Friend Filled Weekend

My first weekend in Sevierville was a mini Smoky Mountain Summer Project reunion!

I was a little nervous that my first weekend alone was going to be filled with tears and homesickness but thanks to my wonderful project friends that was definitely not the case.

Shout out to Sam, for getting married and giving me actual plans for my first weekend alone and distracting me from being homesick. My friend Colleen was in the wedding so she came down from Indiana and surprised me Wednesday night where we were able to catch up and have a slumber party.


Colleen left for Johnson City to do wedding things with Sam, on Thursday but to return Friday night so we could hang out and do Gatlinburg stuff. When she came we immediately drove downtown and visited our old stomping grounds and sat on our favorite rocking chairs where we shared a lot of laughs and life talks together last summer. We then walked the parkway where we ran into some Jamaican students who we had met and hung out with last summer and to our surprise, they actually remembered us! Last summer they came to Gatlinburg to work and they returned this year! It was really exciting because it showed us that our time spent in Gatlinburg was a success.

The next morning we got up early and drove to the National Park to hike up the Chimney Top Trail. This trail kicked my butt! The whole entire trail is at an incline. You are legit climbing straight up a mountain. But what’s cool about this trail is that you have to do some real rock climbing to get to the very top where a 360 degree panoramic view of the mountains is waiting to greet you. It is so worth the trip but it was actually pretty scary climbing up those rocks, one slip up and you are rolling down the side of the mountain!

As Colleens date for Sam’s wedding we had to be back from hiking and in Johnson City at 6:30 for the rehearsal dinner. Hiking, driving, and socializing results in a very exhausting day. I was pooped but very thankful to be with old friends and so incredibly excited for my soon-to-be married friend.

I wasn’t in the wedding but since I was Colleen’s plus one and a friend of the bride, I was able to get ready with the bridesmaids and stand in some pictures. I felt so bad because I felt like I was crashing her wedding pictures! If I would have known that I was going to be in her wedding photos I would have coordinated my dress a little better so they would at least match her bridesmaids! (Bridesmaid dresses were a dark navy blue and I wore a black dress….we all know that navy blue and black is a huge NO).

My Project Pals <3

My Project Pals 🙂 Colleen, Sam, Me, Corey

The wedding was very laid back, simple, and beautiful. I didn’t want it to end and most of all, I didn’t want to say goodbye to my friends. I am so lucky to have met them and I’m excited to attend more project weddings in the future 😉 I’m trying to convince Colleen to move down here with me….

Overall, things are going good down here. I feel safe where I’m at and my apartment feels more and more like home each day. I’m starting to get a little more acquainted with the area and feeling a little more confident at work. I must say that I give my boss and co-workers some major credit. They have been so helpful and patient with me, I am very grateful for them!

So week 2 = Success


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