This week we skipped a few days of school and took the kids on a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. Our goal was to beat some of the summer crowd and the heat. We rented a log cabin through VRBO, in a great subdivision called Shagbark, on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge. The home was more modern than the one pictured above and the kids had space to play and run around. We have found now that we have five kids that getting a hotel room is more difficult. Renting a cabin or house has given us a lot more options and isn't much more expensive than a nice hotel suite.
On our drive through the Great Smoky Mountains we stopped and let the kids stretch their legs and play in the creek near the Mountains Farm Museum.
Pav's parents joined us the second day and we all went to Dollywood.
The weather was perfect and it wasn't too crowded. The three oldest kids are all big enough to ride the roller coasters this year. Ever Joy tends to be the most adventurous of the three and even rode the Wild Eagle which takes riders 21 stories above the park. Andrew was having a blast until he went on the Mystery Mine. Let's just say he doesn't do well in the dark... Poor little guy didn't think he was going to live.
Zoe and I spent a lot of time in the little kid section, but even Zoe went on the Mountain Slidewinder. She said it was her favorite ride because she got wet.
Our next adventure was taking the kids on a hike up to Rainbow Falls in Gatlinburg, TN. When the trail marker says 2.7 miles...it does not mean round trip. And when you wonder why the seasoned hikers are stretching their legs at the start of the hike, well...they aren't called seasoned hikers for no reason. They also have backpacks with snacks and water. Survival Gear.
Pav and I learned a valuable lesson: Our kids are amazing!
I won't say they never complained, but they are such troopers. Again the three oldest kids are very adventurous. They are also fiercely competitive. Which in this case served them well. They raced each other to the top.
We explored some of the history of the area and look forward to returning during the next school year and learning more.