Indulge me a few pre-gathering vacation pix? Cades Cove & the Space Center

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This year, before we attended the gathering, we stopped over in Cades Cove and visited quite a few Huntsville attractions. For those who are coming next year, I highly recommend....well, all of the things we did....we had a blast!

Our first day in Cades Cove we biked the 11-mile path through the park. It was quite strenuous and I didn't take my camera with me. The next day we drove the path, and I stopped for a few photos. I'm still trying to get the hang of the Sigma 10-20mm lens....there's so much foreground with it!

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While making the drive around the park, we stopped off for a hike to Abram's Falls....a mere 5 miles up and down the mountains, over rocks and through mud and all of those good things. Between the previous day's bike ride and this hike, I was thrilled to spend the next day sitting in the car riding to Huntsville! Next time I'm taking Pete's advice and driving to Laurel Falls instead :wink:.

We crossed a number of these bridges to get to and from the falls

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The falls were small but pretty

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The Huntsville Space & Rocket Center was a ton of fun, and I'd love to go back and see it again. My husband and daughter are space nuts, so they were right at home there.

Sleeping, astronaut-style

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All strapped in to the Space Shot and ready to experience 4G's

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Around the corner from Paul and Melissa was a group of teenage boys. As they were getting ready to lift off, one of them said he was going to scream like a little girl. Hah! In his dreams! Melissa screamed so loud I'm pretty sure they heard her clear across I-565!

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My crew landing the space shuttle

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After visiting the Space Center, we stopped downtown at Harrison Brothers Hardware. I didn't take any photos there (still smacking myself over that....the historic items in there were amazing!) I could take a photo of my receipt from there, but the amount I spent might crack my camera lens :wink:!

Thanks for looking!
 
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Great family fun Sommer, it looks like you made some excellent side excursions!
It was a pleasure meeting you, Paul and Melissa (a very talented future Cafe member!).
 
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Sommer,

These look like a lot of fun. I am so glad "y'all" went to the Space & Rocket Center. Did you try the 10-20 out on the space shuttle stack or the Saturn V? Connie and I were planning to go by there after the campfire but as you know it was raining.
 
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Thanks again for the Cades Cove suggestion

This was a nice side trip for me too. No crowds yet and I pretty much had the spot to myself. It was a great idea. Nice shots, you have a great family!
 
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Great fun!!! I love the shot of Melissa "space sleeping"!!

Thanks for giving everyone an idea of what all Huntsville has to offer! Maybe more folks will take your advice for next year and stay a bit longer!
 
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Great family fun Sommer, it looks like you made some excellent side excursions!
It was a pleasure meeting you, Paul and Melissa (a very talented future Cafe member!).
Frits, we enjoyed meeting you, as well. I hope we'll see you again!

Sommer,

These look like a lot of fun. I am so glad "y'all" went to the Space & Rocket Center. Did you try the 10-20 out on the space shuttle stack or the Saturn V? Connie and I were planning to go by there after the campfire but as you know it was raining.
Mason, I didn't get a photo of the shuttle stack or Saturn V, but it's on my list for next time!

This was a nice side trip for me too. No crowds yet and I pretty much had the spot to myself. It was a great idea. Nice shots, you have a great family!
John, I'm glad you enjoyed the Cove, too. I'd like to go back again in the winter when we could (I hope) bike the path without as much car traffic (and exhaust to inhale!) Pete gave me some pointers for finding more animals there, so I'm really anxious to get back there again. We really enjoyed meeting you...I hope we'll see you again!

Looks like Y'all had a very memorable vacation, Sommer. I know you hated to see it end.
Rex, I did hate to see it end. As much as I hated missing out on income during tax season, it was totally worth it for me. I hope next year's gathering is in late April though, so I don't have to choose!

Wow what a great and fun series
Thanks, Gale! You're a sweetheart for viewing and posting on all these threads. I hope I'll get to meet you some day! We may be heading down to Orlando and the space coast next year, and if we're in your area, I definitely want to hook up!

Great fun!!! I love the shot of Melissa "space sleeping"!!

Thanks for giving everyone an idea of what all Huntsville has to offer! Maybe more folks will take your advice for next year and stay a bit longer!
Leigh, I think you could easily stay for a couple of weeks and not run out of things to do! The first year we were in-and-out, this year we stayed longer, and there are still a bunch of things I want to see that we didn't have time for. What's neat about it is the diversity--the vibrant city downtown, the wildlife and mountainous areas, the space center and then all of the museums and such that we didn't even get to yet. Heck, if things go bad for us here in Michigan job-wise, I'll be looking that way for sure! I hope next year the gathering happens after tax season is over (hint-hint) so I can stay for the final dinner and all:wink:!
 
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Leigh, I think you could easily stay for a couple of weeks and not run out of things to do! The first year we were in-and-out, this year we stayed longer, and there are still a bunch of things I want to see that we didn't have time for. What's neat about it is the diversity--the vibrant city downtown, the wildlife and mountainous areas, the space center and then all of the museums and such that we didn't even get to yet. Heck, if things go bad for us here in Michigan job-wise, I'll be looking that way for sure! I hope next year the gathering happens after tax season is over (hint-hint) so I can stay for the final dinner and all:wink:!
I'm thinking of sometime in May for next year's Get-Together. Will be warm, but not blazing hot, should still have lots of blooms, kids should be out of school....and tax season will be over!!!:smile:
 
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I'm thinking of sometime in May for next year's Get-Together. Will be warm, but not blazing hot, should still have lots of blooms, kids should be out of school....and tax season will be over!!!:smile:
hey Leigh, it would have to be toward the very end of May. Kids out here don't get out of school until the 3rd week (I think!)
 
These are wonderful, Sommer! I especially liked the ones of Cade's Cove -- went there last year and absolutely loved the place. Yep, next year I think I'll come a little early so that I can do some of the things there wasn't enough time for this year.... I could easily spend a whole day just at the Botanical Gardens! I definitely want to visit the space center! Pat Massengill (dogwood tree lady) told Rich and me that downtown Huntsville is fascinating, too, a place to see and explore. That's in the back of my mind, too.....
 
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