Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Trip to Gatlinburg

Thursday afternoon, right after lunch, we loaded up our Jeep and hit the road to Gatlinburg for a long weekend with Terrell's family. Thursday morning was spent busily packing, trying on clothes (to find out which ones fit), giving the little man a bath so we wouldn't have to that night, and preparing lunch, all while attempting to entertain Garrison Cade and waiting for Terrell to get home from a half day at work.

He discovered getting inside the laundry basket after I folded clothes and starting packing. And he entertained himself quite well... falling over while stuck in the basket and all.
Garrison did really well on the ride up. We made one stop at a Chick-Fil-A so I could have a bathroom break, we could change Garrison's diaper, and we could all take a minute to stretch our legs. We kept waiting and waiting for the little man to fall asleep in the car since we left around his nap time, but it was like he knew something was up. He was wide awake and going strong talking and playing in his seat almost the whole way. Finally we made a quick stop in Cherokee where Garrison got to see the water and throw in some rocks before he fell asleep around 5:00. Better late than never I guess. When we arrived we ended up going to Pigeon Forge in search of a fast food place to eat at for supper... that included parking. Gatlinburg was bustling with people and we knew we'd have to pay to park more than likely and then walk to our eating place so we just drove a little bit up the road and had supper in Pigeon Forge. Thursday night Garrison was able to play with Allison for a little while before they both went to bed. Thankfully Garrison did great with bedtime! It was his first time sleeping in a "big boy" bed away from home. And he had a king size bed all to himself. Once the kids were in bed we talked about our plans for the weekend and played one of our favorite card games Play Nine.

Friday morning we woke up bright and early and had breakfast at a Pancake House and then went over to Pigeon Forge for shopping at the outlets. We had such good success with all the stores we went in! We found what we needed for part of Garrison's Easter outfit, Easter Egg Hunt outfit, a couple of new bathing suits for the little man plus flip flops, and Terrell and I even bought new tennis shoes. Glad we had some money saved up for that little shopping spree. =) Garrison did really good in the stroller just about the entire time. Pops helped keep him entertained and happy and by the end of the morning once it got close to lunch time, he was able to get out and hold one of our hands.

Garrison and Pops getting ready to go down the hill beside the steps... one of the ways the little man stayed occupied.
After we finished shopping and circling almost the entire place, we talked to the rest of the crew (Terrell's mom, Kara, and Denny) since we were separated, and decided to meet up and have lunch at a slow food place right beside the outlet stores.

Allison did a quick performance for us while we waited outside. =)
At lunch it was decided that we would stay in that night and have supper at home. (And Terrell decided he'd like to have spaghetti..... and we should make it. He loves spaghetti (I think we have it every other week), but he's extremely picky and didn't want to risk eating someone else's recipe. Oh dear.) After we got back to the house, we immediately got to work on getting Garrison settled and ready for a nap. He was tired and ill and in desperate need of one. However, our track record with naps away from home are not good. We tried anyway and eventually, after much fighting of sleep and playing in the bed, he took a good nap. And so did I! After he woke up he got plenty of play time with Allison and baby Shannon while Terrell and I worked on supper. After we got the kids in bed (Garrison was not super cooperative with me but he finally settled down and I made it out of his room with him still awake but not bouncing off the pillows), we watched the home opener of the Braves game and ate ice cream.
Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast at home before taking some family pictures and heading out for the day. I think every morning Garrison woke up asking about Nana and Pops and Allison and baby Shannon and Kara and Denny. He literally went down the list, and was excited to hear that everyone was there. He didn't care too much about us during the trip. I'm starting to get used to that though. When grandparents and other family members are around, he is way more into them than he is to us.

Our family of 4... Baby Selph is making him or herself known. I just keep growing and growing...

The best little playmates on the trip

Pops and Nana with the 3 grands

Kara, Denny, and the girls

Our first stop of the day was to an interactive museum called Wonder Works.... and this is what it looked like:

It was a really neat place. There was lots to do and all of it was very hands on, but we realized pretty quickly that the majority of the "exhibits" appealed to a little older age group than Garrison and Allison. They still had a ball taking everything in and watching what was going on though. Plus they made sure to do and touch everything they could. Garrison loved watching Nana, Kara, and Daddy climb the rock wall. Terrell amazed me. He went up so fast you would think he does it all the time. I came to the conclusion that it must be because he's long and could reach pretty much anything he needed to to keep climbing.

Terrell and Denny also rode this bicycle looking ride that went all the way around and took them upside down over and over again.

The little man and Allison playing inside a space ship

Garrison's favorite I think.... the giant piano that you played with your feet

Garrison also loved the ride inside the arcade

After running out of things to do at Wonder Works, we decided to go play "Hillbilly Golf". We had never attempted putt putt with Garrison before so it was new territory for us, but it was really fun and I think the little man just enjoyed being outside and following Allison around. We even got to ride in a little carrier thing up the mountain to get to the actual course. Garrison attempted to play a few holes but for the most part he just wanted to walk on the greens or down the steps (there were lots of steps around since we were playing on the side of a mountain), or carry his golf club and ball around.

Shannon did great the whole time, especially considering that they didn't allow strollers. I think Denny played at least 9 holes with one arm because he was holding Shannon in the other arm.

Near the end of the course Garrison got a little testy and didn't want to listen as well as we needed him to. It was tough work chasing down a 2 year old before he tumbled down concrete steps every other hole.

After our round of Hillbilly Golf we went back to house to eat lunch and get Garrison down for his nap. He requested Nana at naptime and did really good for her settling down and he ended up taking about a 2 hour nap. We actually had to wake him up so we could get ready to celebrate Pops' birthday. He was a little ill when he woke up but got over it pretty fast once he realized everyone was out in the living room and waiting on him.

Garrison and Allison loved helping open presents

Happy Day, Pops!
Afterwards we went down to eat at Calhoun's in downtown Gatlinburg. It was really good and we even ordered dessert to go to enjoy after the kids went to bed. After baths and bedtime we got to enjoy our dessert in the "media room" while we watched the movie "The A-Team" on the big screen TV. It was a fun, relaxing night. =)

Sunday morning we woke up and gathered all our belongings to get ready to leave and head home. We actually had to wake Garrison up before we could get his things packed up and ready to go. Terrell and I both talked about how proud we were of his great sleeping habits on the trip. He went to bed around his normal bedtime every night and slept until about 7:45 or so every morning. He also took 2 naps, which is very rare when we're away from home. He did great!

We all had breakfast together at a delicious pancake place before giving hugs and getting on the road. Garrison and Allison loved rocking outside the restaurant. Shannon on the other hand wasn't impressed. We had a great trip and enjoyed our time away and a break from all the hustle and bustle of regular life. Thanks a bunch to Nana and Pops for planning it and making it happen!

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