October 19, 2007

Our day at Dollywood!

This is the first year in several we did not buy season passes to Dollywood, and I've missed it a lot more than I thought I would! Thankfully, our neighbor (who has been in charge of the steam trains there for many years) gets free passes once a month and shared some with us!

Right now at Dollywood they are having the National Gospel and Harvest Celebration, so we got to see many local craftsmen and harvest decorations. Here is a beekeeper we saw. He gave us a little demonstration and reviewed many of the things we learned during our "bee" unit in August! (And now, combined with the dinosaur movie we watched on the way down, this day has all of a sudden become a field trip!)

Jacob has reached a critical milestone in the theme park world...42" tall. He has been waiting for many months to be able to ride the bumper cars with Daddy, and his day came! I don't know if they were all they were cracked up to be, but he did ride them more than once. Here's his first ride...

And this is the part that really makes me stop and think how big he's getting. Look at what he rode!

These are just not for little people.

Nor are these...definitely not these. (I graciously let Robert accompany Jacob on these. They're just a little high for me. I let him ride the ferris wheel too. I managed that last time, though I spent most of the ride with my eyes closed!)

(I am zoomed as much as I can be to get this close.)
See Jacob's little hand poking out from his side of the rocket, and those feet sticking out straight because his legs are too short to bend? Tell me he's not growing up!

Sigh... Well, on to more little boy-ish things...the new (to us anyway) playground they built up near all the new roller coasters is great. The kids could have stayed here all day!

Here's Mattie intent on getting her music started on her duckie friend. Not long after this, I had to stop letting her ride. She had ridden all the little itty-bitty rides several times each and must have been getting bored. See all those blinking lights on the duck's collar? Well, they match the blinking light inside the duck that keeps the music going! So, of course she had to stand up to touch all of them too! Well, after they did nothing, in her signature Mattie style, she just started climbing out! (highchair memories, anyone??) Yes...while the ride was in motion! And yes, she was buckled! Every other parent is yelling, "Hi! Sweetie! say, 'Hi, Mommy!' "... I'm yelling, "Sit down!!

Well, on to more attention grabbing things...water.

We waited to use these tickets until we had a day where Robert could come along. He has typically not enjoyed Dollywood in the past. He worked there for a couple of summers during his teen years, so I suppose I understand why there is no magic. And crowds of people on hot, sweaty days are soooooo not his idea of fun! Thankfully, he has learned to enjoy things for his family's sake! He and Jacob had a great time today. (And, boy, are theme parks different when a second parent comes along!)

Here they are in front of Mattie and I on the elephant ride.

And having some manly discussion, it appears. (Actually, Mattie is in front of Robert trying her darnedest to get into that water!)

All in all, we had a great day today. The kids could not have been better (we left at 5:00 because Robert and I were pooped!), and we had some much needed, quality family time.
Thanks to Treva and Scott!!

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