Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tennessee vacation

After a 9 day trip and 2200 miles, we got back home from Tennessee Saturday afternoon. We were both worn out but had a great time. We spent the first night in Memphis, then drove to Chattanooga the next day. We stayed with my cousin and got to meet and play with his new baby. We also went to Lookout Mountain and rode the incline railway up to the top of the mountain. Then we took a beautiful scenic drive to Cherokee, NC where we stayed the next night. Along the drive we saw the area where the white water rafting events were held for the 1996 Olympics. Kristen made a friend when we were swimming at the hotel swimming pool. The girl said they were going to Santa's Land the next day and asked if we were going. I had no intention of doing anything in this town, it was just a stopover for the night, but it was the neatest, most beautiful place so we decided to spend a few hours looking around the next morning then I took her to Santa's Land. It was a small zoo and theme park so the girls found each other quickly and had so much fun riding rides together. The other girl was not afraid of any rides so that was a great motivator for Kristen to ride things she otherwise would NEVER ride. She rode the roller coaster (aka Rudiocoaster) FOUR times! I rode with her because it was not a little kiddie ride, it went pretty fast and threw us around enough to bruise my back. She also rode the ferris wheel a couple of times. Check out the picture of them together, her friend is only one month older than her :)

We then drove into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the south entrance straight through to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area where we spent the next two nights. We spent an entire day at Dollywood and had a blast. It was miserably hot, though. They had misters around to help us cool off, and plenty of water rides. Kristen surprised me again by riding rides I never in a million years would have guessed she would ride.

From Pigeon Forge we headed back through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park around a different loop we had not toured previously. It was a little one way road that went very slowly, but it was breathtaking, even though we had some rain. We saw a few deer, but no bears. We drove to Nashville once we got through that part of the park. The next day we spent the day in the Nashville area, going to Franklin to the Franklin Factory for some shopping, then to the famous Loveless Cafe for lunch, then for a tour at the Grand Ole Opry. While we were at our hotel we had run down to get something out of the car. There was a Hummer limo pulling into the parking lot and I was pointing it out to Kristen, when the driver stopped and asked if we wanted to see inside. It was a woman driver so I felt safe. She said she had a few minutes to kill so she drove us around the parking lot. We opened the roof and I held Kristen up through it to look around. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me.

A few hours of shopping at Opry Mills Mall and we left Nashville and headed for home. It was so great to get away and relax and have fun together. All those hours in the car and she didn't fall asleep even once while driving. She had plenty of things to keep her busy and she was the best little traveler.


Rhonda said...

How incredibly fun and sooooo beautiful. Loved seeing all the pictures and the fun times.

Debbie T said...

I'm so glad you both had a wonderful trip. Kristen sounds like the perfect little traveler! :) DebbieT

Gardenia said...

Hi, nice to meet you. Just foud your site recently... I think from Rhonda's. Your daughter is darling. love the photos with the mountains in the background.