Tuesday, May 27, 2008
We are off on our trip to Dollywood for Memorial Day Weekend!! Our little ones quickly fell into there little routines of traveling -- Nathan playing with his cars (of course!) and Katie reading her "chapter books" (wow!)!!

We made it to our hotel and the huge hit was the bed - in the sofa!! I had not thought about it, but Nathan was just so intrigued by his bed that came out of a sofa!! (so precious!!)

We decided to visit the HUGE Bass Pro Shop just across the street from our hotel -- just for something to do. Now this was not just a store - it was crazy!! It was 2 stories made to look like the outdoors inside, complete with all these stuffed bears, deer, fish, turkeys, etc. all over the place (Katie not to fond of that!) and a stream right through the middle of the store!!

Sweet little girl with a sweet little deer. . .time to head back to the hotel and get ready for a big day at Dollywood!

Wake up kids!!

Here we are at Dollywood!! We are some of the first ones in the park at 9am!!

We headed immediately for the "Children's Corner"of the park, and these kids had so much fun - (these kiddie rides definitely "warmed them up" for the other rides later in the day)
The very first ride was my brave little Nathan and me on this "bouncing" ride - he laughed and laughed!

UGH! Those teacups!! The kids laughed so hard - they loved it!

(below is the last I saw of the teacups before I closed my eyes for the rest of the ride!)

Okay, so this is a "not so kiddie ride" amidst the others that we watched Daddy ride!

The choo-choo train was a hit with Nate, of course!

Dollywood is full of absolutely wonderful shows. . .we saw many of them but were not allowed to take pictures in them, so the only "show" where I could snap a picture was the "50's" diner kinda "singin' the oldies" show.

And just the whole park is full of this wonderful ambiance with great attention to detail. The park is shady with trees all around and just about everyone who works there is retired and just kind and caring and ready to help!

One of the favorite "kid" areas of the park was the water playground!! With water guns and little geysers of water popping up out of the ground, this area was just the thing for my two little guys! Look at Katie beside all of the "big boys" with her water gun - and certainly holding her own, I have to say!

Katie Greer had the most fun, dripping from head to toe!!

One of our favorite rides was driving the cars!! The kids loved it. . .I had to drag Nathan out of his car crying because he wanted to "do it again!"

One huge area of Dollywood is a refuge for Eagles who have been injured and can no longer be released into the wild. They have a "Birds of Prey" show where they teach about Eagles and other birds. It was awesome to be able to see these magnificent birds up close!

There were neat little places all over the park to cool off and play in the water for the kids (and me too!) Katie is dunking her head under the water stream in the picture below - and loved it!

My little chickadees!!
(Just those middle ones!)

This was our last ride of the day at 7pm!! It was the River Rampage which got us very WET!!

On our way back home we made a plan to stop at this beautiful place that we had passed on our way. It is actually the place where the Olympic Kayak races were held in 1996. There is a huge, amazing bridge over this gorgeous river with unbelievable rapids -- and there were hundreds of rafters and kayakers in the beautiful sunshine braving those rapids with all kinds of spectators watching the show. . .
As we drove up to the bridge, it was a very different scene to say the least!

Apparently they release water through a series of dams at different times and days - and we were on an "off" day, I guess!! We still had a good time. There were lots of people around climbing and biking, wading and sunning themselves.

Nathan and his many faces of silliness!

Danny explored and climbed while we cooled our toes in the water. Look at the beautiful shades of green in the trees!

Sweet little girl :)