Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

Okay, it's not Wednesday, a few days late, but here it is, live from Las Vegas!

Gotta love this one......"Mommy, come wipe my butt."

Lately, Will is into saying "Never!" Of course he says it with a certain flair.

"Mommy, I've got a hangnail!" he tries to stall when going to bed. This was after he had been in bed almost an hour and suddenly peers over the railing upstairs to tell me about his hangnail.

As I am telling him how much I will miss him when I go out of town for work this week, he says, "Don't worry mommy, I will call you and then you will be happy again and not sad." So sweet!

We have a nightly routine of saying various I love yous etc. I always kiss him and my hair falls onto his face as I do so, so now each night, he asks me to "put my hair in his face". So i do. I told him Daddy would have to tuck him in while I am out of town. He said, "but Daddy has short hair"....knowing he wouldn't be able to do that part of our nightly routine. lol

While reading his I'll Love You Forever book, a little boy gets in trouble for saying bad words. William says, "Just like daddy? He says bad words.". Yes, yes, he does son.

Friday, July 15, 2011

25lb Apple Pie Anyone?

Day 7- Friday, June 17

This was our last full day in the Smokey Mountains. Wendy and her family left shortly after 5am this morning to start he drive home in the mini van. My parents, Mandy and her family and of course Alan, William and I were all still ready to enjoy our last full day.

Mama enjoyed some baby Brynley time! Love those rolls!

On the schedule? Dollywood. My parents passed and decided to go shopping instead, but they dropped us off at Dollywood. We arrived at 10am, thinking we were going to be there at opening, but we made a rookie mistake and didn't check the park hours. I can tell you park hours for Disney anytime, but Dollywood, not so much. The park had opened at 9am so we walked into huge crowds. Jeff and Mandy wanted to see the bubble show, but as we walked in, there was already a huge line for the 10:45 show (and this was at 10am). So we passed.

We headed over to the Mystery Mine ride. I love thrill rides and this one looked cool, so we switched off- one couple rode while the other watched Brynley and William. The ride was very cool- you went straight up vertically into the sky on a track and back down and they mixed in some special effects too. Probably the most fun (and intense) coaster I've done. We then headed around the park, stopping to play here and there.

It was pretty hot and overly crowded with tourist groups, church groups and more. We did the merry go round again and I took Will to drive a car again. He loved it.

By 1pm, we were done. On our way out of the park, we stopped at the bakery to have a look. Alan eyed the 25lb apple pie as featured on the travel channel. He decided to dish out the $10 for a 5lb slice to take home! That thing was gigantic. The rest of us got some yummy treats and headed out to the van.

Back the cabin for lunch and then we headed out again, this time to find a creek for William to throw some rocks in. My dad had found a great handicap accessible park area where the creek runs through so my mom could get down there easily to enjoy it. He had taken her earlier that day, so we went back for William to enjoy.
Next we headed out to do some exploring and shopping. We found some arts and craft shops near Gatlinburg, off the beaten path and did some shopping. We found a really cute old fashioned soda shop where we all got some ice cream, shakes or floats. Just what we need, more sweet treats. One of the stores we went in, the store owner had a baby raccoon that he was nursing back to health. Racoons were Wendy's favorite animal as a kid (don't ask me why), so it was sad she missed seeing a real baby one. After wrapping up our shopping, it was back to the cabin to finish packing and then we headed out to dinner. We found a restaurant called the Alamo Cafe across from the pizza place and owned by the same group. The food was fantastic, one of the best (and biggest) burgers (kobe beef, I think), that I have ever had. We enjoyed a fabulous last meal together and Papa kept William entertained.
The next morning, we were up by 5am to start the long drive back home. We only stopped like 6 times that day, so we made good time. We did the full drive in 15 hours and didn't stop overnight like on the way there. Brynley was so good the entire time. We finally got home that night, unloaded and headed home. I think we were back home after 9pm or so that night.

All in all, we had a wonderful vacation, made new memories with the family and explored some beautiful scenery!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Carry Me Daddy!

Vacation- Day 6, Thursday, June 16

Today once again started with a visit to a local pancake establishment. Try one of the 50 different ones in a 2 mile radius? Nah, we just went back to the same one. I guess when you like something, you like it. After pancakes, it was back into the mountains today.

We had decided to head up and see Clingman's Dome. The drive wasn't quite as long as Cades Cove.

