7 Lies About Paris

As you may or may not know, when I did my study abroad to London a couple of years ago, Mom and Aunt S. came and visited me over spring break, and we went to Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Prague. Paris was probably my favorite, and here are a few things that you often hear about Paris that I didn’t find to be true.

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How to Survive a Long Flight- Learning From My Mistakes

So let me start by saying, I am in no way an expert. There are plenty of people that travel far more than me who know about this. However, I’ve made my share of mistakes, and tried to learn from them, so I figure why not share the wisdom I’ve garnered from my errors? Thankfully, the longest flight I’ve been on up to this point is nine hours, because I get a little stir crazy trapped for long periods of time. Continue reading


Hello all!

Whew. It has been a whirlwind month. One month ago today, I graduated. I didn’t really have a chance to enjoy it, because we packed me up and moved me out of my room that same day, and then four days later, I was on a plane, heading for India. Yes, India. It wasn’t somewhere I was ever really planning on going, but the opportunity came up, and I jumped on it. I was there with some people from school for nine days, and what a time it was. Continue reading

Cataloochee, North Carolina


Sunday was M’s birthday and he wanted to celebrate by enjoying the beautiful fall scenery.  We drove over to Cataloochee, North Carolina and it was a wonderful day!

The leaves are pretty much at peak color for us the third week of October.  We are still having warm weather, shorts and tee shirts, but the mornings are really cool-mid 40’s.

I don’t normally get pictures of the four of us (someone has to take the picture), but a very nice lady volunteered to take this for us.  My hair was not that big, the wind was helping me to fluff up.  As you can see, Emily has her trusty Canon around her neck.  She lovingly calls it “The Precious“.  Have you seen Lord of the Rings?

Elk are being introduced to the park (GSMNP) and people love to come watch them.  Traffic was literally bumper to bumper in the area where the elk were visible.  Some people had set up lawn chairs and coolers to watch, most were just lining the side of the road.

More lovely elk.  We had a long discussion in the car about how many animal names are both singular and plural.

This is a beautiful old church.  It is hard to remember that whole communities existed in what is now the national park.

My pictures do not do justice to the absolute beauty and peacefulness of this place.  Even with hundreds of people around the church still had a reverence and quiet about it.

View from the entrance to the church.  No padded pews here.

This is the view from the pulpit.

Yet another elk, notice just a few of the cars in the background.


Someone’s barn from once upon a time.

I am not sure what the ramp was used for, but I liked this shot.

I was hoping to get a few shots to add to our Christmas cards.  I will have to check with the powers-that-be to see if this one makes the cut.

This area is so pretty, and again my pictures do not do it justice.


This is an open house, park museum of sorts.  We were all surprised at the size of the rooms and the number of people who would have lived in this house.  M actually knows some of the descendents, who were also there, and they gave us some great stories about their family.

One of the downstairs fireplaces. We looked at the newspaper ads on the walls, as the paper was used for insulation.  It makes me think and makes me thankful for the way we are able to live today.

I think that this must have been the well house, but maybe not.

Another out building on the property.  This could have been a smokehouse or served several other purposes.

Another shot of the creek, I wish I knew the name so I could share it with you. 


Ramsey Cascades Trail


 A couple of weeks ago the temperatures left the 90 plus mark, and brought us some beautiful weather.  M and I decided to take advantage of the situation and do some hiking.  We have hiked before, but I would not call us avid hikers.  My father-in-law can leave me in the trail dust any day.  On this particular day we didn’t have a trail in mind, and we had heard of Ramsey Cascades, so we thought why not?  As you can see from the picture it is a beautiful, well-maintained trail.   The temperatures were in the low eighties, there was not much humidity, and we were ready.  This is one time when I firmly believe in the saying :  Ignorance is bliss.

 The trail just kept going up and up.  We live in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and we know that yes mountains tend to go up, but whoa Nellie, did we go up.  According to my trusty Hiking Trails of the Smokies,  we traveled up over 2000 feet in elevation.  It was the first time I have ever had my ears pop when walking anywhere.

 The trail is a four mile hike to the falls.  It is a beautiful sight to be walking up through this old growth forest and come upon a waterfall at the top.  We stopped for lunch along with several other people, and peanut butter sandwiches never tasted so good.  It was a tough 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to the top.

 I would never made it without M’s encouragement, he is my favorite man in the world.  Thank you honey!


 We made several stream crossings and the creeks were beautiful and so clear.  M loves to fly fish and he scoped out the best fishing holes as we went.  This picture show one of the biggest trees along the trail, and one of the most ragged looking hikers. 



This trail is listed as one of the most strenuous hikes due to how rough the trail becomes and the almost vertical climb in some areas.  Also remember if you are new to hiking that four miles just gets you to the top of the trail, you still have to make the four miles down.  All in all it was a wonderful day, and as soon as my feet recover, we will be off again.