Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tennessee 2011 - Amusements!

OK, I'm going to apologize upfront for this. I'm tired of doing this blogging of the vacation but if I don't do it I'll forget, so here goes!

Goofy golf, mini golf, putt-putt, whatever you want to call it, we did it. We is stretching it, since I did not, but everybody else did, some of them twice.

Q5 using her clever one-handed stroke

C6 playing ... notice Papa talking to her about her "curse-ed ball!" C6 has been all about curse-ed everthing since then. Also note the fleece scrap of fabric in her hair. Lovely. AND she stole Uncle A's ball!

From Tennessee 2011

And of course ... Dollywood. Dollywood! DOLLYWOOD!!!

Waiting to get our tickets in:

I found it to be an odd amusement park, packed with food, shows, things to buy, and then the occasional ride. Actually, it was a great day, all the rides were enjoyed. C6 was only disappointed that she wasn't tall enough to go on 3 out of the 4 roller coasters at Dollywood. Nor was Q5, but she didn't care. She opted out of a number of rides. Like this one.

From Tennessee 2011

Both girls liked the automobiles, although Q5 was nervous until she found out the cars drove themself, then she happily got on.

She didn't like the log flume, and so when C6 wanted to go on that a second time, Q5 and I moved on and found a panning for gems activity:

We sought the rest of our group, and found them doing this incredible climbing activity, which neither girl wanted to do. Good thing, because it took the others about 45 minutes to go through. They did do the warm up to the ropes course/climbing thing, though. The purpose of this is to get the little kids used to the ropes, etc., but Q5 and C6 were happy to do the little kid rope course three times and skip the big one.

From Tennessee 2011

While C6 went on thing like the flying swings and the scrambler, Q5 went to kiddieland. C6 even joined her for one of the rides.

C5, C42, and Ninoo rode the Ferris Wheel.

And Q5 did rode the carousel a record ten times.

The serious business of ice cream

Last pictures of the day. Dirty shirts, tired eyes, bark "tiaras" on heads, self-inflicted bunny-ears, and giant smiles for a great day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tennessee 2011 - BUGS! and other creeeeeepie things

We saw lots of bugs in Tennessee ...

Tons of butterflies (nearly ran over these)

A moth laying eggs on my car

Baby praying mantis

Something gross and wormy

A really lovely caterpillar that I rescued from the very well travelled path and put it over on a tree

and fungus.

Oh, and of course bears, deer, ducks, and that sort of thing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tennessee 2011 - Hikes

Monday we had a long hike to Abrams Falls. It was round trip over 5 miles, and it was quite challenging for little legs. If A7 hadn't been there I'm not sure Q5 would have made it. But with A7 there Q5 practically ran to the falls.

The walk there took us over four one-log bridges, which C6 loved walking on the one log bridges. Actually, all the girls did. Q5 was a little hesitant at first, but after the first one, no problems at all.

When we finally got there all the girls were pleased and hopped in the water. The cascade was smallish, but the pool it created was quite large.

The girls played there for some time. Q5 and A7 caught fish and put them in a bottle (they died), C6 paddled for a few minutes and walked on the rocks. A7 & L7 played in the deep water. I waded in after Q5, A7, & L7, attempting not to get too wet.

We left the girls behind after ziplining the first day and C42, A39, Ninoo, and I went to Laurel Falls. It was a hike basically up on the way in, down on the way out. All on a paved walk. A nice easy couple of miles for after an adventure.

On the way down we saw a bear. This guy was probably eating blueberries. Except for the ones I got! See how there are no blue ones left?

Toward the end of the trip we took our girls to Clingman's Dome and then to Grotto Falls. Both were straight up, then straight down.

Clingmans Dome was in a cloud when we went. And was cold. And I was the only one who had warm clothes, because I brought a fleece, a sweater, and jeans. I asked the girls if they wanted sweaters, they said no. Bad parenting moment. C6 put on a towel (and tied a hankie and her hat to her arms) and Q put on my sweater (which she later traded for my fleece).

Here is C6 straddeling the North Carolina/Tennessee line. Maybe.

And the girls at the sign. Which they knocked over.

Walking up to Grotto Falls, again, up then down, about 1.3 miles each way. We rested a lot.

At the falls you can walk behind the water to the otherside. Q5 walked to JUST behind the waterfall -- peed -- and walked back. None of us knew what she'd done until she confessed later.

Of course, we paddled and threw rocks at the top before walking down.

That's all for tonight.