I'm going to do as quick of a recap as possible. Frankly I have tons of photos to share so this might be a tad long...apologizing in advance!!!!
Thursday was Thanksgiving. Our morning consisted of watching The Macy's Day Parade and lounging around. The parade is a tradition with me and Anika. My dad and I used to watch it together when I was little and I've watched it with her ever since she's been little.
We had a package that was left overnight at our house. It was from the Man at the North Pole, YES, Santa delivered an early package to Ax and Annalee. They were shocked to open it and find one of his elves. Meet Chris, he now hangs out our house (or travels with us) daily watching the kids to make sure they are being nice! He could sure use some pointers in the nice department though, he seems to ramble all night and cause lots of messes!!!
Our Elf Chris
We spent pretty much all of our Thanksgiving having dinner with my Parent's, two of my Aunt's and Uncle's and my Grandma. Dinner was grand as always. My mom always out does herself! I totally suck and didn't take many photos at all. I've been without a camera for so long that I now forget to take photos. You will have to take my word for it though, it was a wonderful day.
I did manage a selfie with my dad
His first selfie :)
Our Thanksgiving evening was spent putting up Christmas decorations AND packing for our upcoming trip. All in all, it was a wonderful day :)
Decorating the tree
She was having a blast
My big girl loves Christmas Time
I love it this year!
Christmas Display on my bar
New stockings for the kiddos!
Friday morning we woke to snow! Not the kind in my front yard but rather magic snow the elf brought to play in. Silly thing was making snow angels when we woke up. The kids faces were priceless!!!
Told you he was a trouble maker!!!
The kids wasted no time getting cleaned up and ready to go. Ax had been waiting on this trip for days. We loaded our bags and hit the road. We didn't forger Chris either.
The gang ready to go
Chris ready for the road trip :)
We did run into some real snow on the way. It wasn't much but it was pretty!!! We hit it while crossing the VA mountains.
We arrived in TN fairly early and our first order of business was finding a room. The traffic going into Pigeon Forge was absolutely a disaster. I'm thinking everyone had the same idea as we did as far as taking a long holiday weekend. We finally settled on a room at the Econo Lodge. I was less than impressed but we were just looking for a place to sleep so it worked. I'll definitely not stay there again though.
The kids (Axle, Dustin and SJ) couldn't wait to ride Go Karts so that was our first order of business. I'm not lying when I tell you we probably spent 500.00 riding Go Karts over the course of the weekend. Those boys were addicted. I was super happy when I found out Lee was big enough to ride though. Ax and Hubby rode together most of the time, Lee and I rode together and Dustin and Anika rode together. It was fun and I enjoyed it but definitely NOT as much as the boys. Lee and Anika on the other hand did I think!
Can you see the excitement
Dustin and Anika
We also rode some quarter machines and walked around the strip and checked things out. It was a nice evening!
We decided on Domino's for dinner since it was right across from our hotel! I don't think I'd ever had Domino's before but it wasn't bad. Ax didn't like it because the breadsticks had cheese in them. I'll tell ya, he's one picky eater.
After dinner everyone was absolutely exhausted, especially the kids. Hubby and Dustin took them back to the room while Anika and I walked down to a gift shop to try and find her some clothes. The silly child left her entire suitcase at home (packed and ready to go). We ended up finding her 2 pair of pants and 2 shirts to hold her over a couple of days. We also grabbed some milk, pop, gloves, etc while we were out!
It wasn't long after we got to the hotel that we crashed for the night. Poor hubs was the first to go out. He just can't hang like he used to. He's getting old!
I think we all slept like rocks that night. It was a bit crowded in our bed seeing as how Ax refused to sleep with Dustin so all 3 of the kids ended up in the bed with us. We managed though. When we woke up we found Chris in quite a fix, Ax happily rescued him though!
Yep, he got a cup stuck on his head!!
Saturday was a good day. We had breakfast at a Pancake House which was delicious! Our waitress was the best and sort of looked like Dolly Parton. The food was buffet style and so good except for the pancakes. Weird I know but the Pancake House did not have good pancakes!
The first big event of the day was called the Alpine Coaster. It's relatively new to Pigeon Forge so my crew hadn't ever experienced it. Unfortunately Lee was too little to ride so her and I sat it out. The boys and Anika had a blast though. Hubby said it was scary, Ax said it was awesome. I know one thing, it looked really high and really fast. It was kind of like souped up bob sledding!
The track going through the hills
Since Lee couldn't ride, we hung out with her favorite person, Minnie Mouse!!!
Once the rest of the gang finished their ride, we took some time and went cabin searching. We are thinking of spending Christmas in the area and were looking at options for lodging. We still haven't made any definite plans though.
Ax was driving us crazy wanting to ride "Golf Carts" or as we call them Go Karts so we stopped at a place called The Track. It was a huge hit with the kids. They had several Go Kart tracks which we rode along with lots of kiddie rides. It's safe to say we spent a few hours there!
It was pretty cold out and the kids had really had a blast so we decided we would go back to the hotel and warm up and rest. I think it ended up being a very good idea as I was tired and Lee was exhausted. We didn't end up venturing out again until later that evening when we got hungry. We debated on where we wanted to eat and finally settled on Five Guys Burger and Fries. I must say, the burgers were good but the price was ridiculous, the wait was long and the options were limited. Not somewhere I'll be returning, I'll stick with Steak and Shake!
