning for Gold - North Carolina
Panning for Gold
To bring out the rock hounds in the rest of the family, hubby went panning for gold and the kids and I mined for gems.  Afterwards, the folks at Smokey Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine identified our treasures.  




 On one of our days, we trekked up to Cades Cove.  Cades Cove is a beautiful plateau area in the Smokey Mountains.  On the 11 mile trek through the nature preserve, we kept our eyes peeled for wildlife.  For some unknown reason, hubby decided to offer 'reward money' to the first person to spot a particular animal.  Bear = $15, Fox = $10, Deer = $5, Rabbit = $3 and Squirrel = $1.



North Carolina - Tennesse State Line
North Carolina - Tennesse State Line
Breathtaking View of the Smokey Mountains!
Breathtaking View of the Smokey Mountains!


After reading the park brochure on the area, I noticed that turkeys are common to the area.  Hubby commented that there "were no turkeys up here and if someone sees one, he'd give them $25 for EACH turkey they saw".......now, ya'll know where this is going, right?????

Wild Turkey - Cades Cove
Wild Turkey
Not more than 5 minutes later, Mr. Turkey walks right out in front of our van!  We start laughing hysterically while snapping our fine feathered friend's picture.  THEN,  Mrs. Turkey and her sister decide to show themselves....now bringing the rewards up to $90 ($15 for a bear spotted by son #2 and $75 for the 3 turkeys).

Ah, if only earning money was always so easy!!!

After a wonderful week away, we were ready to return to reality and life in the tropics.














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