Saturday, February 2, 2008
Marriage Retreat 2008
I love to organize events! I run the Women's Ministry at my church and I'm always organizing something for that. If not for that, then I'm sometimes called upon to help plan other activities - for example our 2nd Annual Marriage Retreat in Gatlinburg, TN! We are leaving in 2 weeks for 4 days in the mountains - no kids, just adults...skiing, staying up late, going to a show, hanging out and having a good time. We had so much fun last year on this trip! Just to give you an idea of how to do this, I thought I would share with you the details of our trip. Cost per couple - $400.00 - includes lodging, activities, and all meals except travel meals (basically lunches) and one dinner.
Lodging- Mountain Laurel Chalets - if you pay for 3 nights you get one night free. We have 3 chalets rented and we were originally scheduled to go from Wednesday - Saturday only. When I found out about the free night's rental I gave everyone a choice of arriving early on Tuesday or staying an extra night Saturday. Once people gave me their answers I booked one chalet for an extra day on Tuesday and the other two chalets for Saturday night (at no extra charge!)
Meals - For those of us arriving early on Tuesday and those staying after on Saturday everyone is on their own as far as expenses go...but we are staying in a chalet so we can just purchase groceries and cook together those nights.
The meals I had to provide for with the money each couple paid was Wednesday night, all breakfasts, Thursday lunch, Friday Lunch, Friday night. I have 19 couples going which gives me 38 people so that is a great "group rate" to work with!
Wednesday night - $17.25 per person all inclusive (tax, tip, drink, dessert and choice of meat - several choices to choose from) Applewood Farmhouse Grill
2 free meals w/ group
Thursday Lunch - $7.75 per person all inclusive (1 free meal w/group) Bennett's BBQ
Friday Lunch - purchasing supplies for sandwiches, drinks, snacks for picnic lunch because we'll be driving into the Smokey Mountains for the day and hiking to a waterfall (weather permitting) - no restaurants will be around us.
Friday Dinner - going to prepare lots of chili and have it slow-cooking all day while we are in the Smokey Mountains so it will be ready for us when we get back to the chalets. (dessert, bread, cheese, crackers to go with that)
Activities We'll be having Morning Sessions on Marriage on Thursday and Friday at 9:00 am for about an hour and a half.
On Thursday after lunch most of the group will be going skiing at Ober Gatlinburg from noon - 10 pm. The group rate is $37.00 and includes tram ride, lesson, lift ticket and ski equipment. Those of us who aren't skiing will be shopping or perhaps attending a show of some sort - this is the off-season and a lot of the shows are closed right now (I'm still working on this part - but it will cost about 40.00 per person whatever we do! LOL)
On Friday after our morning session, and weather permitting we will be driving into the Smokey Mountains up to Newfound Gap and over towards Cherokee, NC. My plan is to hike to Mingo Falls because it is a short hike - less than 1 mile round trip.
Friday evening we are going into Pigeon Forge to The Comedy Barn
I will leave you with this clip from The Comedy Barn...it's long (9 mins) but if you haven't seen it, it's a hoot!!