Monday, May 31, 2010

Vacation - Part 1

We had the blessing of being able to get away as a family last week for some fun in Pigeon Forge, TN. This was the first time we had ever taken a vacation, other than going to my parents, his parents or some other family member. Patrick and I didn't know what to expect so we left without expectations and hoped for the best. All in all, we had a great time!

We left on Monday after we had lunch. I had scheduled a well-visit for Mallory and Evan several months ago that I wanted to keep, so Daddy kept Ethan while I went to the DR with Mal and Evan. Mallory asked all morning when it was time to leave for vacation and I kept having to tell her to have patience! After lunch, Patrick loaded down the car, which was too "loaded down" since we packed pretty efficiently even though I'd never had to pack for a trip without an accessible washer and dryer! We had 3 suitcases filled to the brim and 5 boxes of diapers, food, and other necessities to make it through the week. We didn't bring ANY toys for Mal and Ethan - just Evan. When I had completed my vacation shopping, I was looking for what to buy for the kids to entertain them while in the hotel room. I looked at Leapsters and a few other electronic toys that I just felt were too pricey for the annoyance they would be to us in a small hotel room. So after searching, I found 2 really cute backpacks that lit up when you moved. And since my older two have become VERY interested in Dora, I thought they would like a backpack with a map. Inside the backpack, I put coloring books, crayons, new color wonders, a new toothbrush, a slinky (thanks Kelly) and then anything else they wanted to bring (which they chose their Doggies, of course, flags (Mallory is still obsessed with her flags), and cars). They were a hit! I drew up a map for them both from the house to VACATION and their little imaginations just took over. Success!

I could write a book about each and every day and our experiences of each novelty the children experienced, but for the sake of length and time, I'll tell the remainder of our story thorough pictures. I have a friend on Facebook who said that over the course of her vacation, there were several mobile upload moments but now that she's posting pictures she has nothing clever to say. I feel that way, but here goes nothin'...

On Tuesday morning, we took the kids into Gatlinburg. Since our children are up EARLY, we arrived about 8:30, parked and explored the quaint little shopping area in G-burg called "The Village". For those who don't know, my family and I went to the 'burg a lot growing up and have MANY pictures of us in front of this fountain in the village. It was super cool for me to get a picture of my kids here.

Next, it was off to the Aquarium. We were some of the first people to arrive and practically had the place to ourselves for about an hour when more people started coming in. My kids had a GREAT time (though Mallory kept wanting to go back to the hotel. She LOVED the hotel)

As you notice, they were more interested in the fish than the camera. Didn't they realized we were just trying to make some memories?!?!?

Nice little fishy

"Want to hold it" - Mallory

This picture about sums up my life with Ethan. Fun, exciting, full of life, mischievous, dare I say more?

This was taken by a kind bystander in the shark tunnel. This is actually a very good picture...

We visited the Smokey Mountain Candy Factory after lunch at the Pancake Pantry. The kids selected these suckers, though I don't really think they needed ANY MORE SUGAR but how can you resist a kid in a candy store?

After the Aquarium and a nap (a much NEEDED nap) we took the kids to Calhoun's for dinner. Patrick had been to one in Knoxville and was very excited about going. I don't think I had ever seen him eat so much food...or maybe I have and just wasn't paying attention. Anyway, Evan was able to even enjoy some ribs. Like father like son...

That about sums up our first full day in Pigeon Forge. So, how about I break this post up into a series, huh? Or I'll NEVER get done...


Kelly said...

So cool that you were able to revisit one of your childhood pictures!

Mom M. said...

Love the pictures...I had a good belly laugh at the like father like son.....they both looked like they enjoyed themselves. Happy you were able to do this vacation.

Am+a said...

Like like like!!!

Great idea to make a MAP for the kids, since Dora is always consulting her map. Good job, Mommy! I like the picture of Ethan in the aquarium; the look on his face is all of those things you mentioned. I also like the one with you & the kids... with the kids looking at fish instead of the camera. ha! Was Mallory able to "hold" any creatures at the aquarium?

The Village in Gatlinburg... I'll get back there one of these days. David would enjoy eating at the Pancake Pantry again, that's for sure. Thanks so much for sharing!!!