Wednesday, July 3, 2013

so sad to see it end!!

The boys saw this giant shark and insisted we stop to take a picture.  It was a giant souvenir shop.

After a lot of research and recommendations from friends- it was decided that 'Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede' was a definite must for a Gatlinburg trip!  Cameras weren't allowed- but I tried to sneak a couple of pictures.

It's a giant dinner show in a huge arena.  You get a four course meal (with NO silverware)  while all sorts of crazy goes on before your eyes :)  It really was so much fun.  Ostrich racing, horses jumping though rings of fire, lumberjack contests, and a lot of jokes and funny business.  Metta loved it more than anyone.  The food, the fireworks, the animals- EVERYthing.   She laughed and screamed and ate her heart out!

Here we are before start time with our soup bowls. Their soup is famous- and was delicious. Although tricky to eat without spoons!! we are all a little rosy cheeked here.
the servers run past your plate and throw baby chickens at everybody!  It was pretty crazy.  And speaking of crazy- kent is crazy allergic to horses and had a bit of a rough night :)  By the end of the evening he was wheezing and hacking.  The giant arena is basically a big barn with a dirt floor. But it was so much fun!!

After a few days of craziness in town- we needed some good mountain time!  I'm quite certain a lot of people go to the Great Smoky Mountains and never actually enjoy the mountains.  There's so much to do it town- you almost forget where you are!

we did a few hikes that weren't too hard on the rugrats.  we still heard lots of complaints about sore legs, though.  In their defense- we were actually hiking.  Like UP mountains.  All of the hiking we've ever done as a family is usually on pretty flat terrain!

Metta enjoyed being carried atop shoulders all day!  somehow she'd lost her pants by this point.  pretty sure she fell in the river.

We visited Laurel falls and almost fell off some cliffs.

This river crossing was the hit of our mountain adventure day!  We all enjoyed playing in the water and climbing the rocks.
The water was a bit cold- but felt really good in the hot weather.
Zeb found some pretty great little water newts!

 we spent a lot of time here just playing and creature hunting!

Check out the exhaustion of these children on our last day.  I love all of their faces and body language.  We drove home around dinner time and got the kids to zonk- making for a lovely drive home! until we hit the most insane torrential rain storms.  It got so crazy we pulled over for a bit :)

The vacation was so wonderful.  I loved every single bit of it!!
Goodbye Tennessee!! Hope to see you again soon!!


yaya said...

Your pics are amazing although I had to back up from the computer at the cliff shots..eek! I love the newt pic..really good! You could make some postcards out of the mountain ones..Tennessee is a beautiful state!

Jill Pierce said...

That looks like such a fun place to visit! Wow!

kresta shay said...

what a crazy great time!!! your photos are gorgeous