We took the two vans back out again, winding our way up the mountain. It was so beautiful and peaceful. We finally reach the top and park. Of course there was like nowhere to park, the place was packed. My parents and sister found a handicap spot for them, but no luck for us. We finally went to the end of a row near where the road starts again and "made our own spot". The park ranger wasn't happy about that when we left and he drove by.
We checked out the amazing views into North Carolina.

There was a little gift shop and also a half mile or more walk up a steep incline (paved) to the dome viewing tower. We headed up and man was it tough. Alan had to carry William for the majority of the hike too. We tried to get him to walk some, but he kept saying "Carry me daddy!" and so Daddy did. It was hard enough carrying myself, not sure I could have lugged a 40lb toddler in my arms. We finally make it up and enjoy amazing views. My dad had really wanted to come here as he remembered visiting here with his parents as a kid.

After making the hike back down, we checked out the gift shop where my parents bought all the kids a little backpack with toys (toy binoculars, whistle etc.). The boys really loved those fake binoculars and pretended to be chasing bears around the cabin later that night with them.

So we made the drive back down the mountain, trying to find a spot near the creek to let hte kids out to play, but we weren't having good luck finding a spot with parking and an easy way down. Most of the areas were too difficult to crawl down too. We did pass by some folks jumping off cliffs into the creek and playing in the rapids (ignoring the "drownings occur here often" sign). LOLWe finally made it back home to the cabin and ate some lunch and then headed back to Dolly's Water Country waterpark since we had promised the kids. This time everyone came along and we spent about 3 hours there having a great time! That night, we found a local oven fired pizza place for dinner out. Unfortunately, my sister and her family were leaving early the next morning, so it was time for everyone to get to bed early. The rest of us still had one more full day to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who Needs Dollywood When You've Got Lightning and Buses?

Day 5- Wednesday, June 15

I know, I'm a slacker, almost a month later, I am finally posting about the rest of our vacation. Well unfortunately, that's what the busiest month at work will do to you. Work's been crazy as we prepare for our big annual User Conference in Las Vegas later this month. Six nights in Vegas for me- oh joy!

So now back to the mountains. On Wednesday, we decided to start the day by hitting the Forbidden Caverns. We wanted to get there early to avoid crowds and we managed to arrive at about 9:30 am or so, after following Mike through the "scenic route". Not sure what was so Forbidden here, maybe the corny jokes or horribly thick TN accent of our tour guide, but either way, we had fun.
The tour lasted about an hour and we saw some pretty cool stuff. After our tour, we headed back to the cabin to rest up a bit, eat some lunch and then hit the waterpark that afternoon.

But just our luck, we arrived to Dolly's Water Country around 2pm or so and by about 3 or 3:30, it was shut down due to lightning in the area. The kids were so disappointed and now everytime we have to leave the waterpark at home (just becuase we are tired or overheated), William asks "is there lightning mommy?"

I have to say, the waterpark was pretty fabulous- very clean, nice variety of rides, great shade and trees all around. It had a fabulous lazy river and even better, three, yes, count them, three separate kids areas. They had one big kids area like you find at most local Hawiian Falls etc., but then a second area further away geared to toddlers. Plus a third area that was fit for all ages under 10 or so. The kids had a ball for the short time we were there. We promised to come back.
So back to the cabin we went where we enjoyed some great family time just sitting on the porch and watching the storm roll in, literally. The clouds were passing right through us. We really loved just taking it easy and enjoying the little show mother nature put on.

We did have a little excitement that night. We heard a lot of commotion coming from outside and discovered the church group across the street had bottomed out their bus and gotten stuck, in the rain no less. After watching them try for almost an hour to get it loose, they must have called a tow service. An hour later, the huge industrial sized tow truck shows up and after another hour, they are finally loose. It made some funny entertainment watching. We did feel bad for all the folks driving up the hill that were completely blocked by the bus and couldn't go up to their cabin.
Tonight's dinner was tacos cooked in. All in all a good day, capped by the fun thunderstorm with a front row seat!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Williamisms

"Mommy, that bunny rabbit outside woke me up." Me- "Well what did it sound like?" Him- "It sounded like a bird."

"Mommy, I will go to my office where there is a green and black trash can." When asked what he would do/be when he grows up. He visited his dad's office many times where he loved the trash cans. "Dora will go to school while I go to work." .....apparently now he is married to Dora now too.

I caught him singing "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for mama."
After pretending to mop the floor (using an upside down stick horse), he told mama- "Mama, be careful because the floor is wet."

and the most popular phrase lately is "....but Mommy", he interrupts with that the minute I say something he doesn't agree with or like (like time for bed!).