Monday, October 20, 2014

Pigeon Forge Day 4-MagiQuest and Applewood Farmhouse

 We woke up to rain again on Monday.  We googled about 100 times what to do in Pigeon Forge when it's raining and MagiQuest kept coming up.  This too is a must for kids.  They had a few different things to do, we started with the MagiQuest.  The best way to describe this is a scavenger hunt with wands.  They have something similar, or maybe even same thing at Great Wolf Lodge. I may have enjoyed this more than the kids, kinda geeky but I'll own it.

We did the wand quest, a mirror maze, black light mini golf, and the vault challenge.  The vault was awesome, could have done it about half a dozen times.  It's a dark hallway with laser beams and you have to try and maneuver your way through them.  Each time you hit a beam it adds so many seconds on to your time.  Cooper killed it.  I beat Steve and I even went through the challenge with Cameron.

We spent most of the morning there so we had some exhausted kids that day.  Cooper almost fell asleep on the way home, took a nap at the cabin and I could barely wake him up.  Too much fun for that kid.

While we were out that morning we missed some excitement.  A tree fell right next the cabin.  Just a few feet from the cabin.  Just snapped in two.

For dinner we took the suggestion of my friend Stefanie and tried out Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant.  I'm not ashamed to admit my dinner took two plates.  Hey, it's vacation.

Since we were leaving the next morning we called it an early night and packed up.  
This all wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of my in-laws for renting the cabin for us and for Steve's PRN job.  Many nights he doesn't get home until after dinner but when it gives us the opportunity to get away as a family it makes it all worth it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pigeon Forge Day 3- Gatlinburg and The Island

We woke up Monday to sunshine!!!  I realize we had only been there a day and a half but it had been raining since we got there and with all the rain we had at home the week before, I was ready for some sunshine.  
With the nice weather we headed into Gatlinburg to see if we could make it into the Pancake Pantry.
I'm sure all the pancake houses down there are good but this one is apparently famous.  We were lucky and only had a 30 minute wait. Don't try this on a weekend though or anytime after 9, by then the line was wrapped around the building.

It did not disappoint.  Chocolate chip pancakes will never be the same.

We walked the strip looking to what we could get ourselves into.

So serious.

We decided on taking the aerial tramway up to Ober Gatlinburg, which I believe is a ski resort in the winter.  I just wanted to see the views.

Here we go.



They had a few shops and a carousel, which of course Cameron wanted to ride.  It was $3.50/ride and if Cameron rode you know Cooper would want to.  I wasn't spending almost $10 for a 30 second ride.  I was thrilled when I found this thing while walking around, it was .25.  Score!!!!

We headed back to the cabin had some lunch and rested.  Steve's parents and brother decided to stay in and grill out, I didn't want to waste the good weather we were having so we took the kids to The Island.

They had an arcade, had we been closer to town and the weather been nicer, we probably would have hung out here every night.  We had a card we loaded money on and it kept track of tickets.  Do you know how good it felt not to pack around coins or tickets.  Chuck E Cheese needs to take a lesson from this place.

They had a couple of rides for kids, my kids however wanted to do The Wheel.

I scored major mommy points for this.

 More beautiful views.

See that guy down there in the blue shirt?  That's Steve who stayed on the ground.

What's The Wheel?  This is The Wheel.   It's all enclosed or I wouldn't have gotten on with the kids by myself.  It really wasn't bad and totally worth it for the views.

This is out of order but it's too cute not to share, Steve trying to teach his mom how to play pool.  We all agreed it was just a front, we think she's a closet pool shark, how else did they pay for the cabin?

It was getting dark when we left The Island so our trip back up the mountain was in the dark.  Luckily there were a few lights and our driveway had two lights outlining it.  We had been home about 30 minutes or so when all the lights went out.  People, it was pitch black!!! Make that no cell service and now no electricity.  Then we realized the water was pumped up the mountain so after a quick brushing of our teeth our water ran out.  Talk about roughing it.  Amazingly they got it back on sometime after 11.  I was expecting a whole night and half the morning.

It turned out to be one of the best night. We put the kids to bed and the adults just hung out by candlelight. Fun times!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pigeon Forge Day 2- Christmas Place and Wonderworks

We woke up Sunday ready to go.  Sadly, it was raining so we just had to go with it.  

Our first stop was Christmas Place, I had found my happy place.

I just couldn't help myself.   Don't lie, we all know someone.

We were pretty flexible with our plans, with rain we didn't have a choice but to spend a lot of time indoors.  This day we ended up at Wonderworks.  This place is a must, especially with kids.  Who wouldn't want to go to a place like this?

This was the ceiling.

This place was awesome!  You can buy a base ticket or you can add on either lazer tag or a magic show or both. We added lazer tag but not the magic show, only because it only had two showings.
The exhibits for the base ticket gave us plenty to do.

My favorites were the earthquake and hurricane simulator, and this bucket of water which was the exact temperature of the ocean when the Titanic went down.  They had a timer to see how long you could keep your hand in it, 8 seconds people, 8 seconds.  My fingers were burning it was so cold.  It's no wonder Jack let go.

They also had a rock wall, black light ropes course, and extreme bikes that went upside down. All those things had height restrictions.

Lazer tag with Cameron=hilarious!!!  The vest had to weigh about as much as he does.

We finished up and met the rest of the family for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe before heading back to the cabin.  Then we all took naps.  I love vacations because my kids nap.  It's awesome.

You know what the kids think is awesome?  Brownies at 8:30, that is awesome!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mountain Life Day 1

Last Saturday we headed out as a family for a few days in the mountains.  Steve's parents rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN for us, them, and Scott.  It was a family affair.

We were set to arrive to our cabin around 2:30, we got a couple miles from getting off the interstate and we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.  We didn't get there until after 4.  I had never been so happy to see this.  Let's talk about this cabin for a minute, it was beautiful!!!

It had three levels so we each had our own floor and bathroom.  Steve, the kids and I took the bottom level, his parents took the main level, and Scott had a bedroom on the loft.

They had it decorated for fall and a couple small trees, I would love to see this place at Christmas.

The porch was so relaxing to sit out on, especially at night, and read. It had a creek running in front of it, we were up in the mountains so it was flowing down. Sometimes I couldn't tell if it was raining or just the creek.

I had visions of being in a cabin with mountain views. Well we were actually in the mountain.  Nothing but trees all around.  

We had wi-fi but since my phone is 4 years old it didn't register it.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a little bit nice.

The boys didn't waste time exploring.  We had a pool table, air hockey table, an XBox, and they were super excited to sleep in the bunk beds.

Our original plans included getting some groceries since we planned on eating in the cabin a few times then going to dinner for my in-law's anniversary.  Due to traffic it just got too late so we opted for some pizza instead.  We were lucky and found a pizza place and Kroger without having to go back into the parkway.

Our cabin was about 10-15 minutes outside of town, we didn't feel like taking two cars so Steve and I were rebels and sat in the back of Scott's SUV.

They loved throwing things into the creek, we literally could not get into the car without Cameron throwing at least two leaves.

We had our dinner, did a record breaking grocery stop, and drove back up the mountain to settle in for the night.  Boys slept great in their bunk beds and we were all ready for the fun to begin.