Friday, August 12, 2011

Some pictures from my recent family vacation!

I often forget how different the east coast is from the west. Unless you've lived in both areas, you probably wouldn't understand. Out here in California.. it's more like a desert. Some call it a Mediterranean environment. In the summer, it's very brown. There aren't many trees, even the hills are mostly brown. The sun is really bright too. I can't describe it. And there's very little moisture in the air. 

Out east, at least where I was in Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, there are trees everywhere! And green green green as far as the eye can see. Shrubs and vines and moss and a wide variety of trees. The sun isn't quite so bright and the air is abuzz with insects and saturated with dew.

My mother and sister's cabin in the hills of Eastern Tennessee was such a peaceful charming place, surrounded by trees. At night the katydids chirped so loud you could hardly talk! And I even saw some fireflies!!  I spent 3 years living in Gatlinburg Tenn when I was a teenager and all those memories came back!  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is right there.. and in my opinion, one of the most lush and serene wildernesses I've ever seen.   

Then we drove 6 hours to get to my brother's cabin in West Virginia where we spent a few days relaxing and hunting wild blackberries. (YUM!)  and jumping in swimming holes in the river to cool off. My brother and his family live in Florida but come up to the cabin as often as they can. It's so far off the beaten path that I didn't have cell phone coverage!!   The nearest grocery store is miles away. It's just a very different life than what I'm used to here in the big city. But the cabin is beautiful and we had fun.

I'm glad to be home. I've finally caught up a bit on my sleep and I'm excited to put the finishing touches on Veil of Pearls, due to my publisher on Sept 9th.    My camera ran out of juice about halfway through my trip, but I'd thought you'd enjoy a few pictures. I hope you all have a blessed and relaxing and wonderful weekend. God and family are truly all that matter.

Cody, my sister's dog. He's so much fun!

Me at The Village in Gatlinburg. I worked there as a teenager!

Roaring Fork Creek where we used to go for picnics as a kid

More Roaring fork!

Trees of West Virginia

The swimming hole we found!!


  1. Fri Aug 12th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Hi again. Thanks for sharing your photos with us ... loved seeing the scenery, and, action shots. Once again ... it looked so pretty and peaceful, and "green". And, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. ("Cabins" seem to be the 'way-to-go' !!! Private, but beauty/nature all around to enjoy !)
    You're absolutely right though -- God and family, are all that truly matter.
    So glad to hear you are getting caught up on your sleep; and, putting the final touches on your newest book.
    Yes, you have a wonderful weekend too. Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Great pictures! That place looks fabulous!!!

    I awarded you the Liebster Blog Award. I love reading your blog.

    You can see how the award works here:

  3. MaryLu, this looks like a fabulous trip! When I have gone out to CA and other places in the west I have been struck by how beautifully green it is back here in VA. Having grown up in the middle of national forest in MI I don't feel right without all the trees!

  4. I'm glad you had such a great time! And the poochie is absolutely adorable! (Dog person - can you tell? ;-))

  5. OK! Next time I want to come!! lol Great pictures and wish we had a swimming hole like that to play in! What fun!!

  6. I haven't lived in the west--yet. I from New England and that truly is my earthly home. I was forced to move to the Midwest. I'm in Nebraska. It's like New Hampshire as far as the air but a LOT worse! The land is pretty much flat, corn fields and soy is all you see (in the eastern part) and there are like NO trees. There's no bodies of water anywhere really. The state has one lake. There's no mountains. The rivers are brown and gross. I can't stand it here and I cannot wait to get back east. At least I'm in America! All my family are there.
    Love the pictures! So beautiful. It's resembles NH.
    Glad you had a good trip. I agree God and family!

  7. Thanks everyone! Brenda, Yes, it was definitely a "get away from civilization" trip! Not much greenery, but at least we have mountains and the beach here in CA! Not sure I could live in the mid-west like you Abigail!! Yikes. But like you said.. you're still in the best country in the world.
    I don't feel right without trees, either, Carrie. :-(
    And thanks for the blog award, Victoria!! I appreciate it.

  8. Thanks for sharing your photos with us, MaryLu, they are very nice. I love Cody! So cute! (another dog person LOL)I am so happy that you were able to spend that time with your family. I am grateful that my children live close by; I pray they always stay within easy travel distance of me.

  9. I'm so glad that you got to go!! :o) Looks like you had a great time and a much needed vacation. I do love the East and you are, green, green. :o)

    I love how different each part of the US is. It's so fun to travel.

  10. Glad you enjoyed your trip. The mountains are beautiful any time of year, you should go in winter sometime.

    JoyAnne in TN

  11. JoyAnne, where in TN are you? Yes, I've seen it in the winter. IT's gorgeous!! I might go back there some year in the fall, too. I remember it's like God took out his paintbrush and created a masterpiece!

  12. What a cute dog, and such a funny picture :)
    Ooh, the village looks like such a fun quirky place. I'll bet it was a great place to work.
    And that looks like a fun swimming hole. Are those sort-of stairs carved into the rock in the foreground of the picture? That is so cool!
    I'll have to plan a vacation in that area someday. I would love to see the Great Smoky Mountains.