Sunday, December 5, 2010

Remembering Happy Times

It was the summer of 2004 in the month of June as Linda, her 11 year old daughter Beth and I journeyed west to Maggie Valley, NC to start our new life together as man & wife. Also traveling in separate vehicles were Linda's mother, her brother Junior and his wife, my sister Marie, my daughter Pam and her daughter, my grandaughter Ashley.
Our first stop was to finalize the arrangement at Miss Caroline's Wedding Chapel and quickly decided on the waterfall as a backdrop to our wedding. We have a DVD and love to hear the water sound when we watch it. Pam did a wonderful job of taking the video along with the great pictures that Caroline took.
Later that evening we went across the street to Carolina Nights Dinner Theater and enjoyed a fine meal and an awesome show with a little bit of everything. Two people stick in our minds from that night. One was a 17 year old young woman named Martika who is such a great singer and dancer.
The other person was this guy who is funny and a great singer and what made both of them special was that they also perform up on the mountain at the Ghost Town In The Sky. Martika performs as a Can Can Girl in the saloon and later her friend comes in as a rough and tough cowboy who ends up singing a wonderful gospel medly.
The next morning all our relative started back for home except for Ashley who stayed with us to accompany Beth because as you know every teenager has to have another one with them at all times. They had a great time together so we were glad she came along on our honeymoon.
We left Maggie Valley and headed towards Gatlinburg, TN and along the road there is a stream that follows the road. It was quite warm so when I saw a good access to the stream we stopped so Beth & Ashley could walk in the shallow water and cool their feet. They had a great time walking from stone to stone and looking for special stones. They found one that looks just like a footprint that we brought home and still is on display in our home. I think that special time spent by and in the stream was probably more fun and enjoyable that anything we did the rest of the week.

While in Gatlinburg we took a chair lift up the mountain, went through the Ripley Museum and the most interesting thing we experienced was Ripley's Aquarium where we were able to see large sharks and other big fish up close and personal. It even had a clear tunnel where you were surrounded by fish.

On a side trip we went past Pigeon Forge to Sevierville where we found the Exotic Petting Zoo and really had a wonderful time. There were Peacocks everywhere and a large pen of goats where Beth & Ashley were able to enter and hug on all the goats they could get their hands on. They had Prairie Dogs, Zonkey (cross between a donkey & zebra), Raindeer, pot bellied pigs, Wallowby and miniature ponies.

One of the larger animals was Camels and you could feed all the animals.

The Zebra is really a beautiful animal and alway special to see in real life.
Looking back now it seems like so long ago since Beth will soon be 18 and Ashley is approaching 20. It was also the first real vacation I had experienced in my adult life which was a treat for me. I used to actually never take vacations and would only take a day at a time but Linda taught me how to really enjoy myself and has made my life so much more complete. Can't imagine what I ever did without her in my life. I am a blessed man. Hope you enjoyed the journey down memory lane.


  1. What a lovely post to share! I know what you mean about how quickly time seems to have passed. This next year my husband and I will have been married 10 years and it still seems like just yesterday we were dating! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. It sounds like it was a fantastic time Odie! You'll have to share a picture of the rock that looks like a footprint, I'm having a hard time picturing it LOL!

  3. Awesome I love Maggie valley and Ghost Town in the sky! I haven't been in years but I do head to severville/gatlinburg every year since it's so close and beautiful! Great post!

  4. That's my kind of getaway, Odie! You can keep your skyscrapers, neon lights, congested streets and exhaust fumes. Like you I prefer a vacation that offers a picturesque setting with lots of greenery, water, animals, and a chance to experience life's simpler pleasures.

  5. Congrats on a wonderful marriage. Glad you had a great honeymoon and thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  6. This was fun and interesting to read Odie, you are blessed and a blessing too. It is nice your wife has shown you how to take vacations. My first husband did that for me. I had never been on a vacation until I married him. Now I go on one every year.

  7. Awesome post Odie:) Glad you have a beautiful and wonderful marriage :)

  8. That was a lovely post Odie. Lovely that the two girls got on as well. The places you visited look like my kind of places.