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Smoky Mountains were quite an adventure

Not sure if you missed my column last week or not. In case you were wondering, we took a short family vacation to the Smoky Mountains.

It was such a nice break from the day-to-day routine and city life. We stayed in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. and traveled back and forth to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. On one of our adventures, we hiked our way up to Clingmans Dome. Although it is only a half-mile trail, it is very steep and tiring! There were times I felt like quitting, others like crying, sometimes I laughed it off, but mostly I huffed and puffed my way up. Once we reached the top, the views were absolutely breathtaking.

We drove through The Spur to get to and from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and vice versa. I had noticed there was a Gatlinburg bypass on the Spur and wondered where it would lead us. One day I urged my husband to take the bypass instead. Boy, am I glad I did! We followed the road and ended up way up on the mountains and ended up getting an amazing view of Gatlinburg from way up at the top.

As we continued on the road, we came across a black bear strolling up the road! We stopped, took pictures and video (from afar) and let him go on his merry way. Or maybe he let us go? If you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains, I highly recommend going!

As an update on the long-time occupant exemption, I did get forms in the mail and have filled them out and returned them. I am told they take about six weeks to process. I mailed back the forms on the 31st; so three weeks down, and three more to go but who’s keeping track?

Please come out on Saturday, Aug. 24 to Durkin Park and root for Scottsdale United as they take on CPD in a youth and adult friendly soccer match. Games are set to begin at 10 a.m. I am especially excited for this event, as two of my boys will be participating.

St. Bede will host a parish picnic after the bilingual Mass on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs, picnic supplies and a dish to share. There will be music and a bouncy house for the kids. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase.

On Thursday, Aug. 29, 18th Ward Ald. Derrick Curtis will be having a resource fair from 5 to 7 p.m. Useful information regarding addressing issues one may have on a daily basis will be given to those who attend.

Save the date for the upcoming Labor Day weekend family carnival taking place at 77th and Kedzie. Considering attending whether for the food, fun, rides or games. There will be giveaways for free rides and bicycles. Daily mega passes are available. For additional information please contact (312) 863-9297.

I want to give a special shout out to our neighbor, Jason Huff, for taking matters into his own hands and taking care of some potholes in the neighborhood. Some of these service requests have been out for weeks and have still not been taken care of. I commend him for his service and initiative. If you see him, give him a pat on the back!

Happy belated birthday to Ray, who celebrated on the 10th and to Jessica Robles, who celebrated hers on the 24th. Happy birthday to Elizabeth and Abby Hamilton, who will be celebrating a birthday on the 24th; to Elizabeth Lopez who will be celebrating on the 25th, and Armando Gonzalez who will be celebrating on the 26th!

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