Hey, guess what? I am FINALLY getting around to posting about the DeLong Family Vacation in Gatlinburg, TN (June 2017)! (My excuse is that I started a new job….and because of that it set me back several months because training ruled my life….is that a good excuse?!?!????)
Anyway, it was my VERY FIRST vacation as a DELONG!!!! (YAYAYAYAY!) SO, every other year, my in-law’s (Duke + Molly DeLong) plan a HUGE 3-4 day family vacation for all their children (Darci, Abby + Ty) + their spouses (Josh, Jared, & now Me) + their kids (Brax, Brody, Trevi, Everleigh, Joah, Marielle + Akaius) (OH YEAH…and Bella came too since she is the grand-kitty).
When I first heard that the family vacation was in Gatlinburg, TN I immediately was dreading it mostly because of all the years I had to go to Gatlinburg for Winterfest with my previous job (every single year during Valentine’s day weekend for 6 years). I imagined family vacation was going to be in gross downtown Gatlinburg with thousands of teenagers around me eating fudge, pancakes, or any triple fried greasy item. (Yeah, I’m not a fan of downtown Gatlinburg, it kind of reminds me of the place that Pinocchio was sent to with all the other disrespectful boys in that weird Disney movie). I mean, even my 8-year-old niece (Trevi) was like “Ummmm Aunt Dolly is NOT going to like Family vacation because she HATES Gatlinburg!”
Thankfully my husband (Ty) is a very patient man, and told me to give Gatlinburg a chance…mostly b/c family vacation is always awesome with his family…and because he knows I can be pretty dramatic about things I don’t like…gosh that man sometimes knows me too well. Goodness, he was RIGHT and I was wrong about Gatlinburg (GASP)! When you actually step outside of that nasty downtown strip, and you go outside the city, it’s really very pretty! My in-laws had rented this beautiful (ginormous) cabin that fit everyone (literally EVERYONE-even the cat) comfortably and perfectly. Molly (Or Momo as everyone calls her) had daily activities planned out for the family. We went hiking, horse-back riding, & went to my namesake’s theme-park “Dollywood” (okay okay, Dolly Parton is NOT my namesake…but my mom did pick up some English thanks to Dolly Parton when she first moved to America in 1984. She listened to ALOT of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers and picked up on some American Lingo from their songs-LOL)! Anyway….I judged Gatlinburg too hard, and I have decided not to hate on it too much from here on out.
Overall, I had a BLAST hanging out with my new family. I told Ty by the end of family vacation that I LOVED hanging out with the entire family, and this was such a fun + positive experience for me (because I did not grow up going on massive family vacations since I’m an only child). PLUS-ADDED BONUS: My nieces and nephews are hysterical and I am convinced that they are the coolest little humans I have ever met.
Thank you Ty for agreeing to marry me so that I can hang out with your family (and now they are my family)! And I’m thankful I (finally) had a fun experience in Gatlinburg! I told Ty I would agree to go back happily next time 🙂
Here are several photos from family vacation! Enjoy!
P.S. If anyone was wondering…Bella hated family vacation.