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Monday, 4/11/11: Late sleeper, Cades Cove, and Dinner

I got up about 6:40 this morning. This is about the usual time we get up thanks to our dog, Katie, who is our alarm clock. She still likes her breakfast fairly early, even though we're retired now. I guess she didn't get the memo about not having to get up quite so early anymore. Actually I don't usually mind because then I can watch the sun rise. Both Terri and I usually get up and while I take Katie out, Terri gets Katie's breakfast ready. Sometimes after that, Terri goes back to bed. Today, however, I decided not to wake her up, and she slept in until 9:00. I didn't know at the time, but she couldn't get to sleep until after 3:30 AM due to two big cups of a caffeinated soft drink she had with dinner last night. Needless to say, she appreciated the extra sleep.

I was on the laptop most of the morning. Once Terri got up and was ready for the day, we left around noon for a sightseeing tour of Cades Cove located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cove is another word for valley. There's an eleven mile one-lane, one-way loop that you can drive, bike, and/or hike. We chose to drive it and see if it would be something we'd like to bike. Some of the hills are pretty steep, so we decided not to bike it at this time. There are four different churches located at Cades Cove, and each of them had its own cemetary. We find old cemetaries very interesting, and so we spent some extra time strolling through those. There are some hiking trails that I would have liked to check out, but due to our late start, we ran short on time. Someday I'd like to go back and hike some of the trails. We finished the loop and headed back to the RV park.

This tree landed on top of another tree

Another view

We got back to the park about 5:30. I took Katie out, Terri fed the pets, and then we headed on over to Howard and Linda's campsite for "happy hour" with the other Dreamers. We spent some time talking with Paul and Marti and also with John and Terri. We also spent a few minutes with Lee and Martha. Howard and Linda are trying out a new program during the rally in which any interested "newbie" RVers (like us) are matched up with more experienced RVers for some personal assistance, and Lee and Martha are our assigned mentors. We arranged to meet with them along with Dick and Michelle (more newbies) tomorrow and look forward to learning some tips from them.

Paul and Marti invited us over for dinner and by the time we got to their campsite, they had an excellent steak dinner waiting for us. We very much appreciated dinner. As I was eating, I realized that the only thing I'd had all day was a big glass of orange juice and some water. Thanks again Paul and Marti for a wonderful dinner.

After a most enjoyable dinner and evening with good friends, we headed home where Terri watched Dancing with the Stars and I surfed the net. Tomorrow is the first day of the rally with check-in during the afternoon, a catered meal for dinner, and overview, introductions, and icebreaker after dinner.

Let the fun and learning begin.

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