Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our happy place :)

We had a GREAT time with my family! :)

Zenock loves his Grandma, Aunt Melissa, and is obsessed with his Aunt Emi.
After we took them to the airport to leave he wouldn't stop crying until we suggested we save all our money and buy a ticket on the big airplane to go visit them.
(Talk about a teaching moment in saving money!)
We now pick up every dime/penny/nickel/quarter and put it in our Airplane bank. It's already getting heavy... I'm sure we will have enough by Christmas!

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WARNING: There is an overload of pictures... This just happens to be my scrapbook/journal. I like lots of pictures when I look through my books in the end. :)

My family came in late on Thursday evening and after staying up late to catch up and opening our gifts from them... We got up early Friday morning to head to our HAPPY place.

PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE

At least it is JC and my happy place. We stayed the night in Pigeon Forge when we were moving to Virginia and have been counting the days when we could go back.
It did not disappoint!

It is now only a four hour drive from where we live and I am sure as long as we are here we will visit often. :)

Pigeon Forge is located in the gorgeous Smoky Mountains. You could compare the town to Vegas (without the casinos) and Branson Missouri. Dinner Shows, museums, miniature golf courses (there are at least 10!), arcades, go karts, bumper boats, rides, big name outlets, shopping, themed hotels, and restaurants line the SIX mile long parkway. It is completely family themed and no matter how long you stay you will NEVER see it all. :)

We were so excited to take my family there!



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We bribed my Mom into letting us all stay at our favorite hotel... (it didn't take much).

The Inn at Christmas Place! :)

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Possibly the coolest hotel ever.
It is decorated for Christmas year round, booked solid November through December for the next four years, and smells like Christmas morning every time you walk in the door. Plus all their doormen look like Santa Claus and are there greeting you every time you walk in or out.


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Another added bonus is getting to have breakfast with Santa EVERY morning...
Zenock was in heaven. I love his face... This is the "I'm so happy and excited face, but I don't dare smile." It cracks me up, but we saw a lot of this face through out our vacation. :)

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The first thing we did after arriving in Pigeon Forge was hit the Go Kart tracks... (again, at least 10 line the parkway!)


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It was fun to see JC relax and enjoy our vacation... something we both needed!



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JC and Zenock on the bumper boats getting the Aunt's wet...

Zenock thought every ride was pretty much the coolest thing ever. :)

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Did anyone say water fight!?
They ended up SOAKED.


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Zenock loved any car ride he could go on... For the last week he tells us everyday about,
"Remember when I rode in the car with Dad? I honked the horn and turned the wheel!"
I can't believe how big he is and how fast they grow!



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...Go Kart racing...


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Later that night we headed to Dolly Pardon's DIXIE STAMPEDE dinner show.
They served us a four course meal (including a whole baby chicken (cooked), which still kind of makes me sick to think about.) We ate with our hands and rooted for the South to win the war!

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Saturday we found ourselves enjoying the heat, the rain, the humidity, lots of strawberry slushies, and DOLLYWOOD theme park. (Again owned by the one and only Dolly P.)


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JC, Melissa, and Emily enjoyed the rides, while I got to take lots of pictures of Zenock going on rides. He was loving it all! My Mom was SO great to take Zenock on the rides that he needed help with, since apparently I am not allowed to while pregnant. :)

Guess we will just have to make a return trip...


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The flying pigs!

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The environment at Dollywood is so much fun... It is so old-fashioned and country themed. Kind of like the good old county fair I miss and love so much.

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We left early evening so we could get down to the Parkway and enjoy dinner at the Galaxy diner and some more sights along the Parkway before it got too late. Galaxy had the best hamburgers and shakes... It tasted SO good after a long day walking. :)


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We found a cow for Zenock to milk outside the comedy barn.

Did I mention how much I LOVE this place! I can't wait to go back.


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A little bit of the Parkway... pretty much what it is like the whole six miles. Love it. :)


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At the western store above we found Zenock a stick horse. I looked ALL over for one for his birthday and had no luck. I was so excited to find it there! It was hilarious to watch... he had way too much energy (probably from his 10 sugar slushies), but great for entertainment!


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He calls his new horse "Bulls eye." I love finding the perfect toy.


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We got back to the hotel and went swimming before bed. Zenock loved going down the waterslide with his Aunt Emi.

Our little vacation was lots of fun and so refreshing!

Although we left Pigeon Forge on Sunday, we still had lots of vacationing and fun planned back in sweet home Alabama! :)

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Monday was my sister Melissa's last day. She had to get back early to work. We let her decide what she wanted to do and she chose the water park!

...Point Mallard water park in Decatur...


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I of course had to forgot my camera and only got a couple of pictures from my sisters cameras.

This water park is such a fun place and sits right on the lake, so you have your choice of playing in the sandy beach/lake area (where if you are a season pass holder, you can drive and dock your boat right at the water park and walk in - how cool is that!?). There is also two huge kid areas, an olympic pool, wave pool, and of course waterslides. :)

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The weather was perfect! We enjoyed lots of sunshine, water, italian icee's, wave jumping, and fun.

We are excited to go back and have decided to become season pass holders next summer...
(just too much going on this summer!)

I could live there every Saturday if I had the choice.
I don't think Zenock or JC would complain.

We took Melissa out to eat at our favorite pizza place Mellow Mushroom that night and sadly had to say our goodbyes the next morning. It was fun to have her around!

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Wednesday we headed to Fort Payne Alabama to visit some of our good friends that used to live in Brigham City. We were so sad when they moved to Alabama and so excited when I moved within an hour away, which meant we would get to visit!

My Mom used to watch/babysit these cute boys when they were little. Through out my junior high/high school years these three were always running around and were the best of pals! They were my little brothers and I am still in shock at how old they are. The oldest just graduated!
Times goes by way too fast.

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The botanical gardens is always our favorite to visit. :)

Right now they have lots of fun tree houses set up all through out the gardens for the kids to play in.

We went in the evening for the cooler temperatures and were in luck to see the fireflies just coming out. They were everywhere and it was so fun to watch them light up.

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We had such a fabulous :) time while my family was here and got to relax and do so many fun things. We were able to have lots of good dinners at our favorite restaurants, lots and LOTS of laughs and memories, FREE babysitting, (courtesy of Aunt Emi - who Zenock is in love with), we were able to visit the parade of homes, score some major deals while shopping, of course we had to show them our ducks and feed them, and we even celebrated Emily's SEVENTEENTH Birthday!


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To say we were sad when they had to leave would be an understatement...


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BUT, we are looking forward to the new little guy in our life being born and being able to bring him home at Christmas to visit with all our family! :)

Thanks for coming Mom, Melissa, and Aunt Emi!

We miss you so SO much!


(Did you make it through all that... and I left out so many pictures! :)

3 comments:

Callie said...

Carin you look so super cute! It so fun when family gets to come and vist!

Ryan Reeder said...

Of course I got through it. I've been looking forward to seeing it.

And I'm glad you included yourself in a couple of the pictures. You look so grown up [sniff].

Jane said...

Pigeon Forge looks like so much fun. Kaleb and I are definitly going to have to go and check it out.