The night didn't end as I had hoped. After dinner we rode around and looked at the lights. Somehow the Hubby and I had a disagreement which turned into a full on feud. It was over something stupid but isn't that how it usually goes? We ended up going back to the hotel where he went straight to sleep while the rest of us stayed up chatting and watching television for awhile! After everyone went to sleep, the elf went to work.
We woke up on Saturday morning to this!!!
Yes Chris is taking a bubble bath!!
Sunday the Hubby and I still weren't really speaking. We spent the biggest part of the morning in the hotel. The kids had waffles for breakfast from the hotel lounge. Anika and Dustin decided to get out and enjoy the day (the weather was gorgeous)!! They went to a gift shop and wouldn't you know Miss Anika came back with her and I matching shirts. I swear that child is such a sweetheart. She knew I was sad and she wanted to make it all better. Around 2:00 I got hungry so Lee, Dustin, Anika and I went to a little roadhouse style place to eat. It had a very cool interior and the food was pricey but good. Lee and I split a hamburger steak and I think she ate more than I did. I ordered Ax a meal to go since he opted to stay at the hotel with the Hubby and watch cartoons! Before returning back to the hotel, I went to the Beef Jerky outlet for jerky. That is my favorite place- the Jerky Outlet!!!
When we got back to the room, Hubby had chilled a little and so had I. We decided to get the kids out for a walk. We rode a Dinosaur thing that was pretty cool. You rode a boat through it and it had all sorts of animated dinosaurs inside. Ax did pretty good but poor Lee was scared. She covered her eyes with her little hands the whole time. From there we walked down to an Extreme Racing place. Dustin and SJ were dying to ride these Go Karts. They ran 50 mph and let me tell you that those two boys had some fun. They ended up tying for first place which I thought was comical. If Dustin would have won the Hubby would have died! They also had double seater karts which ran much slower so Hubby and Ax rode those. Lee sat it out just because this mommy was tired of riding! We also took the kids to a little small amusement park full of kiddie rides. They rode some rides and had a blast. Anika and Dustin did this thing that flipped them upside down over and over, it was called the Skyscraper. I have no idea where the child gets her nerves but it isn't from her mommy!
Inside the place we ate lunch :)
I love that face
She likes food!!!
As you can tell, I didn't take many photos on Sunday. It was a mixture of being annoyed and then just leaving the camera behind in the hotel on accident. What started out as a terrible Sunday actually ended up not being too bad though. After our evening out, we stayed in the room and had Pizza Hut for dinner. We watched some television and just chilled the rest of the night. Unfortunately we didn't get much sleep though. Poor Lee woke up coughing and couldn't stop. She actually coughed until she threw up twice. Bless her heart, I felt so sorry for her.
When we woke on Monday we found more elf drama!!!
Someone found cups to play with!
We had breakfast at the hotel once again, got cleaned up and then loaded our stuff in the van. Initially we were going to head home but then decided we would take a scenic tour. Our first stop, Gatlinburg! I love the size of Gatlinburg..it's perfect for walking. We walked the strip, did some shopping, ate some ice cream and let the bigger kids ride the sky lift. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was a very enjoyable day. The highlight of my trip happened in Gatlinburg too. I scored some new boots (thank you hubby). I think they were a suck up gift but I'll take it. He also bought Anika a pair of Miss Me Jeans which she has now wore for two days!
We had to cut our time in Gatlinburg shorter than we wanted but we had a blast what time we did visit. After we left Gatlinburg we traveled on across the Smoky Mountains. There was snow on the side of the roads in some spots and the view was just amazing. Ax's favorite part was the tunnels getting to the Smokies!!! Poor Lee fell asleep during this portion of the trip. She missed the entire mountains
We drove on over to Cherokee, North Carolina which is Anika's favorite place. We had lunch at DQ and was hoping to see all sorts of neat things but unfortunately not much goes in over there in the winter time. We did manage to find an Indian for a picture and we fed a few bears but that was about it. Still the kids had a blast. Axle was amazed by the bears :)
I was shocked Lee and Ax took this photo!
It was getting late so we headed on home. The ride home was pretty uneventful. Both kids rode pretty well up until we hit Virginia. Lee started getting very cranky so we pulled off at a gas station that had an adjoining Arby's. We used the restroom and ate a sandwich and milkshake. It made her feel much better for the ride on home.
It was 10:00 when we got home by the time we dropped Dustin off and everything. We lounged around after getting our bags unloaded and then we hit the sack a little after midnight. Well everyone except Anika, she fell asleep as soon as we came through the door.
Tuesday morning I debated on if I was going to work or not. We were all so exhausted from the trip that we ALL decided to stay home an extra day and rest up.
Our Monday morning was basically spent watching Christmas Movies. I think I actually watched three yesterday. Other than helping Hubby haul off some junk and straightening the house, I didn't really do much of anything. Dinner was courtesy of KFC so I didn't even cook!!! Hubby was just as lazy, I think he left the house one time to go to Rite Aid and that was about it. Of course I'm not complaining, I got these from his Rite Aid trip. The man knows my favorite candy :)
After a lazy day the Hubby and kids got ready for bed around 9:00. The Hubby had some personal grooming to do and of course the little one's wanted to be part of the fun!
I think it was well after midnight before I finally got to sleep. That's not unusual for me though, I'm a night owl. Of course, I paid for it today at work. I was so sleepy.
Friends I'll be back on Friday with a recap of the rest of my week or the 3 days I have left of it anyway. I hope you guys are doing well. One day I'll make time to blog read, I promise. Check back Friday to see what "Chris" has been up to.