Friday, January 23, 2009

Journey Winter Retreat 2009

Each year we have the pleasure of getting to go with Frazer Journey Singles on their winter retreat to Gatlinburg, TN. Bart works closely with the group at church. The past couple of years we have gone in February but this year they moved it back to January in hopes of seeing a bit more snow. It was perfect! It was very cold and we did get to see snow but without all the hassle and danger of getting snowed in. :) We had such a wonderful time! Here's a group shot of the entire gang.

We left Wednesday night for Chattanooga in an attempt to drive while the kids were most likely to sleep. They did great! We stayed at the wonderful Sheraton Read House (a personal favorite!) for the night. Of course after the long ride Owen and Katelyn were a little hyper when we got there. Owen got so tickled at Katelyn over the smallest things. His little laugh is just so contagious. This may be one of my favorite videos to date - it just makes me smile every time I watch it!

We got up at walked across the street to The City Grill for breakfast and then back to the hotel for some indoor swimming. We were not scheduled to meet up with the rest of the group until later Thursday night so we spent most of the day in leisure just wandering around Chattanooga. Friday morning after breakfast we set out for Ruby Falls and Rock City. It was the coldest day yet with temperatures getting down to 14 degrees and windy! Brrrr!

I had never been to either of these places and it was really neat! I would definitely like to go back to Rock City again one day.

The craziest thing happened while we were at Rock City. I broke my tooth!! All I did was bite down on the end of my glove to pull it off and BING! went my tooth! ROAR! It was a veneer and didn't hurt but I'm sure that will cost me a pretty penny to fix! Bart laughed and made fun of me the rest of the trip. True love!

On Saturday we were determined to find some snow. The weather forecast wasn't looking very promising so we drove up to Newfound Gap which is on the Tennesee/North Carolina border. Sure enough it wasn't hard to find! It was so pretty up there!

Owen got to experience his first snow and absolutely loved it!

Katelyn enjoyed snow ball fights with the "big kids"!

We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around downtown Gatlinburg. The frozen fountain was pretty impressive!

On Sunday we ventured out to a little secret thankfully not well known among the tourists - the community bowling alley - for some good cheap fun! I didn't have a particularly good day of bowling but Katelyn is coming along pretty well! I was very proud of her. Just like her Pop, she loves to bowl! :)

After bowling it was back to downtown for some black light mini golf in 3D. I must admit it was pretty neat!

Right next door was this very cool mirror maze!

On Monday we woke to beautiful snow falling outside. There is something so peaceful and quiet about watching it snow. It was starting to accumulate pretty quickly so I was glad it was about time to head home. Katelyn enjoyed trying to catching snowflakes with her tongue.

Of course, we had to stop for one last group picture as we were heading home.

It snowed on us until at least Fort Payne but thankfully with no travel problems. The Mercers had such a wonderful time! Thanks everyone!!

If you are crazy enough to want even more after this monster post, the rest of the pictures are HERE. :)


Lauren said...

You guys have such great family time!! That minature golf thing is pretty cool!! And your poor tooth...Glad you showed a picture, because I envisioned the WHOLE TOOTH snapping out. Yikes!! Love the sweet picture of Owen playing in the snow. I just want to eat him up!

Sellars said...

SOOOO Cute! looks like yall had fun! Great pics

Lauren W said...

Hooray for snow!!!