Sunday, October 7, 2012

What an Exciting Fall Break!

Hello Vanderbilt community! This is Lindsey Franklyn.

For all of you who are already back on campus, welcome back! For those of you still at home, I hope your fall break is going well and that you're having a good time with a well-deserved break. (And for all of you who stayed on campus, I hope you were able to break the bubble and check out some of the Taste of Nashville restaurants on your card this weekend).

Wow, what a weekend! In case y'all haven't been keeping up with our blog posts, some of our Mayfield (Sam CubbageLinda Sun, and myself) went up to Nell Koneczny's house in Maryville, TN for the weekend. If you look to the left, you can see the four of us having fun at Smoky Mountains. (Unfortunately, no bears were sited at Smokey Mountains, although we did see a lot of deer. Also, thanks to the passer-bys who took a picture of us!)

Here are some of the memorable moments of the weekend.

Sam, our resident creek-lover, having a wonderful time at Smoky Mountains.
Hello Smoky Mountains! On Friday, the four of us went eastwards to the Smoky Mountains.  On the way up, we decided to stop by a creek (actually, Sam yelled "STOPPPP!" and Nell suddenly swung the car into the rest-area) for a quick photo shoot. We jumped from rock to rock, got our feet (and even our socks) wet, and had a great time exploring upstream until the rocks wouldn't let us go any farther up.

Another picture of us having fun. (And another great view, of us and the creek).

Our picnic! Also, another great view of the Smoky Mountains.

PICNIC TIME! I didn't mention this before, but aside from creek-viewing, our initial reason for going up to the mountains was to have a picnic! And thank God we went up on Friday, the weather was absolutely amazing. We went to the store beforehand to get all the appropriate foods for the picnic. We had sandwiches, apples, grapes, and chips. Your typical picnic food, except we were fortunate enough to have some wonderful homemade bread, courtesy of the Koneczny family.

Not our tent, but a cool tent nonetheless.
CAMPING!  After our adventure in the Smoky Mountains on Friday, we went camping in Nell's backyard. We spent hours roasting (and burning) marshmallows, collecting wood for the fire, burning wishes, and setting up the tent.  (Bonus: I personally had a lot of fun burning wishes. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's when you write down a list of wishes on a piece of paper and throw them into a fire. Or, if that's too mainstream for you, you can also tear the paper into strips and burn them one by one).

Also, never underestimate Tennessee's ability to rain at the most inopportune moment. In the middle of the night, our friend, Stephen, woke up and suggested that we should put up a tarp. No one wanted to get up, though, so we spent a bit of time arguing about whether or not we needed it ("Did the forecast say it would rain?", "Maybe", "Are you sure it was for today?", "Do we need a tarp?") before Stephen finally put it up.

Long story short - it ended up raining. Always make sure to use a tarp in Tennessee.

Nell's father (pictured left) is playing the accordion.

Oktoberfest! We also celebrated Oktoberfest in a very special Mayfield 2 way. At noon, we drove up to Ober Gatlinburg to see Nell's father play with a local band. This was actually my first time celebrating Oktoberfest, so you can only imagine how excited I was. Nell's father played accordion with the band, and Stephen was sweet enough to offer each of us a dance on the dance floor.

That awkward moment when you leave your blanket behind....

For those of you who are curious about going up to Ober Gatlinburg, there's also a lot of things to do other than celebrate Oktober fest. There's an ice rink, an amusement park nearby, a sky lift and tram to ride up, a carousel (some of our Mayfield members enjoyed this quite a bit), and a ton of shops.

Car Troubles. Do you guys know Murphy's law? Well, the trip back from Ober Gatlinburg on Saturday night was a perfect example of "anything that can go wrong will go wrong." First, the brakes on our car wore out, causing our car to smell like smoke. Needless to say, as we argued about whether or not the burning smell was coming from our car, the front right wheel started smoking and we were forced to pull over at a nearby car wash.

Soft Touch, the car wash that we stopped at. (Note: if you see a
group of college students hanging out at a car wash with their
hood popped open, they're definitely not there for the car wash)

We thought things were fine. We thought Nell's mother would be able to pick us up and drive us home. We thought wrong. 

Some of us were still having fun while the sun was still up.
Murphy's law in action. We had spent two hours in the car when Nell's mother arrived. Unfortunately, while we drove looking around for quick dinner options, her front left tire ran over a nail. We pulled into a nearby hotel, but the damage had already been done -- the tire was flat. Another hour was spent with Nell's mother waiting for her father to come pick us up.

Eventually, with the help of a nearby couple (who I affectionately dubbed "Mr. and Mrs. Happyville"), we were able replace the tire with a spare for Nell's mother's car. Nell's father drove back the smoking car, which decided to suddenly stop smoking, and some of us piled into a rented car.

Needless to say, Saturday night had been a very long, very exciting night.

And now we come to the end of the blog! To all those who stayed with me on the journey all the way until the end, kudos for reading and looking at the pictures. Right now, some of our Mayfield members are watching Once Upon a Time. The other ones, myself included, are doing homework.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful fall break. Thanks for reading!


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