Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Family Photo & NASCAR

I can't explain why, but I've always wanted us to take an old timey photo.  And my awesome husband and stepson made it happen!  (Because an old timey picture by myself would just be awkward.)

I love how it turned out!  Daulton had so much fun dressing up and I know he looks serious in the picture, but he was smiling the entire time from ear to ear.  Matt had no problem with the serious poses and while it wasn't his idea of a good time, he indulged us both and I love, love, love how it turned out!  (Click on the picture to make it larger if you are viewing this post directly on the blog.)

After our family picture, the boys felt the need for speed and we hit the go kart tracks.  My role was that of photographer and spectator.

We tried one track by our hotel but it was pretty crowded. So we stopped at the NASCAR Speedpark on our way out of town.  The park had 8 different tracks, miniature golf, and some carnival type rides.  I couldn't ride any of the rides, but I had fun watching them had fun and enjoyed the spring sunshine.

After NASCAR we started the long ride home.  We had done everything we wanted to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and I was ready to be back in my own bed.  It was great to get out of town for a few days and I think it was something we needed as a family.  Now I'm curious as to where we will go next year as a family of four!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Shopping, Hillbilly Golf, & The Comedy Barn

Day 2 of Spring Break started with some shopping in Gatlinburg.  We only visited a few shops that interested us and we made a stop at the Ole Smoky Distillery.  Matt was the only one who could sample the moonshine but it was interesting to see the shop.  They also had a wine shop where I found a shirt I will need in about 4 more months!

We bought a jar of peanut butter with chocolate and honey mixed in, elk summer sausage, and duck, alligator, kangaroo jerky sticks.  Can you guess who picked out what?

After shopping, we did some Hillbilly Golf.  You go 300 feet up the side of the mountain to play 18 holes of miniature golf and it was a lot of fun!

The final stop for the day was to The Comedy Barn, a live show in Pigeon Forge, TN.  We got there early enough for Daulton to be selected as a helper during the dog act.  He was really excited to be picked and wasn't nervous at all to be up on stage.  The show was good and we have the DVD, which Daulton would be happy to watch with you!

This picture is a little fuzzy but you can see how excited he is!

This was our last night in Tennessee and after the busy day we had, we were exhausted!  Walking, shopping, miniature golfing, and participating in a comedy show deserved some cupcakes for dessert and a last swim in the hotel pool.  There were no pictures of the cupcakes as I was too busy eating mine to remember to take a picture.  But they were very cute and very delicious!

One more Spring Break post and when you are in Hillbilly Vegas, it only makes sense to make a pit stop at NASCAR on your way home!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Aquarium Trip

After we checked into our hotel, we drove to Gatlinburg and decided to check out Ripley's Aquarium.  We bought our tickets and started checking out all the fish.  We really enjoyed the aquarium and checking out the different kinds of fish.  Matt even bought us a souvenir photo, something I really appreciate as I always forget to have us take family pictures!

There was a huge tank filled with sharks, sting rays, and other fish I can't name.  There was a tunnel with a moving walk way so you can see how big the sharks are up close.  The sharks were huge and I couldn't stop staring at the saw sharks, they were just so strange looking.

The tunnel was great to go through but impossible for me to photograph, stare at the fish, and keep my balance on the moving walk way.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Matt and Daulton from the aquarium.  They both had the same fascination with the jelly fish.

The aquarium had great spots for kids to get in the exhibits.  Its hard to see it in this picture but Daulton is making a funny face as the penguins were passing by him.  If you are reading this in the browser, click on the picture to see it larger.

Watch out for the penguin photo bomber!!

Matt was brave enough to pick up a horseshoe crab.  Daulton and I were not.  Matt and Daulton also got to pet the stingrays.  I did not as I was in the bathroom.  (Being five months pregnant and on vacation meant stopping at every bathroom I saw.)

Daulton found Nemo!

After the aquarium, we headed back to the hotel to let Daulton swim for a few hours and then we headed out for pizza for dinner.  By the time we got back to the hotel we were all pretty tired from the drive, aquarium, walking, and swimming.

Speaking of hotel pools, why are they so loud?  Is it the bad acoustics or the fact that every small child in the pool is constantly shrieking with joy?  I mistakenly thought reading by the pool would be relaxing but Daulton thought it was fantastic and that's what counts.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break 2013

This week was Daulton's Spring Break and I took the week off from work and we headed out of town for a few days.  We stopped at my sister and brother-in-law's house in Lexington last Sunday for a quick visit and to spend the night.  Some unfortunate packing on my part left Daulton without clean socks, but luckily he and my sister have the same size feet and she loaned us some socks.

The drive to Gatlinburg, TN on Monday morning was a little overcast but we still had a great view of the mountains.  Once we got near Gatlinburg, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.

We were able to check into our hotel early and we had a nice view of the water.  We stayed at The Inn on the River in Pigeon Forge and it was a great hotel for us.  Matt found a good deal on Groupon for our stay and we liked that it was centrally located.  The guys liked to sit on the patio in the mornings (while I slept in) and watch the ducks.

This trip was the boys first trip to Gatlinburg and my second.  Gatlinburg today is nothing like I remembered it as a kid.  The best descriptions of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is "Kiddie Vegas" and "Hillbilly Vegas".  There are bright lights and billboards everywhere and instead of casinos everywhere, there are miniature golf and go-kart tracks as far as the eye can see.

There are more posts to come with pictures of the rest of our trip!


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