Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Our Smokey Mountain Vacation - Day Five, Part Five: Roaring Forks Motor Road

This post is part of a travel series of our vacation in the Smokey Mountains.  To start at the beginning, go HERE!  The rest of the posts in chronological order are HERE, HEREHEREHEREHERE, HEREHERE, HERE, and HERE!

I think this first picture if just perfect for the first picture of this post because it looks as if I'm waving goodbye to you.  In a sense, I am!  I am waving goodbye to the Smokey Mountains and to this series, for Roaring Forks Motor Road was the very last thing we did in the Smokey's and this  post will be the end of this series.

I don't think we intentionally saved "the best for last" for we really didn't know anything about this scenic road.  It just so happened that the road didn't even open till the very last day of our vacation, and it also happened to be the very last thing we did on Day Five because we hit it on our way back to our hotel for the night.  But I do believe, driving and exploring the Roaring Forks Motor Road was one of the best things we did in the Smokies.  It was so peaceful.  There were not that many people on this road once you got past the popular trail heads.  We were able to pull over as often as we wished, and just enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Smokies.


 Roaring Forks Motor Road is a one-way 5.5 mile winding, narrow road that takes you through the forests and alongside an exuberant mountain stream:  "Roaring Fork".  It is one of the largest and fastest mountain streams in the park.  In addition to viewing the beautiful forest and stream, you will see lots of historic buildings, similar to what you'd find in Cades Cove Loop Road.

There are multiple stops on the road where you can pick up a hiking trail or explore an early settler's settlement.  Here we stopped not just to check out the cabin seen in the distance, but also so I could take my sneakers off and soak my tired feet in the stream.


The Roaring Forks stream truly is the most spectacular thing to see on this road.  The sound of running water is everywhere, so be sure to drive with your car windows down.




There are quite a number of historic buildings, log cabins, and a grist mill on this road.





The best part of being in the Smokies this time of the year was seeing all the Trilliums in bloom.  They formed a beautiful white carpet in the forest.



History buffs will love exploring Roaring Forks Motor Road for it's filled with information of all the early settlers.






You can access both the Rainbow Falls and the Grotto Falls trailheads from the Roaring Forks Motor Road, but there is also one waterfall you can see right from your car window for it's right on the road.  It's called "Place of a Thousand Drips".  Isn't that a great name for a waterfall?



But the fun doesn't end there!  Right when you exit the Roaring Forks Motor Road there is a little artistic residential/business area.  They had the most beautiful daffodils blooming along the road side when we were there.



Here you can shop for items made by local artists.  I purchased the cutest handmade salsa bowl as my souvenir of the Smokies.



Here you will also find Ely's Mill





I don't know if it was just a relaxing, quiet end to our very eventful day, but we just loved every minute driving the Roaring Forks Motor Road.  I just remember such blissful peace and serenity and I couldn't think of a better way to end our week at the Smokies.

Be sure to check out the two short videos.  The first one shows all the Trilliums in bloom as we drive along in the car, and the second one is the gorgeous Roaring Forks stream.



 Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A Beautiful Woodland Wedding and A Handmade Wedding Card

We had the wonderful pleasure of attending our oldest and dearest friend's daughter's wedding last June.  They live in the greater Milwaukee area, but decided to have their wedding not too far from our home because they loved the woodland setting for their wedding ceremony.  It was a great advantage for us because we didn't even need to get a hotel.

The beautiful bride and her handsome husband were married at Burlap and Bells in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  Burlap and Bells offers three outdoor wedding spaces:  Vine Chapel,  Cliff Top, and Tree Grove.  You can read and see pictures of each space on the Burlap and Bells website.  The wedding we attended was held at Tree Grove so this post will talk all about that wedding space.


Having a wedding in Tree Grove was so enchanting.  There is a long, grassy, tree lined path from the road to the actual ceremony.


Tiki torches line the path to ward off mosquitoes and perhaps light the way for wedding held at night.


