Surprise road trip

Yesterday was absolutely perfect.

I woke to Jason climbing into bed telling me he had a surprise for me.

His internal alarm clock still wakes him up before 5 a.m. So yesterday, while I was still asleep, he ran up to the store and bought some supplies to change the oil in his car. On his way home, he stopped by Dunkin Donuts and bought our favorite tasty treat, blueberry donuts.

It was the perfect treat to get the day started. While he went to the shop to change his oil, I jumped in the shower and got ready for our day.

I was excited to spend the day with Jason.

Although Jason is no longer working two jobs, he’s still working really long days, six days a week. Those days sometimes start as early as 4:30 a.m., which means we are both in bed pretty early the night before.

The nice part about this new job is he now has every Sunday off. Lately we have just hung out at home, doing yard work, or being lazy, so he could catch up on his sleep.

Yesterday, being lazy was not the case.

I knew about some of our plans, but he surprised me with a road trip.

We started off the day by going to a flea market that was kind of disappointing.

Ever since Saturday afternoon I have really been in the Christmas spirit. Jason called me Saturday morning asking me to meet him at the store. We picked out stockings for us and our three animals, as well as more Christmas lights for the tree because our puppy destroyed one set.

Yeah, Christmas decorations!

After he headed back to work, I decided to keep the momentum going and drove to another store in search of some soft ornaments that I could hang on the bottom of the Christmas tree. The cats broke a few of our ornaments since putting up the tree, which meant all the breakable ornaments slowly got hung higher, leaving the bottom pretty empty.

I had success at the second store and found four soft ornaments. The best surprise was when I got to the register and one of the ornaments was free.

When Jason got home later that afternoon, he suggested that we check out the flea market Sunday morning. That maybe they would have some homemade Christmas ornaments that we could put on the tree.

Although we did not find any ornaments, we were able to catch up with some of our friends that have a stand at the market.

While we were walking around the market, Jason asked me if I wanted to go to Gatlinburg and shop for some Christmas decorations there.

I love when Jason is spontaneous. I love when we take surprise road trips.

After going back home to do some research of shops in Gatlinburg, we hit the road.

Of course on our way to Gatlinburg, we took a small detour to a place he has been telling me about. Jason took me to a cute little apple orchard in Cosby, Tennessee called Carver’s Orchard & Applehouse Restaurant. It’s one of the places he delivers such items as produce and nuts to a few times a week.

We walked into the candy store and our mouths dropped open. Jason bought us a  small box full of homemade chocolates with an assortment of nuts in them. While savoring the delicious taste we walked through the store next door. As soon as Jason opened the door for us, a delicious aroma of apples filled my nose.

With a box of half eaten chocolates in our hand, we decided to hit the road again.

One of the many things I love about our surprise road trips is the conversations and nonstop laughter that fills the car. He’s always doing something or saying something to make me laugh.

Now, we were getting closer to Gatlinburg, closer to the store we wanted to check out, Santa’s Claus-et.

It took a couple wrong turns before we found the store because it was no longer located in the same place the internet told us before leaving home.

The store was adorable and full of Christmas ornaments and figurines of every size to add to your Christmas cheer.

Yesterday, as Jason and I were talking about Christmas decorations, I told him every year I wanted to buy something new, so we could build our collection for the holidays. Right now all we have is ornaments.

So before leaving, we decided we would collect a different Santa Claus every year.

This is the first of our collection . . .

IMG_2690 I felt like a little girl after we chose this cute Santa Claus. We were adding to our Christmas tradition.

Now that the Christmas spirit completely took hold of me, we decided to head to downtown Gatlinburg. This area is definitely touristy with an array of t-shirt shops, fudge shops and any other little trinket you could think of.

My favorite part about walking downtown was looking at the buildings. I really liked the brick structures. The downtown area was also decorated for the Christmas holiday.

Before leaving Gatlinburg, we had some dinner, which was needed after all of our sweets.

Although it was nice walking around downtown, experiencing the atmosphere and walking into some of the shops, we both shared the same thought. We have definitely become outdoors people. We would have rather hiked in the mountains, then shop the strip.

Once the weather warms up we will most likely take a trip back to Gatlinburg to enjoy the scenery, in the outdoors, in the way it was indeed to be, in nature.

I can only imagine the hiking and the waterfalls.

Yesterday was a perfect day. Full of laughter. Full of new memories, all with my best friend and love of my life.

Yesterday was spot on. It was a day we both needed. A day we both needed together away from the house, away from our daily grind.

I truly have found my soul mate, my pefect match.

The cats struck

After I returned home from my solo run Saturday afternoon, Jason and I went to Lowe’s and picked out our Christmas tree.

This year we chose a Douglas Fir that is absolutely perfect. Since we have a bigger living room, the tree is taller than last year!

I love that we have purchased a real tree almost the entire time we have been together. Growing up, my parents always had a live tree decorated every year, something I wanted to carry on as a tradition for Jason and I.

The smell of a Christmas tree is among one of my favorite parts about this holiday. I love that aroma.

Our first Christmas together, Jason surprised me with an invitation to spend it with his family. Since that invitation was a trip to Illinois and we were not living together at the time, we did not buy a tree.

The second year, Jason surprised me with a little table top Christmas tree that was absolutely adorable.

The third year he took parts of my parents Christmas tree and made us a wreath. Jason even strung some lights on it, which of course touched me beyond belief.

Last year, our first Christmas in Tennessee, we went out and bought a 5 foot Christmas tree. It completely made my holiday. We bought ornaments, a tree skirt and tree topper. It was all incredibly special to me because we began collecting memories that were going to be added to in years to come.

Jason is so good to me. I know he enjoys picking out a tree too. Even if it involves picking out one tree after another, hitting the stump to the ground, so I can see the branches, while making up my mind.

The best thing about Christmas this year, since we are renting a house, we even strung lights outside. Jason absolutely loved adding some holiday cheer outside. I’m sure we will be buying more lights before Christmas to add to the collection of lights outside.

So, after we got home on Saturday, we put the tree in its stand, put the skirt around it and put our adorable reindeer tree topper on. Due to hanging the lights outside, we ran out of Christmas lights for the tree, so it remained half strung before heading to bed.

Night one a success . . . the Christmas tree was still standing the next morning.

I ran up to the store yesterday morning and picked up another box of lights, so we could finish decorating the tree. The ornaments, which are mostly various colored balls, made its way on the tree.

Night two . . . epic fail.

IMG_2681The cats struck while we were asleep. We had one shattered ornament and two more of the balls scattered around the living room. Now the bottom of our tree is bare.

I knew it was going to be a challenge with the cats, but really the first night?

I’m going to have to buy some soft ornaments to put on the bottom that the cats can swat around and play with. Ornaments that I don’t care if they are ruined.

IMG_2679I’m so thankful we put our nice ornaments towards the top of the tree. I would be really upset if they got a hold of those.

Oh the life with so many animals.

IMG_2676

Lucy and our beautiful Douglas Fir.