Monday, October 25, 2010

Exploring--Autumn in the Smoky Mountains

We have just returned from a wonderful vacation, enjoying visits with family and natural autumn beauty. Driving through the Smoky Mountains this time of year is a delight, although I should have taken more photos on our way in when it was sunny:>). We had been delayed by heavy traffic on the way and wanted to keep going, so I promised myself photos at several scenic overlooks on our way south again. However, the Smokies lived up to their name as we drove back through the park, so my mountain vista photos are quite subdued. The mountain stream right next to the main north-south drive through the park, bubbling through a mix of autumn colors and trees still green, provided my best photo op that day.
We had come from the Atlanta, GA area after several days with our older son and his wife in their new home. Although they are not exactly around the corner from Jacksonville, we are thrilled and very grateful to have them so much nearer than their long-time home in Southern California. We then drove to Gatlinburg, TN to research a lodge we hoped would prove to be a good location for a summer 2011 family reunion of our immediate family, my three siblings, their children, and grandchildren. One of my brothers and his wife met us there, and we judged the lodge to be perfect for our purposes--hope the rest of the family enjoys it as much as we expect they will. It is surprisingly affordable, with 12 bedrooms, each with a private bath, an amazing kitchen which will easily handle our meal preparation needs, large dining room, two lounges with fireplaces, a pool table, and more. Since our family members live in various cities, we have few opportunities to gather all of us together, and we look forward to the reunion.
A couple more nights enjoying time with our son and dear "daughter" ended our delightful autumn vacation--now home again.
Question of the day: What natural beauty are you enjoying this season? I love our fall beauty, but also know it is spring for our southern hemisphere friends--love to visit your blogs and get a sense of our larger world.


  1. What wonderful places you've been visiting Mary. I hope to visit the Smokies during the fall season sometime. And the cypress swamps of Florida again. Last spring was our first ever visit to Florida and we just loved it.

  2. I remember that you really enjoyed the cypress swamps of Florida. They are amazing and much lovelier than many people imagine. I do hope you can visit the Smokies some fall season--the park is absolutely beautiful and peaceful--and has no entrance fee! Can't beat that.

  3. You are right Mary, we are just coming into summer here and the past few months of spring will always be my favorite time of year. I always look for the first signs of trees starting to bud.

    As we are nearly on the Tropic of Capricorn, most trees here are evergreen and so we never have the same beautiful fall colors you do. The trees which do loose their leaves in winter go straight from green to brown without the true atumn shades. It is for this reason that I love seeing your lovely autumn pictures.

    That lodge sounds wonderful and I am sure you are going to have a fabulous get together.

    I have not been to Cleveland for about 20 years and judging by your picture, it seems like there are some new buildings. I really liked the city.

    Love the swamps pic and drawings too.

  4. Great to hear from waaaay down south, Joan. I always love to read your thoughtful comments and to learn more about your life and your wonderful land. Thank you very much.