Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Smoky Mountain Vacation

We spent the day having a blast together as a family. Today we were up at 4:00 this morning, at least I was with Matt shortly afterward complaining about me being too chipper. After finishing up the packing we got the kids up and headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have had a blast exploring the mountains. We pretty much stayed out of Gatlinburg, at least until we checked into our hotel, Park Vista. Here's what we did today.

Coming up the mountain we stopped at the first look off on the Gatlinburg by-pass for the kids to see how high we already were into the mountains. And we had them pose for a few dozen pictures but here are my favorite.

Then we went to the Sugarlands Visitor Center to pick up some maps and to go potty before heading on up the mountain to the Chimney Tops picnic area. Our plan is to head up there early tomorrow and hang out around the water with the kids for a while. We ate lunch and then played on the rocks and in the water. The kids had a blast! They were so upset to be leaving but we had other places to go and things to see. Here are some of the things they enjoyed doing while playing in the water.

Posing for more pictures for mom!! Yeah, they really enjoyed doing this all day long. Really they did!

Hanging out with Daddy searching the rocks for treasures.

Climbing on the rocks.

Daddy and Gabe found a Crayfish and are checking it out.

After leaving the Chimney Tops picnic area we drove on up the mountain to hike to the tallest point on the mountain. Clingmans Dome. It was one of the toughest 1/2 mile hikes I have ever walked. Elizabeth had it easy hanging out in the stroller and this did not make Abby happy one bit. But we made it and we had one heck of a view though it was a little more cloudy than normal up there. But it was well worth it.
Clingmans Dome

That long 1/2 mile hike was straight up and down, well almost. But we made it and are heading back down and are all smiles now!

I'll leave you with one more awesome view from the mountains!

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