Our next big adventure in Gatlinburg was a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains. Now, everyone knows you cannot go to the Smoky Mountains without stopping for a picture at the sign, so here is our official 2012 Smoky Mountain Family Picture.
Rod claims that what we did was not really a hike, but a nature walk. Well, we were on a dirt path on a mountain. I consider that hiking. As I explained to my mother-in-law, I like nature. Of course I love to look at nature, everyone does right? I just don't want to touch it- or worse yet, for it to touch me. I'm not really an outdoors-y kind of girl, so this was a bit of a stretch for me. A stretch, but still a good time. I enjoyed watching the kids wander and explore. And it was beautiful. I took a lot of pictures.
At every tree or plant that was marked, Will would read the placard to everyone.
It helped him work on his reading, and he felt pretty special.
The kids on a fallen log over the creek.
Will and Paige skipping rocks.
The family on a bridge.
Our ultimate destination on the hike (nature walk, whatever...)
Everyone in front of the falls.
When we got up to the falls, there was a cute, young couple sharing a romantic picnic there. Well, it was romantic until we showed up. I really hope that guy didn't have an engagement ring he was planning to give her. We kind of killed the mood...
After checking out the Smoky Mountain museum, we went back to the condo for lunch and to get cleaned up. Then we headed over to Ober Gatlinburg. Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement park on top of the mountain. The kids are still a bit young for some of the activities, but we managed to have a good time with what they can do!
The kids rode this carousel several times.
The girls all cruising together.
But Drew insisted on his on ride.
While the quads were sticking to the small rides, Will and Rod went off on a bigger adventure. Ober Gatlinburg has these big, long alpine slides. You take a chair lift up to the very top of the mountain, then ride down on a sled. Will is afraid of heights, so I didn't think he would do it, but he said he wanted to. Rod went with him and I stayed behind with the little guys, worried the entire time that Will would panic or something.
Rod and Will heading up in the chair lift...
Then racing down, both wearing big smiles!
Will loved it! That little guy constantly surprises me. He really is turning into a big boy right in front of my eyes.