the Paladinos

October Break!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015 by Leslie Paladino

It’s that time of year again.  Time for our year round school October break.  Yay!!! This is my favorite time of the year, break included.  We’re definitely ready for a relaxed schedule, cooler temps and a VACATION!  Last year we visited Gatlinburg, TN and loved it!  We had so much fun stopping along the way and the mountains were amazing.  They made our mountains seem like bumps.  This year we’re heading to Colorado for the first time.  I know, I know!  We’re the only people left in the world who haven’t been there before.  Smile  We’re starting off in Grand Lakes and possibly ending up in Colorado Springs.  But that’s still up for debate.  We literally just put things together this week so we’re a little fly by the seat of our pants for this trip.  Aaaand we leave on Saturday.  Nothing like procrastination! 

I never took the time to blog about our trip last year so I thought I would do that now before we leave for our next trip.  Don’t worry, that makes total sense.  Winking smile  Prepare for picture overload.

We started our stay at this beautiful cabin.  It opened up to the most amazing views from the back.  And it had a cool loft or “death trap” as I began to call it where the kids stayed.  The ladder was super steep and Peter was in a sleep walk stage when we went.  Not a good combo.  So every night we would pile things in front of the entrance to block him.  
Panoramic sunrise from our deck.  The sunrise’s were amazing.  It took so long for the sun to finally come up over those huge mountains.

Time lapse video of a sunrise.

It’s hard to tell what’s going on here but I had to capture how Michael got the time lapse video.  It’s a cell phone on top of a shoe on top of a table on top of a stool on top of another shoe.  But it worked!  This cracks me up!!

Literally smokey mountains. 


Before we left we found the cabin and a very cool old schoolhouse that was over 100 years old and had been renovated into a house.  We couldn’t decide which one to stay at so we booked a few nights at both and moved half way through the trip. 

Very cute, right?  Adorable even.  Unless you have to stay there!!  It was the creepiest place EVER!  It felt like we were staying at our grandmas house but didn’t know our grandma.  And it didn’t help that the first night there we were woken up at 3:00 am by a rolling sound outside on the deck.  Back and forth rolling sound right behind where Peter was sleeping.  What in the world!?  Let’s just say I didn’t get much sleeping done on this trip.  Michael at least waited until we were pulling out of the driveway to tell me that there were 2 people buried behind the house somewhere in an old cemetery.  Yikes!      

Still cute, but wait for it.
Wait for it…
There it is.  Creepy hat wall!
Creepy hole in the ceiling.
Creepy ribbon mannequin.  I don’t even know!?
Creepy clock!
Ok, back to cute. 

So this year, we’re keeping it mainstream and steering clear of any creepy or even slightly outdated places. 

Time lapse video of the fog at the base of the mountains in the morning at the schoolhouse.

The aquarium in Gatlinburg was great!  One of the kids favorite things.

This was just a place off the side of the road on the way up the mountain but was beautiful!  The landscape in TN is just so different and one of the things we loved.
That’s North Carolina in the background.

This was at the highest peak of the mountain.  The landscape there was totally different.  Very sparse and the trees were all evergreens. 

On our way back down the mountain we saw our first bear.  It’s that vague black shape in the middle of the pic.  You could always tell there was a bear sighting because there would be a line of cars pulled to the side of the road. 

Deer were definitely plentiful and we saw 4 bucks walking just off the side of the road in one of the parks.  They paid no attention to us and got within a few feet of us.  Beautiful!
Gabby’s first time on a big horse.  She loved it!
Peter of course wanted nothing to do with it so we took a carriage ride.  Smile
Our second bear sighting.  A momma and baby were romping through the forest just off the road. 

We pulled off the side of the road just down the hill from the bears and were throwing rocks in this river when we noticed 2 otters swimming upstream.  They played and swam for the longest time.  So neat to watch them just out in the wild!

This was our last hike of the trip and one of our favorite places.  It was so beautiful and just unbelievable. 

Wild turkeys off the side of the road.

We’re looking forward to new adventures this year! 


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