As part of our Southeastern Championship swim meet, we decided to tack on a few days at the end and make a vacation out of it. So, during the days at the meet, we began to research where we would go.
Back in the days before we had kids, we tended to be somewhat spontaneous in our adventures. We would take off driving and see where it would land us. With the addition of children, it began to be a little more complicated- naps, kids supplies, food, etc. Now that they are older, we decided to venture out a little.
You have to understand that for some in our family that brings some excitement, but for the planner in the family - who just has to know- it can be quite the challenge.
After the meet, we packed up and headed out. We ended up in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and began searching for a hotel room. Ummm, apparently, the area was quite busy and that took much longer than we anticipated. But we found a room and decided to hang out and stay there for a few days seeing the sights.
Bright and early the next morning, we headed out for the big kids and David to white water raft with the older group from our swim team. They had a blast. Katie and I hung out with another sweet mom, her daughter, and one of the coaches. The girls swam, feet up, collecting shells at a nearby beach.
After that, we did all of the fun touristy stuff. The mountain chair lift (which Mom did not do- more on that in a minute), the aquarium, the shops, Bubba Gumps shrimp, etc. And one huge event at the end- but you must keep reading! Before I go on, I must say that having older kids is fun. When they were little, everything seemed to surround around nap/rest time, early bedtimes, etc. Now, we just go with the flow, and throw all schedules to the wind. Poor Katie- being the youngest she is alot of time along for the ride. But out of our kids, she needs the least amount of sleep. Which makes it so much easier.
There are two things I must address before I get into the next set of pictures. David has a great sense of adventure. I can only imagine what his life would be like if he didn't have us to feel responsible for. Maybe we just keep him grounded. For example, he would love to go sky diving. Umm, not me,....which comes to my next point. Since having children, I am truly afraid of heights. Which is terribly unsual considering some of the things I have done. (Post coming later on that.) Heights creates in me this horrible feeling. I do put on a good face and put forth good effort for my kids sakes, but it just ain't fun.
So, when David started researching ziplines, I knew I was out. He found this great one called Canopy Works, which ziplines you for two hours through the Smoky Mountains. Despite the cost, he was hooked. And so were the kids, even Miss Katie. So, late one afternoon, I drove them all to the place, dropped them off, then had a break in the hotel room. They had a beautiful time covering the tops of trees. They had a blast and it was so worth it. Katie didn't even miss a beat, seeming to be the bravest of them all. Because of her age, she had to ride with a guide, but she didn't mind. Here are a few pics of what I missed. :)