Last year I lost my Mom suddenly and really did not know what to do with my grief during special occassions that she should have been attending. Like her Birthday, Easter, Christmas and all the other times when we would all gather. I was dreading Thanksgiving this year, feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t want to do the traditional turkey dinner that would take hours to make and minutes to consume. Let’s not talk about the clean up.
This year I gave my family 3 choices. 1 was to go to the Club and have dinner and then a movie. 2 was to call Fresh Market and order one of their Holiday Dinner Specials and put up our Christmas Tree and the 3rd was to take a drive to Cades Cove in our Great Smokey Mountains and then dinner at the Cherokee Grill. To my surprise they chose the last choice.
So we piled int the car around noon. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive up to Cades Cove from our home. Everyone was a little quiet- I think lost in their own thoughts. The closer we got to the park the conversation picked up and we talked about many things. We were having a great time. We got out and talked to the horses and wished we were allowed to give them an apple or carrot. I was surprised that the colors were still vibrant in many areas. We stopped in the General Store by the old mill and then finished our ride around the loop chatting about past trips when we were lucky to see a few cubs and their Momma. Then the debate began as to when the bears head off to hibernate in our area. Do you know the answer? Bears do not truly hibernate. They have periods of long sleep, but if disturbed or the weather is warm they will leave the den for short periods of time. One to four cubs are born during the mother’s winter sleep. I had to look this up. There are some that say yes, bears do hibernate. They can sleep up to 8 months in very cold regions. I weather is very mild, so this just does not happen in the Smokeys.
We were amazed that there were so many families at the park on Thanksgiving Day. We really thought there would be just a few of us. Families were out passing the football, flying remote plans and having lunch on blankets. It was really nice to hear the laughter of these families.
We of course stopped to take several pictures our selves. One picture in the same spot from the time my daughter was 3 years old.
We traveled through the mountain and could not believe the number of cars and people that were walking to begin their climb to Laurel Falls. I have not done this since I was a kid. Time to get in shape so I don’t of heart failure trying!
Gatlinburg was a buzz. Tons of people out enjoying the day with their families. We found a parking space immediately at the Cherokee Grill and to our surprise were seated immediately. Jim was in heaven that Oysters were still on the menu for his appetiser, we both ordered a steak-filet for me which was delicious and cooked perfectly and Briana ordered Cat Fish which she loved. Yes, Jim and Bri even shared a piece of peanut butter pie. We were stuffed.
Once we got home, Jim was ready for his winter nap….Bri headed to her room and I finished up my online Christmas shopping.
I was greatful for the day and the time we spent together. We found our new tradition for our Thanksgiving Holiday!