It was the 7 mile hike that threw me off…

Every winter for the past few years, Brian and I take a mini-vacation to the mountains for a long weekend. This all started because Brian is a professional baseball player and it is impossible to shop for a person that lives out of a suitcase for six to eight months of the year. I was worried that whatever I got he would either feel forced to carry around with him or have to leave behind during the season. Thus the tradition of not getting physical presents for each other, but rather doing a shared trip as a present began.

This past winter, we decided to take a long weekend in the Tennessee Smokies. We rented a cabin and decided to bring our pup Chambers along for the trip. I had an inkling that this might be “the” weekend, but once Saturday rolled around, I had completely forgotten about it. Brian suggested we get up early and go on a hike that morning to a waterfall he found through internet research. He said it would be seven miles roundtrip, but after a few hours of hiking uphill on only a powerbar we happened to grab on our way to the trailhead, I was convinced that he had tricked me into hiking back to North Carolina.

We finally reached the waterfall, The Grotto, and it was totally worth all the hard work – it was beautiful. When we got there, I immediately took out my camera and started snapping away, not paying any attention to Brian who had all of a sudden gotten very quiet. I turned around to find him on one knee and the rest I have zero recollection of (except the sheer joy I felt).

Here are some pictures from our trip:

First some waterfall pictures:

(it’s called the Grotto because you can walk behind it when the rocks below aren’t covered with ice, obviously)

A few other good ones from the trip:

Blurry, but here’s the ring the night of the proposal!