Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Hero . . . .
Matthew ran in his first mini-marathon today! This is what he looked like as he prepared to begin his run.

Here he is leaving Iroquois Park and heading for downtown!

Matt and his friend, Wes, after the mini-marathon! They are still smiling - after 13.1 miles!

Matt and the women in his life! :) We are all proud - from wife to sister to mom. Proud Dad took the picture!
Congratulations, Matt! That was quite an accomplishment! You did a great job!! See you at your next race. Love you!

Love, YFM

Edited to add:
Stephens, Matthew
Louisville, KY
4989 (out of 11,ooo+ - not too shabby! :)

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Parting Shots . . . .

The aforementioned Friar's Special - my very favorite! :) Can't think of a better treat for my last breakfast in Gatlinburg (for 2007)!

Before we headed for home, we made a trip to Newfound Gap. Talk about a beautiful spot. The weather this spring has killed a lot of the flowers - the plants are delayed, but there are no flowers. The mountainsides are covered in brown trees - more like fall than spring. But, even in the five days we were there, we noticed a lot more green. Pretty, huh? With or without the green, the views are breathtaking and a photo does not do it justice!
We stopped at Chimney Tops for a picnic on the way to Townsend, TN. From Townsend to Maryville to Knoxville, then home. It was a beautiful trip. Five lovely days.

Thank you for traveling with us!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Tennessee . . . .
On Tuesday, we took the Roaring Fork tour. That is one of our favorites because it is close to Gatlinburg and has lots of interesting cabins and views of the stream. There is usually a pretty spectacular waterfall, too, but it was not as spectacular as usual. It was still pretty, but not a show-stopper! We had a nice picnic at the park before our tour and finished up the evening with supper at Calhoun's. Dad had the 1/2 rack of ribs and I had a bowl of white chili. Very good!
Yesterday's trip to Cade's Cove was beautiful. I've always wanted to play the piano - so there I sit NOT playing the piano! This was inside one of the churches - the Methodist, I think. The cemeteries are interesting, but it is so sad to see how young people were when they died - so many infants and children 3 and under. While the hustle and bustle of today's world may be overwhelming sometimes, we are fortunate to have medical care and many other modern conveniences those people couldn't begin to imagine.

Isn't that idyllic?
Dad says it is until you picture yourself out here miles and miles from nowhere in the dark with bears and wolves around.
Hmmm - I like my version better - peaceful and serene.
Finally, Gatlinburg at night. Isn't that pretty?

We've been lucky! There are so few people here - especially at the first of the week. It took us back to our visits 20 years ago - or longer. We've been able to travel back and forth between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge without a traffic jam. We've been able to walk up and down the street and in and out of shops without hoards of people. We didn't get caught in traffic jams on either the Roaring Fork or Cade's Cove roads. It has been perfect. I think we will try to do this again next April. Seems to be the perfect time to come to Gatlinburg!

Tomorrow we are heading home, but before we do, we are going to go to Newfound Gap. After that, we are going to head home by way of Townsend - trying to make this trip to the mountains last as long as possible! I will post more pictures of the mountains in a couple days.

Gatlinburg, TN
Gary and I are taking a quick trip to Gatlinburg, TN, 23-27 April 2007. The weather has been beautiful - and, you can't beat the scenery. The park is especially peaceful.
We begin each morning with a hearty breakfast from the Donut Friar. The BEST donuts ever. My personal favorite is the Friar's Special - cream filled, covered in chocolate, with a cream-filling smiley face on top. Mmmmm. Don't count the points!

Gary in front of our motel - our room is the one hidden by the trees on the left side of the picture. Nice to hear the river burbling past our deck. :)

Yesterday, we took a trip to Cades Cove. It was a beautiful, warm day. We visited many of the cabins and took a short hike to see the Elijah Oliver settlement. It was so quiet and nice. I like the comforts of home, but it would be really great to have a home somewhere off the beaten path where all you hear are birds and the gurgling of the creek.

Today we drove the Arts & Crafts tour and ate at the Nifty Fifties Cafe. It has been drizzling or raining all day, so that was a perfect way to spend the day.

We have to leave tomorrow to return home. If I get any outstanding shots of Gatlinburg, I will post a few more tonight or tomorrow night. Love to all.

Monday, April 02, 2007

First Pictures of Baby Stephens

Smile for the camera!

It's a boy - an active 13 oz. bouncing baby boy!

Baby feet are precious!
Congratulations Matt and Whitney!

Can't wait to hold him!
Love to all!


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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Congratulations, Matt!Yesterday, Matt ran his first 10-mile run! This is the third race of the Triple Crown - the first was a 5K, the second a 10K and yesterday's a 10-mile! There were approximately 6,500 runners and Matt finished 3,149 - pretty good for someone who is new to running (and who doesn't get much training time)!
This picture isn't too good, but you can see him in the back on the left - the one in the red hat - coming down the home stretch at Papa John's Stadium.

Name Age Sex ChipTime ClockTime Overall SexPl DivPl AgeGr
Matt Stephens 27 M 1:46:51 1:49:50 3143 2002 221 41.5%
Matt and his friend, Wes, ran a great race! With Mary's help, I think Wes is going to win the next race, for sure. Mary's baby will be born a couple month's before Whitney's!

Congratulations to both Matt and Wes on their 10-miler!
Congratulations to Matt/Whitney and Wes/Mary on their new families!
Life is good!
And, congratulations to the spectators who survived a grueling day of walking through downtown Louisville to and from the race, jogging to deliver the forgotten chip and searching for a lost cell phone. :)
A good time was had by all!
Love you guys!