Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Travel With Kids: the truly magnificent Great Smoky Mountains (Part I) - there are bears in there

 Travel - tips and ideas for traveling to some of our favorite destinations in the US and abroad with the added bonus of reader recommendations too. This idea was inspired by our recent first visit as a family to Washington DC which went very well thanks to the advice of a handful of friends... and also by the lingering memory of being stranded in a frozen airport for 24 hours with baby twins, a bottle of water, and a bag of cheerios (that didn't go so well). We hope our trials and tribulations help you find calm waters and smooth sailing when you next travel with kids! 

"In this park we shall conserve the pine, the redbud, the dogwood, the azalea, the rhododendron, the trout and the thrush for the happiness of the American people. The old frontier that put the hard fiber in the American spirit and the long muscles on the American back, lives and will live in these untamed mountains to give future generations a sense of the land from which their forefathers hewed their homes."

- From the dedication speech given at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 2, 1940.

In this post from a few weeks ago - road trip conversation - I distinctly remember saying that BEARS were not on my list for a perfect vacation package. All the boys in this household have a fixation with possible bear and/or tornado sightings. What is it with boys and danger? Turns out, I was overruled at every point; there were lots of arduous hikes, extreme sports, and bears. Lots of bears... big Daddy bears, Mama bears with cubs,

bears climbing trees...

6 bears sighted (in our personal space, I might add) in 5 days! This National Park is nothing short of astounding. At the end of the day, I'm actually glad we had so many opportunities to study these amazing, peaceful, playful creatures. 

 All the details with tips on where to stay and what to pack here on the blog next week.

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