Friday, June 25, 2010

Tennessee, Tennessee

I'm on vacation right now...  Have you missed me?  We're in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  We spend the first half of the vacation doing tourist-y things, and we're spending the last few days enjoying God's beautiful nature.  Here are the highlights so far:

Picked the kids up from the church, as they had been at church camp all week.  We have done this deliberately the last 2 years... they are very talkative the first hour or so, telling us EVERYTHING about camp.  Then they spent the next few hours chilling, because they were SO exhausted!  Spent the night in Lexington, KY.

Woke up late... ate at Crackle Barrel (what Sis calls it), then drove, drove, drove some more.  Got into our area and were SHOCKED by the crowds of people!  Stopped @ grocery store & headed to our cabin we're staying at.  (Are you thrilled beyond words yet at how exciting our trip was up to this point?)  Cooked dinner (say WHAT???) and enjoyed each other.

Woke up even later...  and were super lazy for most of the day.  We let the kids catch up on their lack of sleep from camp.  Then we got all cleaned up and headed into town.  We went to the outlet mall (yay!), then to Corky's BBQ, which is Don's 2nd favorite place for ribs (he can give you the top 3 places if you ask him).  It was DELISH!

Went to the Dollywood water park (that's not really what it's called, but it's attached to Dollywood, and I'm too lazy to go find out what it was really called) ALL day long.  I could have taken pictures, I guess, but if Momma's in charge of the camera (and I am), there is NO ONE who will be taking my photo in a swimsuit!  So, you'll just have to imagine the fun.  And it WAS fun! 

As I put on Twitter, we embraced our inner redneck on Tuesday.  We spent the day at the Nascar Speedpark.  That was so fun watching the kids race.  And it was fun that the outlet mall was right next door.  :)

We headed to the National Park, and drove into North Carolina to go hiking as a family.  The kids aren't completely into hiking, but they know how much I enjoy it, so they go along willingly. 

Then, WE WENT WHITEWATER RAFTING!  This deserves all caps, because I am a BIG chicken when it comes to water.  I go on float trips armed with long sleeves & a big hat (to keep from getting sunburned) and a life jacket.  Even if the water is shallow.  So, for me to go whitewater rafting in CLASS 4 RAPIDS (again with the all caps) is a big hairy deal!  But I did it.  And it was SOOO fun!  It helped that we had life jackets and helmets on, AND we had a guide with us.  We ALL loved it... Madison has begged to go every day since.  I wish I could have gotten one of the pictures of us, so you could see how scared I looked, but they charged a ridiculous amount of $$ for a whole disk of photos.  Just trust me that I had a fake smile on and the kids had huge, genuine smiles going (and Don was just a hardcore rafter).  Then headed into town to a steakhouse, then went to the late show of Toy Story 3.  Days like this make me LOVE vacation and living on our own schedules!

Today (Thursday):
We drove 2 hours into the National Park (I keep wanting to call it a forest for some reason).  What beautiful views!  Then we stopped at a recreational area (Tsali), where Don mountain biked while the kids and I hiked.  We stopped for a hillbilly bath (that's what Bub called it),

then headed to a quaint, small-town pizzeria.  We came home happy and exhausted! 

We've only got a few days left, but I love that we're making so many family memories!

1 comment:

Lora said...

Hey! I just discovered you have a blog:) I've had fun browsing around. Looks like you had a great time in the Smokies.

Come over and visit my blog anytime:)