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9th Anniversary

John woke me up bright an early Wednesday morning by saying "Get up and get dressed. Time to GO."

Wait. What? It's 8 o'clock in the morning, on my vacation, why the hell are you waking me up early?!

He won't tell me but just says it's a surprise. He DID tell McKayla his plans but they kept me out of the loop. As we're fixing to leave the house, I get a text from Aunt L asking if she can kidnap McKayla for the day as the kids wanted to play with her. Having no clue as to what John has planned, I hand the phone to John. Once he's done talking to her, he tells me to pack clothes for McKayla to spend the night b/c wherever we're going, he has no clue when we'd make it home, so it was just easier to let her spend the night then try to make it back at a decent time to pick her up.

Once we drop McKayla off, we hop on the interstate and start cruising along. I'm brainstorming and thinking up places that he could possibly be taking me based on the direction we're heading but he's still not divulging that information (and I think secretly enjoying driving me crazy LOL)

After awhile, my options are limited as to where we're heading and he finally spills the beans and tells me we're heading to Cades Cove. I LOVE this place. It's beautiful and peaceful and I've always been fascinated with how people lived 'back in the day'.

We drove past the first few houses and churches since we'd already seen them the last time and made our first stop at Elijah Oliver Place.

John is 6 ft and barely missed banging his head here.

Not into the whole selfie craze, but had to get a picture of us with the field and mountains in the background after visiting Elijah's. :-D

After hanging around there for a bit, snapping pictures and checking out the different buildings (which I failed miserably at taking pictures of....oops), we headed on to the next place; Cable Mill.

Cable Mill is the one place I REALLY wanted to make it to last time, but the sunlight was quickly leaving us. It's home to 'Aunt Becky's house (and not the one from Full House haha I had to convince Google I did NOT want the Aunt Becky married to Uncle Jesse but the Aunt Becky who lived in Cades Cove LOL). It's considered as the first frame house built in the Cove and I absolutely love it. It's two stories but sadly we could only view the first floor and there was a lady sitting in period clothing on the front porch to answer any questions.

Aunt Becky
Rebecca Cable, better known as 'Aunt Becky' to the Cove community, was born on December 7, 1844 in Carter County, Tennessee. One of nine children, she moved with her family to Cades Cove in 1868.

She bought this house in 1887 with her brother Dan and lived her until her death in 1940.

Never married, she owned over 600 acres in the Cove and kept busy spinning, weaving, knitting, farming, tending store, taking in family boarders, and caring for her brother's children after he became ill.

Aunt Becky was buried in Cable Cemetery beneath a bed of flowers.

There were also some pretty cool buildings behind and next to Aunt Becky's.

The next stop (actually just up from Aunt Becky's) was probably my favorite site of the day: The still working water-powered grist mill. This thing just drew me to it, so I took a LOT of pictures. There was a guy inside, answering questions, showing you how it worked and selling flour from the mill.

And of course, since I loved it so much, I had to take a short video. You're welcome. :-D

This is what the wheel turned
to grind the wheat or whatever.

A little creek sat behind the grist mill and I walked down to the edge and sat down just to enjoy the peace and quiet. Although, while it wasn't exactly quiet b/c of the babbling brook, birds chirping and the bugs chittering, it was a noise I could've listened to for hours. Then some people came along and ruined my solitude haha.

There were quite a few buildings near Aunt Becky's like the above mentioned grist mill.

There was this cantilever barn full of old farm equipment:

A blacksmith shop that gave demonstrations but was sadly closed while we were there (took pictures through the slates.....had brief moment of panic when I almost dropped my phone LOL).

And of course, the Visitors Center is there at Cable Mill, full of books, magnets and other souvenirs. Didn't take any pictures there but did see a couple books I'd like to buy next time. :-)

The next house was Tipton Place

Not really sure why the upstairs was
split off like this....
The barn and other building were across the street/lane from Tipton Place.

Next on the "tour" and actually the last thing, was Carter Shields cabin. Maybe not as "fancy" as the others but still a picturesque little place.

I could definitely handle looking out
at this view every day.

One thing I did notice since our last time visiting, were these signs we saw every so often. I couldn't help but think how sad it was that people had to be told to LEAVE WILDLIFE ALONE. Seriously? Just sad.

By the time we got out of Cades Cove, we were starving. So we headed for Gatlinburg to eat at Bubba Gumps (you should know by now how much I love that place LOL) Sadly we didn't make it there b/c the parking lots were charging $10 to park and we just couldn't justify paying that much just to eat.....if we were there to go shopping too, it'd been different.

So we headed into Pigeon Forge and stopped at Red Lobster instead. Still seafood, still good food. :-)

The next day (our actual anniversary), John surprised me with roses and a card.

And McKayla drew this picture for us for our anniversary and copied the text of the card John had given me. <3

Can't believe it's been 9 years already. It just doesn't seem possible to me.


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