Despite the two years planning, we had 12 extra people show up yesterday for the reunion. Last night's dinner went off without a hitch once we got our mojo working. God bless Ted and Landon, the groom-to-be on July 30, who spent four solid hours cooking spaghetti. My sister's entire family pitched in keeping the food replenished on the buffet tables and really did a great job cleaning up.
I can't say enough about how wonderful the MainStay Suites here in Pigeon Forge has been. The staff is absolutely amazing. Nothing we have asked for has been too much trouble and there aren't added charges. They brought us a cart full of ice, coffee, paper towels, extension cords, emptied the garbage constantly and even fetched our goody bags from the boardroom and delivered them to the pavilion. I will write a letter to the General Manager and tell him how pleased we have been.
In the morning, several carloads took the Roaring Waters trail. It's a beautiful ride through the mountainous area surrounding Gatlinburg. We rode with Cindy and Tim because our dually truck would not fit on the road in spots.
It was a beautiful ride and the kids had so much fun climbing the rocks and wading in the streams and waterfalls.
The highlight was spotting a bear! Last time we saw a bear in this vicinity was a trip in 1967. It has become harder and harder to see them. This looked to be a youngster and we were all on the look out for Mama Bear.
Once dinner was finished, the younger folks took off, most to go ram each other on the go-karts in town.
After dinner if you weren't on the go karts, you were probably out around the pool. When the lights went out at midnight, everyone headed to bed.
Saturday was a bit hairy. Nicole brought Noah over around 9 o'clock and he was an angel all day. I dealt with feeding, dirty and wet diapers, burping, etc. He was fine and didn't cry at all. However, my door was like Grand Central Station and the phone rang off the hook. I was busier than a one-armed paperhanger! My biggest problem was that I had two extra shirts and two people with no shirts ... but the sizes I had were the wrong sizes! Since 16 were golfing, four were shooting, at least six were shopping and others were at the pool, trying to contact those who I felt may have the wrong shirt wasn't going well. Thank goodness for accommodating people because I was able to switch out a few with some others and everyone had a shirt, even if it wasn't the size they originally ordered.
By the time Noah was picked up, I had about 45 minutes to get ready for church and I made it. Karen, Ron, Ann, Ted and I went to Holy Cross Church which is very near where we are staying. We know the back way to go to stay off the Parkway and we were home a little after six.
Dinner was another snafu. I was told there were 10 tables of 10. With the additional people I requested an 11th table. There should have been 110 seats. Ted had stopped to make sure they put the additional table in and they had. What he didn't do, and neither did I upon arrival, was notice that there were 8 chairs, not 10, at each table. We finally got that settled and dinner began.
I thanked everyone, Cousin Charles reported on the 2013 reunion and Brad announced the golf winners. Then there was the big attempt at a group picture. Tommy instructed me to take several pictures and he will attempt to stitch them together. I'm not sure how good the waiter did but I'm sending it all off to Tommy tomorrow while I have use of someone else's wi-fi.
I did my best to stop by every table and visit a bit. People moved on to the pool area or their rooms. I hung around to watch the Texas Hold 'Em tournament. Ted was sitting between Todd and Steve to help them since neither one knew the rules of the game. But it was the bride-to-be Amy who won the big pot.
Today we spent several hours in the breakfast room saying farewell to families as they prepared to leave. Eventually we took the trolley ride around with Karen and Ron since there was rain in the area. We got back around 3 o'clock and the sun was shining. We sat in rockers on the porch and eventually walked to the RV for a little while.
We joined up with Lisa and Marshall and went to the Apple Barn to eat. Great food and I have my dessert in the refrigerator to have some time tomorrow. On the way back, Melissa called and told us to stop at Adventure Ziplines. We went there and spent a good bit of time while Lisa, Brandon and Dan all rode the ziplines. Afterwards we came home and are ready to pull out tomorrow.
Next stop Cincinnati.