We had it at a chalet in Gatlinburg, starting on Tuesday of this last week of 2011. It was lovely. Want to see a photo of the view? My sister-in-law took it the morning after we arrived:
Cool, huh? It was incredibly peaceful there.
(Post-Christmas Carnage, Wednesday 12/28/2011 at dusk).
See that black case on the table? Want to know what was in it? Yes, you do. It looks like this:
Pretty cool, huh? LOVE IT.
It was a pretty low-key Christmas with most of the focus off gifts--except for maybe stocking gifts; we really like stocking gifts. The adult children planned and cooked us Christmas dinner on Wednesday evening, complete with delicious chicken fajitas and individual chocolate molten lava cakes like the ones they serve on cruise ships.
We were fortunate to be joined by my brother's family, and it was just as it should be. We also hosted a Dirty Santa event on Tuesday evening, with most of my sister's family. Their oldest daughter could not attend, unfortunately, and we missed her and her family, but their other children and spouses were there. It was lots of fun.
One thing about the chalet: To get the "spectacular" grade view, you have to trek up a "spectacular" grade horror ride of twists and turns and dropoffs and vertical inclines. For that reason, once my sister-in-law and I got up on the mountain with groceries and everything we needed for several days, we declined all offers to ride back down the "hill." No, thanks! Going down the hill actually wasn't that bad--going back up was not my favorite, though.
We all agreed we would definitely stay at that chalet again--I hope we have the opportunity sometime in the future. Christmas 2011 was pretty peaceful, not a little sad with the absence of my brother a bit of a dull hum constantly and sometimes an out-of-the-blue piercing sadness, but also warm and lovely with the togetherness of family. It's weird how things can be both sad and happy at the same time.