Friday, April 17, 2015

Pigeon Forge, TN Spring Break Vacation

On April 1st, our little family headed to Pigeon Forge, TN.  It is the first family vacation we have taken in I don't even know how long.  Our lives are so busy through the week with work, I feel like I barely get to see the kids and Steve.  So, to say we were excited to spend 5 uninterrupted days together is an understatement.  We left at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  I spent the entire way there crafting for Stella's upcoming 2nd birthday party (which by the way, I am so behind on!)  The girls ate snacks and we jammed out to classic rock / 80s music (Steve was in control of the radio!)

Once we arrived, we immediately checked into our condo.  It is a really great place to bring the family.  They have all the amenities you could possibly want or need.  They have an activity center where the kids can do crafts, rent movies, play games, etc.  They also have a playground, indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, mini golf and shuffleboard.  Honestly if you asked the kids what they enjoyed the most - it would be spending time at the "building".

After we checked in, we all headed over to the Old Mill district.  We ate lunch at Old Mill restaurant where they serve every down home southern dish you could possibly dream up.

After our meal, we headed outside to look at the ducks and the beautiful scenery.

After lunch, we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items to cook throughout the week.  We then headed back to the condo to get ready for some swimming.  We swam for a couple of hours...... Well I should say Steve, Lottie and myself swam for a couple of hours.  All Stella did was go up and down the stairs blocking everyone from getting into the water.  She had no interest in her float or swimming with mommy.  She just kept getting in and getting out!  But she was happy nonetheless.   

After swimming, we headed back to the room.  We all ate dinner and the kids watched a movie.  By 7:30 p.m. the kids were out like a light!  

Once the kids were in bed, Steve and I broke out my dad's old dominoes set.  We must have played 3 or 4 games.  It was so nice just to sit back, relax and not have to think about work, home, daycare, etc.

The girls had little sleepovers every night and loved it!  

The following day we headed to Gatlinburg.  It is only a 5 minute drive from where we were staying. The only way to really describe Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg is to compare it to Myrtle Beach.  Between people watching, the tacky gift shops, arcades, Ripley's everything - it is very similar to MB, just smaller and in the mountains!  Steve compared it to Skeggy in the UK.

The kiddos listening to mountain music at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery 

Every afternoon after we finished exploring for the day, we would make our way back to the condo.  The kids absolutely loved this little playground, especially when other boys and girls were out playing too.  Lottie is such a social butterfly.  She doesn't hesitate approaching other kids to play.  They played tag, hide and seek, mini golf and shuffleboard.

One afternoon we decided to drive to Knoxville.  It was only a 30 minute drive from where we were staying and being as we love visiting new places, we decided, "What the heck, let's do it!"  Once we arrived, we immediately checked out the Sunsphere.  It is a gold colored glass sphere that served as a symbol in the 1982 World's Fair.  The girls loved looking out over the city.  They ran around and around and around the thing.  

After we walked around for awhile, we headed to Market Square.  It is, well a square with lots of different restaurants.  We settled on Not Watson's Kitchen + Bar.  I am not even kidding when I say we ate the most delicious fried green tomatoes of all time.  I also ate an Ahi Tuna sandwich that was to die for.  Everything was great.  Steve and I wished there was one back home.  

That afternoon we headed back to the condo for our afternoon ritual of shuffleboard and play time at the playground.  I swear if the girls had it there way, we would never leave the "building".  If Steve had it his way, we would be pouring concrete and setting up shuffleboard in our back yard!

On Saturday, we headed to Patriot Park for their annual Easter egg hunt.  Lottie ate the Easter bunny up!  She couldn't wait to sit on his lap!  Stella on the other hand was wrapped around my leg screaming, "Noooooooooooooooooooooooo"

They had face painting so both Lottie and Stella got a bunny painted on their cheek!

This is Stella during a tantrum!  She threw herself on the ground when I told her that it was time to move away from the face paint.  After she got her bunny painted on, she refused to get out of the chair.  I think if she had it her way, she would have gotten her whole face painted as a bunny!

This was no egg "hunt".  This was a free for all!  They had 4 sections divided up by age groups.  I went with Stella and Steve went with Lottie.  They let the youngest group go first.  By the time they let the kids / parents cut loose, I was getting elbowed, pushed, etc. by all these crazy parents trying to get eggs for their kids.  Not even kidding when I say that Stella and I did NOT get one single egg!  I have never in my life seen anything like this!  INSANITY!  I mean - parents come on!  Let the kids have some fun!  You would have thought there were $20 bills in these eggs the way they were going after them.  Finally after all the eggs were collected, I saw Steve and told him that we didn't get one single egg!  Of course a few people heard and threw Stella what I call "charity" eggs.  Thankfully when it was Lottie's turn to hunt eggs, they didn't let the parents in with them.  Lottie picked up about 10 eggs and immediately spotted the Easter bunny.  She gave him a high five, then got out of there!   

Charity egg candy

I attempted to get a mommy / daughters photo - epic fail as usual!

That about sums up our trip!  I don't feel like we took very many pictures, but to be honest we were just enjoying each other's company so much, we just forgot about taking pictures.  Most definitely our favorite part of the trip was hanging out with the girls in the afternoons at the playground.  Steve and I would play shuffleboard, enjoy some afternoon cocktails and watch the girls play.  It was truly heavenly being able to spend so much time with one another.  Memories in the making!  

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