Smoky Mountains

Newfound Gap

Our first long family vacation was to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to visit Smoky Mountain National Park.  I had been there when I was younger, but Adam (and of course Eliel) had never been there.  We've been to many other national parks with Nugget but since dogs aren't allowed in a majority of Smoky Mountains (due to so many black bears), we had yet to visit it.  So, we got in the car and made our way to Tennessee!
Most of our vacation was spent hiking.  Adam and I love hiking and we love hiking to places and views that you can't see from a car.  Many of those hikes are upwards of four to six miles.  It's a relatively easy hike for two adults, but throw in a toddler and that could take all day!  So, Eliel spend many of the hikes on Mommy back or Daddy's side in the carrier.  He ended up liking it and tolerating it way more than I expected.  It allowed us to do some longer hikes towards the end of the trip.
Along the way, Eliel fell in love with waterfalls and cascades.  It came out as 'buh buh' of course but when we'd hear water in the distance, he'd start shouting this until we could see the waterfall.  Many times, it was what kept him from wanting to get out of the carrier and walk.  Lucky for Eliel (and us) streams, rivers, waterfalls and cascades are plentiful in the Smoky Mountains. Some hikes followed the stream the entire time. 
Most days, we began with a long hike early in the morning, ate lunch while on the hike, and made it back to the cabin in time for Eliel to take a nap.  After his nap, we would go back out hiking and choose a short mile or less hike that Eliel could walk all by himself.  Eliel loved walking up and down all of the rocks, tree roots and crossing the small streams on the bridges.  It was so much fun to watch him have fun!
I of course took lots of pictures so now that I've given you a short run-down of our vacation, I think it's time for some pictures!  So, the next few posts will be pictures with captions to show you just how much fun we had on our vacation.