Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Smoky Mountains Part Deux

Laurel Falls
Let me see if I am remembering our trip correctly.  
I think I failed to mention on Thursday morning we went to the Pancake Pantry. 
If you are ever in East TN, you MUST hit the Pancake Pantry. 
THE BEST PANCAKES ON EARTH!
Any who, Friday morning we went for another hike to Laurel Falls. 
This a good hike because we could strap Marisa in the stroller
and push her up the mountain as it is all paved. 
Marisa and Kevin at the Falls - Matthew DID NOT want his photo taken here.
Me, Marisa and Matthew's RUMP
Matthew on the trail BACK down from the Falls.
He told me here that he did not want to take a picture because he was scared...
I cannot imagine why (looking down from the path near Laurel Falls).

On the way up to the Falls, a Ranger passed us.  We are chatty folks so we talked to him part of the way up.
He was telling us he was going up to the Falls to make sure there was not a bear taking a bath there.  He said that is a frequent problem.  He told told us how they were probably going to put a bear down because he was being hand fed too much and had taken a swipe at someone.  Humans are not often the brightest things.

After our hike, we hit the best Fudge shop in Gailinburg for $20 worth of fudge
and we ate fudge sitting on the street watching the masses go by
(it is the place next to the Ripley's Believe it or Not place in case you are wondering!) 
Then we went back to the condo, had lunch, and we hit the outlet mall 
 (best outlet in NORTH AMERICA I swear to you). 
The kids both got new Crocs (little wee tot Crocs just make me grin ear to ear I tell you!)
Kevin got some new running shoes.
I got Marisa the shirt below, a new little summer dress, some PJs for Matthew,
and a hat/PINK freaking glasses for Marisa (SO CUTE!)

It was hotter than haites so after the outlet mall we went and played in the pool for the afternoon. 
Good times!
After the pool, we made another yummy meal and the kids went to play on the playground.
This resort was hysterical.  It was like being in a 1950s resort with a schedule of activities and everything!
On Friday evening, it was smores night! 
It is safe to say that Marisa enjoyed her first smore!
"Ah Matthew you have a little something... right there."
Bat-Girl!
(can you see the marshmallow in her hair on the left side? Her hair was like GLUE later.)

After smores, we got ready for bed.
We were finally getting things down with sleep and what not.  It was looking stormy and the kids would not sleep so we decided to take a drive into the mountains. 
As we were driving, with the kids asleep, the skies opened up and the rain came, thankfully.  It was something like 87 on this day and the rain cooled every down. 
Also, when it rains it makes the mountains "smoky" and pretty.  We got home, put the kids to sleep, watched Friday Night Lights and drank beer.  We are CRAZEEE.

Saturday:  We decided to take the kids to mini golf but
it was too early so we took a drive around the area till the golf place opened.
My cuties - see the Mountains in back!?
Matthew showing off his Mad Golf Skilz.
He totally got TWO hole in ones!
He must take after his Grandpa in that regard.
Marisa's had a different technique all together in getting the ball into the hole.
Plumb tuckered out at the end of 18 holes.
See the wee Crocs!  OMG.
FUN TIMES at the mini putt.

Saturday was a good day.  Matthew and Kevin went to the gianormous water park located in the resort.  Marisa actually laid down on her own for a two hour nap and I got to read about 150 pages from a book.  It is the first book I have read in well over a year.  There is a story about this that I will relate later. 
It was a beautiful day out and I sat on the deck.  It was heavenly to read and relax, for once.

When everyone was up, we went for a little walk over to the ice cream shop down the way.  The lady in there was classic East TN complete with accent and stories about her gun.  We stayed for 45 minutes talking to her!   We hit the grocery to get our last meal and we made dinner.
After that we went for a walk to the main resort lobby for some snacks and went home to pack up.

The kids went down for sleep on time!  YEAH!  (This was the hardest part of the trip actually was getting them to sleep, like at all...) We watched two movies and drank beer. 
I saw my last bear that evening running across the resort parking lot! 

We got up early the next morning and drove home.  In all, the trip was lovely.  I was unsure about driving 6 hours with the kiddos but they did great.  We had lots of snacks and toys and games and we made some stops.  The downside to the lunch stops we had planned both ways was that we ended up having our picnic in the car because it was raining like mad.

And that is our Spring vacation to the Smokies.  Definitely a must see place. 
Definitely a place we are considering returning to next year. 
Though we did toss around going back to Mammouth Caves or Lake Cumberland. 
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