Thanksgiving Week Recap

Hi everyone!  We thought it would be fun to put together a Thanksgiving Recap of our time in Western Carolina!  It was our first time all being together in a long time.  Since we each have our own writing styles, we are dividing up this post and sharing a mix of recap, photos, and video clip favorites from the week.

To start, our family has been renting a cabin for the week of Turkey Day for a few years now.  This year, we switched it up and stayed in the town of Maggie Valley which is much closer to Asheville, NC than our usual cabin location.  We quickly realized that this area has a lot more to do.  Cherokee is nearby (grandma loves to gamble) and so are some really neat cities in Tennessee.  Plus there are more restaurants and things to go within Maggie Valley itself.  Overall it was a hit and everyone enjoyed the change of location.  Now on to some highlights from the week!

Kimberly’s Recap:

This week is something the whole family has been looking forward to.  I was ready for some good eats and quality family time.  Most people showed up on Sunday afternoon (mom came on Monday).  We took it easy that night with a spaghetti dinner and settled in for the week.  Since the Hoch is still in Korea visiting his family, I ended up sharing this room with my mom and David, and our 6 year old cousin, Fox, joined in on the party for a couple of nights as well.

Bear themed room with a bunk bed and a day bed (not pictured)

 The views of the Smokey Mountains from the cabin were amazing and the weather was exceptionally nice for this time of year.  To be honest, we should’ve taken advantage of the mild temps and planned a day hike, but we were a bit lazy on the fitness front (yoga leggings were NOT used for yoga or fitness as originally planned).  Instead we did explore Maggie Valley one day and another day rounded everyone up for a day trip to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville Tennessee.  Imagine Myrtle Beach, SC, but in the mountains instead of at the beach and you’ve got any one of those towns.  They all have miniature golf, kiddie rides, wax museums, and a lot of random things to see/do.

The Island in Pigeon Forge, TN

Grandma’s knee was acting up and she could not walk around like usual, so we ended up stopping at a place in Gatlinburg to sample moonshine before noon because well why not?  A few of us sampled 12 different types of moonshine and man were we buzzed by the time we left there.  Their most famous moonshine was an apple pie flavored one.  The guy walked us through this particular sample.  First you smell it (smelled like apple jolly rancher), then you take it back, inhale (tasted like apple), and then exhale (tasted like caramel).  Minds.Blown.  It was sooo good.  We ended up buying that one, plus another butter pecan one for the cabin.  I’ll go ahead and say too much moonshine = bad hangover though.


After the kiddos enjoyed some rides in Pigeon Forge’s The Island, we played a game of miniature golf and then went to Sevierville to eat dinner at the Apple Barn.  We’re talking all apples everything and delicious southern home cookin’!  It was a long, but fun day. 🙂

Chicken Dumplin’s (far left) and Chicken Pot Pie (MINE)
Apple Barn Store

The next couple of days involved prepping for Turkey Day, the guys went golfing, and we had a couple of movie nights.  On Thanksgiving, we stuffed our faces and played poker that night.  The following day everyone sort of split off to do their own thing.  Grandma and Wilson (her bf) went to the Cherokee casinos and our aunt Delina had a girls day with her best friend, Dana.  The rest of us hung out at the house; I was hungover to be honest and didn’t want to do much of anything (damn moonshine).  That evening, Stephanie and I went to see one of my best friends, Sherry, in Asheville for dinner.  We caught up over dinner and enjoyed a few beers at a local brewery.  Asheville really is such a cute little town, especially at night when all the lights are lit.

Stephanie, Sherry, and me at Wicked Weed Brewing

While we were at dinner, the rest of the family went roller skating at a rink in Maggie Valley.  They were open until 11pm and Stef and I wanted to try and make it back in time, but everyone was ready to go around 9pm so we missed it unfortunately.  It looked like a lot of fun though.  David and mom were texting us photos and videos from the rink.

(Stolen from Dana’s FB page)

Since it was a Friday night, Grandma and Wilson went out to a local bar for Karaoke night (another one of grandma’s favorite things to do).  Since it was late and kids were not allowed in the bar after a certain time anyways, the rest of us skipped it and played pool at the cabin instead.

Grandma and Wilson joined us after Karaoke

The following day was a recover and pack up day and before we knew it our week with the family was over.  It was wonderful as always and less drama (every family has drama right?) than usual which was nice.  Since I’ve already shared more than enough, I will let David and Stephanie do the rest of the talking via more photos and video clips. 🙂

David’s Favorite Pics:

The best part of this Thanksgiving week was finally getting to reunite with my family after not seeing them for six months! Seeing my mom made the 2000 mile journey back home that much more rewarding. Getting a hug from my niece, Evelet made me realize how fast she is growing up! She knows more Spanish than me and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Getting the chance to watch my sister Stephanie be a mother is a gift in itself. She’s a great mom. And hearing in detail about Kimberly and Hoch’s adventure around the world has been as inspiration to say the least. There’s so much to see out there, why not go see it?

Usually, our family takes a lot of pictures when we are together. But this Thanksgiving we (I) didn’t do as much. I found myself just getting caught up in the moment and not trying to take a million pics. It’s nice to just be there in the now.

But, here are a few pics of this Thanksgiving week:

View from deck over looking the smokey mountains
Evelet showing off her yoga skills
She’s a quick learner
Evelet, Stephanie, Fox, and me
Feeling the buzz after 12 sample shots of moonshine

As you can see, I didn’t take a lot of photos this Thanksgiving week. It’s nice to capture certain moments and etc… but overall this week was one full of memories that no video or photo can share. We’ve all had those funny/precious moments where you kind of “wish” you had recorded a video or snapped a quick pic. But then again, it’s those moments that stay with you forever and helps you appreciate the NOW more than ever.

Just want to end my part of this blog post by saying how grateful I am for my family.

You all are my oxygen. Te amo

Stephanie’s Video of the Week:

I’ll start by saying Jaisen and myself were way WAY past due for an entire week long vacation. Between 3D Brow clients, Photography clients and Lash Boost clients, there’s no “clocking out” at home. Best believe I did on this trip. I slept..a lot… I guess I needed to seriously recharge my batteries. I battled a sinus infection the entire week (and barely had taste buds) but that didn’t stop me from eating like a pig or keep my positive vibes going.

As always, I thoroughly look forward to and enjoy spending time with my entire family. This was the first year Kimberly, David and I were there together for the entire week. It was always.

I didn’t pick up my camera the entire week. Like I said, I clocked out and resonated in the moment…with the exception of my snapchat attacks from time to time. I put together a video containing snap clips and pics. (I kinda sorta love chopping up videos on the splice app).

Alright y’all, enjoy the video! Until next time, Stephanie

P.S. Thinking about all those affected by the wild fires that hit both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge a couple of days after we left. 😦

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