A Most Memorable Grotto Falls Hike

The lovely Robin and I set out this morning with an indefatigable wedding party (or "re-wedding party, perhaps) of eight precious family members and four precocious preschoolers for the 2.6 mile round trip hike to and from Grotto Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We finally made it to the spot (above), where we all gathered behind the waterfall (this being the only trail in the park that goes behind a waterfall).

There, Glenn pulled out bouquets and corsage he had made before leaving Atlanta. Then, with Rick as my best man and Mariruth as Robin's matron of honor, Aaron and Nina sang Jason Mraz's "Lucky." Aaron had carried the guitar all the way.

Aubrey had prepared a reading but the noise and traffic at the falls convinced her to save it for our "reception" dinner tonight in Gatlinburg. So Robin and I turned to each other and renewed our vows. I had a lot planned to say but was so emotional I was lucky to get out the few words I did. Robin said some nice things to me, too.

The spray and coolness of the falls revitalized us for the 1.3 mile (or so) walk back to the trailhead (and what seemed like a good half-mile walk to the cars from there).

And the kids (all under five years old) did amazingly well, all the way. No whining at all, despite a few spills.

I'm so grateful to everyone for not only coming along but playing along in such good spirits.

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