Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Smoky Mountains 2019

This year's Whitmore trip, we spent the long Fall break weekend in Sevierville, TN.  Our adventures included the neighboring cities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  This area is actually apart of my mission, right outside Knoxville.  It was a lot of fun, perfect amount of time and we stayed at this great cabin tucked up in the Smoky mountains.  


We left Thursday evening.  I picked Josh up at work and we hit the road.  It took us forever to get there because of traffic and going through tiny towns (which we avoided on the way home).  Our first full day, Friday, started out with a hike.  It was hard.  Not for the normal person, but for me.  Halfway up I had an emotional breakdown and started crying.  My body has not been pushed this far in a LONG time.  Thank you to Josh and my Father-in-law for sticking with me and being patient.  I finally made it to the falls and it was beautiful.  We all gathered around and ate lunch, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and eventually headed back down.  I was so proud of Charlotte going with us and thankful to Eve for watching the little ones back at the cabin.  


Saturday was full of more fun!  We found a great breakfast place and had a huge pancake breakfast.  If you know me, you know going out to breakfast is my jam. Afterward, we found a great park and played for a while! Then we went back to the cabin for naps and relaxing.  Late that afternoon, we had reservations for the Pirate Voyage dinner show.  I think we all had really low expectations.  But it was awesome.  We were all impressed and really entertained.  The dinner was huge, the kids loved it and Naomi was in heaven!!  She didn't squirm or flinch once!  She sat/stood on my lap, watching the entire time.  I highly recommend!  



Sunday was our day at Dollywood.  If you are ever in the Knoxville area, this is a must!  We love theme parks, (in case you didn't know) and this is one that is HIGH on our list.  I remember that I loved it the first time we went five years ago, but I couldn't really remember too many details.  It is fabulous and the fall is the time to go.  The weather was so perfect.  We got there before it opened and had the park to ourselves for the first hour or so.  We broke off into two groups.  The roller coaster group and the little kid rides group.  Haha.  They had rides that Naomi could go on...by HERSELF!  I was dying and it made my entire day.  It is more of a Disney park, in the scence that the rides are more experience and for all ages.  We did lots of rides, brought a lunch and snacks into the park and then ate dinner in the park.  Speaking of food, you HAVE to buy the cinnamon bread they are famous for.  It is heaven loaded up in carbs.  We learned, even more than we knew before, that Charlotte is a dare devil.  She went on every roller coaster and loves the thrill.  We don't know where she came from.  Josh and I are not thrill seekers.  But she was in heaven with her cousins at this amazing amusement park.  






Monday was checkout.  We needed to take family pictures.  It has been a while since we took family photos with the Whitmores.  This trail was on site where we were staying.  It was the perfect backdrop to this fall vacation.  I am not sure this is what we will use for Christmas cards, but it turned out good enough to frame in my house!  I love family photos, even though it is pure torture for some of my family members (no names mentioned, but can you guess who?)! 

A big thank you to Rick and Eve for this trip and everything that was planned.  It was perfect! 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Spring Break 20

Our original plans and then our new plans for Spring Break all feel through, for various reasons, so I quickly came up with activities we could do throughout the week. Mostly, to keep Charlotte entertained. Everyday, Charlotte still practiced her piano and read for at least 30 minutes and I limited screen time until after 5:00 pm (like we do everyday).
Day 1- Josh had already taken Monday off, so he surprised us and took us out to breakfast. And when I say surprised I mean, he told me the day before, “we should go out for breakfast and really celebrate the day off.” Who are you and what did you do with my husband?! But I’m not going to question him. We tried a new (to us) place called, “The Flipside Cafe.” Yum! I love going out to breakfast more than anything so I was definitely in my happy place. 
When we got back, Josh did some yard work. And has made our front yard look beautiful!

For dinner that night, we went to our favorite, “Chuy’s.” It’s a good drive from where we live but it was worth it for a plate of Ponchos Nachos!! The girls did great at the restaurant and Naomi was devouring our nacho toppings! 

Day 2- I took the girls to see “Wonder Park.” I didn’t know it was such an emotional movie. There was one part where Charlotte and I were both sobbing, like uncontrollably. But then it ended happy. Naomi did ok. There was a moment where I tried switching her to my other arm and she woke up and cried. It only lasted a couple minutes on and off. But she did great other than that. For dinner, McAllister’s Deli does 2 free kids meals for one adult entree on Tuesday. We sat outside and Josh joined us after work. It was perfect. 

Day 3- We started the day at Carowinds with friends. After we ate lunch, we headed home, just to get ready for the pool. AND Naomi’s first swim. She loves the pool but it was freezing, so we didn’t get in past our toes. Charlotte was swimming like a fish. I just couldn’t do it. Like the water was painful, it was that cold. But it was hot outside, and we love being outside! 


Day 4- We gathered with some friends from our ward and went to a local park for playgroup. There was an Easter egg hunt for all the kids and they all had a blast. That night we ended up at Carowinds for dinner with Josh! 

Day 5- Josh was supposed to have the day off, but went in to get some work done just for a few hours. Meanwhile, it was a gloomy, rainy day. We headed to Cabela’s for free pictures with the Easter bunny. I love never having to pay for Santa or Easter bunny pictures with Cabela’s being so close! Naomi wasn’t scared at all. Then they had a little craft that Charlotte did. We walked around the store, looked at the animals and fun (big, expensive) toys and then left. Due to the weather, we came home and cleaned and organized the playroom! It was well overdue! Next week will be a big cleaning week as well, since we hardly did any during Spring Break!