Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ahhh, Jellystone

During the first part of our trip to the Smokies we camped at Great Smoky Mountain Jellystone campground in Cosby TN just a few miles from Gatlinburg. We have always wanted to camp but just haven't had any luck making it happen until this trip.

We decided to rent a yurt to stay in. This was sort of like a tent but had beds and a mini fridge and a ceiling fan. The good thing was we weren't sleeping on the ground (tent) and it did rain every day so we would have been all washed out if we hadn't been off the ground.

The yurts were just built for this season so they were nice and new. We loved being right by the stream. With all the rain you could really hear the streams rushing at night. Made for good sleeping.

An inside peek at our (excuse the mess) yurt. It had two sets of bunk beds with a double on bottom and twin on top so it could sleep six. The kids loved each having their own top bunk.

And they loved playing in the stream of course!

Paul built a fire each night. We roasted hot dogs the first night but only had s'mores the other nights after eating in town.

There were really lots of activities at the campground but I didn't seem to get many pictures of them. There was a nice pool, a nine hole mini golf, a game room, a Blue Bell ice cream shop, a movie theater with a movie shown each night, karaoke and 'Hey' rides with Yogi. I did snap a pic of the kids on the hay ride and with Yogi afterwards:)

I really enjoyed camping. We did have to shower and use the facilities in the bath houses which wasn't bad. I loved just being outside and having a camp fire every night, etc. We think we might try for a cabin with a bathroom the next time we camp. But the yurt was cool. I recommend it to anyone thinking of staying in one!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hiking to Grotto Falls

During our recent vacation to the Smokies we hiked to Grotto Falls in the park. To get there you drive through the park on the Roaring Fork motor trail, park the car and hike up from there.

We thought this would be a good one because it wasn't too far and you could walk behind the falls which sounded cool.

The kids at the trailhead:

The trail was really wet. We didn't know if it was because of some recent rain or if it was always that way due to all the shadiness, etc.

Paul was happy to spot a place to rest a minute! There were no benches along the way!

We finally made it to the falls and it was worth the hike up. We could hear them before we saw them. Such a beautiful sight. The Great Smoky Mountain Nat Park gets about 7 feet of rain per year so that's why there are so many awesome water falls.

There were lots of people on this trail. Everyone waits to get the ubiquitous picture behind the falls.

Both kids fell at some point but nothing too bad. It was a perfect day for a hike. Not too hot, just right. Michael was so cute telling people on our way down, "You're almost there, you can make it." After a while we told him he had to stop telling people that because they weren't almost there! He changed it to, "you can do it, keep going!"

Friday, August 1, 2014

Little Eagles Cake

A friend asked me to do a cake for her son's baseball team's end of the season party. I did a two layer sheet cake because I never think you get enough icing on a regular sheet cake. Especially if you get an inside piece. Half is choc and half white. This thing weighs a tons. I used 4 cake mixes and 5 batches of icing. I made my own fondant for the accent pieces. It's so easy to make and much cheaper than buying it. It's only marshmallows and powdered sugar.