This weekend we enjoyed the Great Smokey Mountains. We have not be to PF/ G'burg in about 8-9 years, so we decided to go. Man has it changed! Tons to do!! We went with Adam, Ashley and Carter, which was our first family trip with the kids. Of course, they loved being together. We rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge which was really nice. The kids favorite part was the pool table. They would run up the stairs as soon as we got back from anywhere and started rolling the balls around on the table. We would just sit downstairs and listen to them laugh as their pool balls would hit each other.
We spent the entire day Friday in Gatlinburg. With having small children and it being hot out, we got kinda an early start. We left out about 8 and went to eat at this little pancake house that had the best pancakes! Yummy! And then we were off the G'burg. I was surprised that none of the shops were open at 9! It's tourist season!! As we were walking down the strip, we ran into the Morrison clan. Strange meeting neighbors/ friends while on vacation.
Our first stop was the Ripley's Aquarium. The kiddo's loved it!! They got to see so many fish! Ellie was a little scared when the sharks would swim over us as we went thru the tunnel, but finally she started calling them "Bruce." For those that don't know, Bruce is the shark from Finding Nemo. We couldn't get her to touch the rays or horseshoe crabs, but I think she had fun. She didn't like the penguins as much as I thought she would. Of course, I was expecting a lot more from the penguin exhibit. When we left there, the place was getting packed!! Tons of people every where!
We visit all the Ripley's attractions: World Records (which was NOT nice nor updated), Mirror maze (me, Ellie and Ashley found our way our before the guys did), Wax museum (some of the people looked really great), and Believe it or not (which was crowded).
I really wanted to go on the Sky lift but I was terrified of taking Ellie because she is so small. I thought she would be scared, fall out of the chair while we were crossing the street/ stream, or slip off while getting off the chair. But she really enjoyed it. Of course I made Josh hold on the her for dear life since I had the bags. But she was fine. I guess I'm a little over protective. We bought our pictures from there, but you can't see all of her face because of the bar. It is was a great souvenir.
After that, we went home for naps and to refuel for later. After everyone woke up from naps, we got dressed and went back to Gatlinburg to eat at the Peddler. It was great food and service. A little ridiculous to wait 30 min passed our reservation, but overall good. Ashley and I also got Carter and Ellie airbrushed tee shirts, so we had to pick them up as well. Ellie got a Dora and Boots shirt, while Carter got Thomas the train. They both turned out so cute!! After supper, Adam had been wanted to go to this haunted house. Josh and I stayed in the car with the kids (since I don't care for haunted houses and we knew the kids would be too) and let Ashley and Adam go. They said it was pretty scary. After this, we crashed back at the cabin and got ready for the next day.
Saturday. All I have to say about this day was I have never seen so many people and cars in my entire life!!!! We got a little later start than I think we wanted, but we ate at Apple Barn which was so good!! Us adults really wanted to go to the outlets, but it looked like rain, so we went to The Track instead to let the kids have a little fun. We felt bad because we dragged them everywhere Friday and they were pretty good about it. The kids loved the place!! We were afraid to let them ride some of the rides by themselves, but then we saw they were not scared at all and the workers took care of them, so they finished riding most of them by themselves. It started to look more like rain, so we grabbed the kids (which they surprisingly came without screaming) and we headed to the outlets. Here is where EVERY ONE was!! We could not go anywhere because of so many cars. In fact, by the time we left (which was only about 1 or so) people were parking in the grass!!! I was sooo amazed! We went home for naps again and went back to the outlets later. At that time, it was much quieter. We were able to park almost anywhere. Ashley and I split from the boys and took Ellie with us. It was really nice to have "girl time." Of course, we spent too much money. But retail therapy was just what we needed.
Sunday, we headed home. But after breakfast, we went back to the Track to finish spending the rest of our money on the kids. This time, they rode all the rides by themselves! They are such big kids. It was hard to watch them. It made me want to cry to see them being big kids and not needing mommy to ride with them.
Overall, the trip was great. Got stuck in traffic, but I guess everyone had the same idea that we did. Get in that last minute trip before school starts next week!! WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO???!!!!???