Love my kids

Love my kids
Afternoon at Disney

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Vacaton!

So we've been back from vacation for about 3 weeks now! We had the BEST time with the other Richards and Halls!

Saturday 7/13 the kids had opening day of football and cheer. As soon as that was over we left for TN. Not much of an enventful ride up. It rained a lot, we stopped at a Mc Donalds in Valdosta GA that was the intentionally coldest place I've ever been in! We were shaking the whole time we were eating. The kids didn't even want ice cream when we were done! We drove on into TN and got to Gatlinburg about 1am. The hotel we had booked for the week didn't have any rooms for that night so we paid a small fortune to stay at a motel straight out of the 60's.

Sunday we got up and had breakfast at the Bearland General Store. Best breakfast in Gatlinburg! Then we meet up with Chad and Michelle and went to Roaring Fork. We stopped and played in the water. The kids and dad's have the MOST fun just playing in the water. I love it too because I can sit there in the shade, realx and watch them enjoy theirselves. After that we went to Cooter's! Michelle and I had got a great Groupon deal, for go carts, mini golf and a picture with the General Lee. It was a perfect time to go since an afternoon shower was coming through. The kids loved the go carts! We walked around Gatlinburg a little bit after that then took the little kids back to the hotel to swim while the big boys and dads looked at air soft guns. That evening we went to the knife mueseum/store place in Servivillvile then we stoped at Mel's Diner and had dinner! I love that place and remember eating there with my parents years ago! When we got back the Hall's had arrived so we walked down to the arcade for a while.

Here's a few of my favorite pictures of the week:

Cooper Wet Bottom in 2011 and 2013

Monday we got up early to go tubing. It was a lot of fun even though Harper got flipped out once and I got flipped out twice! After that we drove through Townsend backt to Gatlinburg and stopped to play in the water some more. We had dinner at the Mellow Mushroom and walked around Gatlinburg that night.

Tuesday we went to Roaring Fork again, saw a bear running in front of us. We stopped at the over looks and played in the water a little bit. Then we went to the visitors center and did an easy hike to a waterfall. After that we headed back towards Townsend to let the kids play in the water some more. We stopped at The Sinks, of COURSE all the kids wanted to jump off. Nevermind that the sign there says basically "don't jump, people drown here". We watched the other kids jump for a while then the big boys and Cooper talked us in to letting them jump once. I was super nervous but I know Bubby is a strong swimmer. Obviously he was fine and was super happy that he got to have that expierence. He said it was his favorite thing he did on vacation and it was FREE! We went to Bennett's BBQ for dinner and it was super yummy too!

Wednesday we got up and went to The Log Cabin Pancake House for breakfast early with Chad and Michelle before that had to leave. Then we went back to the hotel, played in the creak there for a bit. Took the laundry down to wash. Then we went to lunch with the Hall's at the same place. Lunch was just as good as breakfast. After lunch we went to Food City to get some groceries to cook out that night. We came back finished the laundry, let the kids play in the pool and just relaxed for a bit. We went to the park above the hotel and grilled out for dinner. It's a nice park, right on the river. Adam made the BEST hamburgers ever! After that it started to rain, we went to Pigeon Forge for something, but I don't remember (maybe to play putt putt) we ended up getting seperated from the Hall's so we went back to Gatlinburg. We bought an umberella and ponchos so we could walk around. We did the Shoot Em Up Cinema. It was only $5 a person so for $25 my family had TONS of fun! Adam was even the best shot for one of the rounds and got his picture put on on the screen. We walked around some more after that and ended up gem mining. We were there for a while, we were the only ones in there and the guy running the place was really friendly and kept talking to us. The kids got some great stones, a few real nice rubies.

Thursday we got up kind of late. We went back through Roaring Fork again to splash in the water and explore some of the cabins that we hadn't stopped at before. After that we headed over to Pigeon Forge. We had a huge lunch at the Old Mill. Good country cooking....I was super happy. Then we went to some stores in Pigeon Forge and did a little shopping. Before dinner we went to an Old Time Photo Place and had the kids pictures made. They had a great time getting all dressed up. We met the Hall's for dinner then headed back to Gatlinburg. That night we went to both haunted houses in town while we were walking around.

Friday we spent the day playing in the river agian. It's the best part of going to the Smokies, the kids love it, it's free and I can just relax and watch them play. Later in the day we drove through Cade's Cove. We looked in the old churches, cemeteries, and the working mill. On the way out we saw a bear! We were able to get up pretty close to him, he wasn't huge, maybe just a year or two old but he wasn't shy at all, just looking for food.  Friday night we ate at Puckers, and just walked around Gatlinburg, shopping and listening to music. The kids we able to cash in all their arcade tickets from the week and get some neat prized.

Saturday we slept late, got up and checked out.  We went to Bennett's BBQ for their breakfast buffet for heading home. We stopped at Clingman's Dome and hiked the 1/2 mile straight up to the top. Well Adam and the kids hiked all the way, I went to the gift store and a great book, Unexplained Disappearences in the Smokies, to sit and read. It was a great book and I read it before we got out of Georgia.

Sunday we just relaxed and I got ready to go back to work!