Tall pines filter the sun.   Benches fill in amongst the tall pines.  A rustic arch is in the center front.



They did have a sound system, so everyone was heard.  I know in a lot of outdoor weddings, there is no sound system and it can be difficult to hear what people are saying.  The bride's aunt played the music for the wedding.


The bride looked like a princess in her beautiful gown.  I really loved the bridesmaids dresses too.  The color and style was so elegant and flattering on all of them.


This handsome young man is the bride's brother.


And this beautiful and elegant lady, is one our dearest friends, the bride's mom.


We are also related to these two cuties.  We call them "cousins" though, technically I'm not sure if that's what they are.  Perhaps someone who knows more about ancestry can tell me.  They are my husband's grandmother's sister's great great grandchildren.  It hurts my brain just trying to figure it out.


We had a lot of fun taking a short wagon ride from the parking lot to the wedding ceremony area.  I wore a gorgeous maxi dress from Stitch Fix.  It was such a hot, humid day, so the dress was perfect!


This is my husband and the bride's father.  They met in high school and have been best friend's ever since. It's so wonderful to reach this age and see our children all grown up, getting married, and having babies of their own.


And here I am with the beautiful mother-of-the-bride.  I didn't meet her in high school, but I met her when my husband and I got engaged and we've been friends ever since.



The reception was held at a covered pavilion.  It is lit entirely by bistro lights and is filled with a mixture of rustic tables and mismatched chairs.


I loved the bride and grooms over sized chairs.  The table was graced with long, green garland and there was a green hoop behind the chairs.  A "Mr & Mrs" sign sat on the the floor in front of the couple with a white floral arrangement in front of it.


White candles placed on log rings completed the wedding table look.


The pavilion is open to the outside.  Each opening has long white curtains and sliding barn doors on each end.

The rustic tables and chairs were decorated with a long, white lace runner and topped with greenery, baby's breath, candles, a log ring and a cute sentimental wooden sign.




The dessert table held a welcome sign and two log tiered trays filled with a cupcake assortment.


Beautiful white flowers graced the base of the cupcake tiers.


There was a small cake just for the Bride and Groom to enjoy.  It had simple white frosting with fresh flowers placed on it.



A oval sign placed near the dessert table.


A very touching and sentimental Remembrance Table was placed in the corner of the reception area.   It held photographs of all the loved ones of the Bride and Groom who had passed on and could not be there to celebrate the day.


I thought the sign placed on the table was so sweet.


This gold hoop was placed in front of the DJ area.



Here is the outside of the covered pavilion.  The dance area looks out over an open field and is lit by bistro lights.


The Bride & Groom having their first dance.


And here I am, giddy with excitement because I'm about to enjoy my SECOND cupcake.  My husband doesn't really care for cupcakes, so I got his too!


I did make them a handmade card but it ended up being a disaster because it was so thick it wouldn't fit in their card box.  I've never had this happen at a wedding before, and it was so embarrassing!  They chose a card box that only had a sliver sized opening, so when I tried to put the card in, it just got completely crushed, and it still wouldn't go in.  I finally just had to hand to the father of the bride and he put it in his coat pocket.  

I thought because it wasn't going through the mail, I could go all out on the embellishments, but I guess I was wrong.  Anyhow, here's the card.  I'm sure you can tell by looking at it why it wouldn't fit in their card  box.  I hope it wasn't too badly damaged by the time the Bride and Groom received it.

To make the card, I used ornate wedding paper for both the background and the heart.  I cut the heart out with Spellbinder's Nestabilities, then popped it up on dimensionals.  Lots of paper and ribbon flowers were added, plus a crochet butterfly and some pearl ribbon....all stuff from my stash.  I just kept playing with the arrangement till I got the look I wanted.

The sentiment was stamped and gold embossed then cut out with a MFT die.  There is also a border of metallic gold paper before it's adhered to a card base.  It's one of those cards that is much prettier in real life and very hard to photograph.  All the white tends to wash it out.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this beautiful wedding today!  

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!