Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gatlinburg + Father's Day

We are home from a really fun family getaway and we enjoyed a sweet Father's Day to wrap up our weekend. We had a great few days together!

Thursday morning we hit the road early and set out for Gatlinburg, TN. Thanks to 2 movies on the way up, nobody throwing up, and only having to stop once for lunch and a bathroom break we had a pretty easy trip. YAY. =)

We met Terrell's parents there and once we got settled at our condo, we loaded up the suburban with all 7 of us and went over to Pigeon Forge for a little exploring of The Island... a "family fun center and entertainment complex". We watched the fountain, walked around, and then when it started raining on us we decided to go ahead and have an early supper. The rain was over by the time we finished supper and went back out. It worked out perfect!

Layton talked about wanting to see a bear nonstop once we arrived in Gburg but then when we finally found one he was too intimidated to get his picture made with it. Hahaha!

He got a little closer to this one. Turns out he prefers bears from a safe distance. =)

We ate fro-yo at The Island plus let the boys pan for gems before heading back to our condo at the top of the mountain in Gatlinburg. By the time we got back and got the boys settled and ready for bed, the sun was setting and the sky was GORGEOUS. 


Friday morning we woke up and got ready for a big breakfast and a day at Dollywood!!

We had so much fun. We got wet on a water ride, got sweaty in the sun, laughed a ton, rode lots of rides, guzzled powerade and water like crazy, and totally wore ourselves out. It was a great day. =)

Layton was my driver on the hot rod ride, our first ride of the day. He loved it!

He wasn't as big of a fan of the scrambler though. Bless it. That ride really whips you around like crazy and eventually I had to hold onto his head to keep it steady. Hahaha.

The big boys were huge fans!

The carousel was popular with everybody. =)

We even did the high, big-kid/adult swings. (They aren't nearly as high as Six Flags but still a big deal for our middle. He loved it!!) Layton wasn't tall enough to ride those so while we were riding some bigger rides, Nana took him to do some kiddie rides. 

These little rides were perfect for him!


And we couldn't miss the train ride!

While we were having fun at Dollywood, Bailey was enjoying her vacay with Granna and Papa. =) #sheisn'tallowedonfurnitureatourhouse #Ithinkshelovedhergetaway

One of the last rides we did were the little teacups. The big boys rode with Terrell while Layton was riding  the elephants with Nana and then afterwards when Layton wanted to ride the teacups the big boys decided they'd ride again too. Layton was soo hot and tired by this point but he really did enjoy the ride even though he looks miserable in this picture! 

We ate Cheddars for supper in Pigeon Forge (yum!!) before heading back to Gatlinburg and up the mountain to the condo. And on our way up, Terrell's mom spotted a bear!! Such a cool highlight of our trip! We pulled over and got as close as we could and rolled down our windows and made pictures and talked and the mama bear was never phased. She kept right on eating and looked up once I think. 

We didn't realize she was a mama bear until we saw this little guy!! And there were 2 of them! It was so neat to be so close to them and watch them for a while. We all loved seeing some real, live bears!!

Saturday morning we woke up, loaded up, and got ready for the trip home with a special pit stop planned to celebrate Kara's birthday and Father's Day. This trip to Gatlinburg was probably my favorite ever. We don't have a very good track record with our Gburg trips thanks to sickies invading us, but this time we all stayed well and could all enjoy ourselves. YAY! Big thanks to Nana and Pops for inviting us!!

We met Kara and fam at a park on the way home and enjoyed lunch, cake, presents, and play time. It was the perfect way to see them and celebrate before coming the rest of the way home. The boys had a ball.

Pops and his grands. =)

Saturday afternoon and evening we crashed. The trip and lack of naps had gotten the best of Layton and after multiple meltdowns and screaming episodes, we fed everyone, got them bathed, and put them to bed. Phew. It was pretty exhausting for this mama. 

Sunday morning we woke up to Father's Day with the best daddy ever! I know lots of people probably think their husband, or their dad is the best, but this guy really IS the best! We love him so much and I prayed for him and his qualities as a dad before we ever became friends or started dating and God answered above and beyond what I could pray for. Words can't express my love or gratitude for him and I am immensely grateful our boys have him as their role model. 

We had a sweet and special morning at church before having lunch with the best Papa ever! It was a fun Sunday and a special day with the dads in the fam, including my sweet Paw Paw. =) God has provided my boys with some great examples of Godly men and I am so thankful for His grace. 

This week is a busy one before we head out of town again.... just call us professional travelers. Haha! We are super excited about our beach vacay!! Have a great Tuesday! =)

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