10 Things That Made My Weekend Great

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I just had an amazing weekend. It was very busy and very tiring, but well worth it. It started on Thursday when Brian and I headed out to Gatlinburg, Tennessee together.

I had a business meeting with one of my social media clients on Friday morning – which makes it sounds so much more stiff and formal than it actually was. Really, it was more like, I had breakfast with some of my favorite people who always treat me like part of their family and we talked business while we ate.

But, anyway, I decided that it would be a lot more fun than driving up by myself for the day if I were to take Brian and make it a weekend away for us. So, that’s what we did. So here are 10 things (because there were probably more than 10) that made it an amazing weekend.

1. Breakfast with Brian. Brian and I got to enjoy a nice breakfast together on Thursday morning. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day for a road trip.

2. Shopping with Brian. We hit the outlet malls in Pigeon Forge for a little shopping. We didn’t buy anything, but our window shopping proved one thing: we both have very good (read: expensive) tastes. I told Brian that he should consider that a compliment. I have very good tastes and I chose him. 🙂

3. Dinner with Brian. Are you seeing a pattern here? Give me a bit and I’ll give you some variation. We had a wonderful dinner together, though. We almost went to a chain restaurant, but I told Brian we should try something different, so we went to this amazing brick oven pizza place.

pizza place

Now, it actually may be a chain place because there were at least two of them in Pigeon Forge, but it’s not a place that we have locally, so it counts. Doesn’t this salad look incredible?


4. A fantastic hotel. Blogging conferences and homeschool conventions have gotten me spoiled. I used to look for the least expensive, clean hotel I could find. Now, I look for the best-priced Hilton or Hampton Inn I can find because I know they’re always going to be clean, nice room and a good breakfast the next morning.

We thought about having a hot chocolate by this gorgeous fireplace, but by the time we got back from shopping and being tourists it was pretty cold outside and the fire was prettier than it was warm.

outdoor fire

5. Wonderful company. Sometimes in the day-to-day busyness of life, it’s easy to lose a sense of connection with your spouse – to take him for granted, I guess. I love times when Brian and I can get away like this. It reminds us both of all the reasons we fell in love to begin with and shows us that we still really enjoy one another’s company. We realize that, “Hey, when the kids are grown and gone, we’re still going to like each other.”

6. Sweet friends. As I said, the people we met are amazing. They always treat me like family when we’re together and I truly treasure the time we get to spend together. I thank God for putting them in my life.

7. We saw a bear! As many times as I’ve been to Gatlinburg and driven through the Smokies, I’ve never seen a bear. We saw a bear this weekend! Actually, I think we saw two, but I just got a glimpse of the other one, so I’m not sure. The second we saw was about 30 feet up a tree right over the road. We had to drive right under him! I so wish my good camera hadn’t been packed in the trunk.

black bear

8. We had a family reunion. We had a family reunion on Saturday. I know the kids weren’t terribly thrilled, but I’m getting old enough to realize that my great aunts and uncles aren’t going to be around forever. It was nice to see them again, enjoy a good meal, and see pictures of my mom when she was young. It made me realize how much I look like her.


Herbie from our time as tourists

9. Brian got to go to a football game. Brian got a call Thursday night while we were in Pigeon Forge. A friend had a ticket to Saturday’s Alabama football game. Brian thought I was going to make him feel guilty for not going to the family reunion. Um, not. I know how much he loves Alabama and how long it’s been since he’s been to a game. I was happy for him to get to go and he had incredible seats.

Alabama game

10. I got to see my step-sister. My step-sister was also in town this weekend. Megan was a toddler the last time I saw her. We got to have lunch with her and my niece. It wasn’t nearly enough time, but I’ll take it since it’s been so long.

How was your weekend? Anything to add to your Thanksgiving thankful list?


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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. You were all over my favorite “places” this weekend. We live near the Smoky Mountains and have for 6 years now…this year was the first time we’ve seen any bears, too. 2 in one day. One big one on the trail. Now, I remember why it never bothered me, we never saw a bear. 😉 I also grew up around that college town and was just there last weekend. It’s a small world! 🙂

  2. We live in the North Georgia mountains and have been here for about 11 years. Until this summer we had not had a bear encounter. Then I went on a walk one night this past summer and low and behold there was one practically right in my path. Luckily my husband was with me and we were able to arrive home safely. A few weeks later another bear encounter in Helen by hubby and daughter.

  3. Wow! What a fun and exciting weekend! We have lived near the Adirondacks for 30 years. Bears are all around us, but I’ve yet to see one! Seeing a bear in the wild is on my bucket list! I’m jealous!

  4. We recently drove thru Pigeon Forge ad Gatlinburg on a cross country trip. It was SOOOOO NEAT!! Such beautiful country! We LOVE LOVE LOVE Tennessee! Glad you had a good weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!
    ~Sarah B

  5. You know what I love about your list? Brian. Well, not actually the man Brian (I’ve never met him and I’m sure he’s lovely, but I don’t mean I love HIM!) I love that he is the reason you had such a brilliant week end. Happy marriages always make me smile and you’re right, when the children are all grown up and there is just you and Brian, life will still be a happy place to be because you have each other.

  6. I am glad you had such a wonderful weekend away! A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I had our first weekend away just the two of us since we started having kids 3 1/2 years ago, and it has convinced me that it is a worthwhile thing to do at least once a year provided we can budget for it. It was so nice to just eat in quiet without our 2 [screaming] toddlers.

  7. I’ve had too many bear encounters, living up here in BC, to count. I have been within 30 feet of one in the wild. Fortunately it didn’t consider me a threat and I just backed away and it wandered back off the trail. A couple of years back at our old house we had a mother and two cub wandering the neighbourhood around Halloween. Needless to say we had to keep an eye on our little ones. For me the really cool animals to see in the wild our moose.

  8. Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge on Teaster??? We stayed there last October, that outdoor fireplace area was awesome!!!

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