Monday, June 27, 2011

Vacation Day 3- Dollywood or Dollyworld?

Vacation Day 3

Monday, June 13

It really is Dollywood, but it was fun hearing Jeff keep calling it Dollyworld. I can't blame him, since Disney World is a pretty popular word in our household.

Monday, our first full day of enjoying vacation was spent at the popular Dollywood, which as it turns out, was literally right down the street from our cabin. It took only a few minutes to get there. We arrived right at opening and rode the tram into the park. We all bought the 3 day pass, which allowed us access to either Dollywood or Dolly's Splash Country for 3 days within the next 7 days. It was pricey at $90 per adult, but the best deal since we planned to do the waterpark.

We laughed at some of the strange characters that were out for pictures with kids. I couldn't even tell who or what they were, some strange round furry thing. We headed to the new Barnstormer ride which was pretty fun and swung you almost upside down. My dad tried on the barnstormer hat and he gave the ride a thumbs up!

William enjoyed the kids playground area there and then discovered the "beach". They had two large sand tables set up with sand and toys. He loved it and later asked to go back to the "beach". Alan figured out what he was talking about....the sand. Oh the mind of a toddler.

We spent the rest of the day exploring Dollywood, which exceeded my expectations. It was very clean (much better than Six Flags in that aspect) and I loved the woodsy feel with all the shade and trees and creeks running through it.I have high expectations when it comes to theme parks after my time as a cast member at the theme park all others attemp to mimic, Walt Disney World. But Dollywood wasn't half bad. At least there wasn't 2000 pieces of gum stuck to a tree, trash everywhere or rude employees a la Six Flags.
Of course, as is our luck, it turned out to be a really hot day. We split off from the rest of the family to take William to do some kid-friendly stuff. We rode the Dollywood steam train which was fun and then we hit the ferris wheel and a kiddie coaster that William demanded we ride twice. The kid is scared of blow dryers and bugs, but he'll take on any roller coaster or thrill ride. He's already done Test Track, Soarin and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney before he turned 3!

He had a good time and we enjoyed some of the famous Dollywood food. By about 4pm, most of us had had it. We met back up with my parents and Mandy/Jeff for a bit and decided to call it a day. It was hot and crowded and we knew we could come back later in the week. So we headed back to the cabin.

We got back to the cabin and got William down for a nap and same for Brynley. As you know, a cabin doesn't really have any insulation, so we could hear every single footstep, someone grabbing a drink from a cooler upstairs etc. Wasn't great for getting the kids to nap, but what can you do?

We had bought a ton of food at the store of course. If you've ever eaten with the Easler clan, you know we always have way too much food. We decided to grill out tonight- chicken, hot dogs and burgers. Jeff is our king griller. But we all joked that it was taking him like 3 hours to grill. Turns out we didn't have enough charcoal, but we got it all grilled eventually and it was delicious. We ate sort of late, around 8pm or so. We enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon and a great home-cooked dinner. Everyone enjoyed an adult beverage and hanging out on the deck again. Loved the rocking chairs out there. Time for night-night and resting up for another big day tomorrow!

Tonight we decided to cook and eat in. Jeff took over the grill and grilled up some hot dogs, chicken breasts and burgers. We all joke that it took him like 3 hours to grill it all. But the food was divine and worth the wait.

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