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Monday, July 9, 2018

4th of July + Weekend in the Mountains!

We had such a fun 4th of July and weekend! Here are a whole bunch of pictures to recap!

The morning of the 4th, we had our neighborhood parade! Ella chose to ride her bike this year and she did a great job!


Lucas hung out in the wagon. He was really just there to see the fire truck, so I don't think he cared where he was, as long as he was in view of the fire truck! 



After we paraded to our neighborhood clubhouse, the kids got to check out the fire truck. 



We walked home and changed into our swimsuits for a pool day! 


After GREAT naps (myself included!), we grilled out and made s'mores!


Then we did sparklers and watched the fireworks on TV! 


Lucas was not allowed to have a sparkler, because God knows what he would have done/injured, but good grief, he loved trying to grab it! NO FEAR.


On Thursday, we left for the mountains!!! Trav had a few days off work, so we decided to take a super last minute "not-really-a-babymoon." Every where at the beach was pretty much booked and I still had PTSD from all of the sand my children acquired when we were in Hilton Head for Memorial Day, so the mountains it was! 

As soon as we arrived, Trav decided we should hike to see this waterfall.


Yes, it was only .4 of a mile! But it was all uphill!!!


Holy moly. SOO many stairs. Way too many stairs for a 28 week pregnant person to walk up, ha!


Lucas was not sure about the hike either!
But, we finally made it to the waterfall! It was huge!!




Trav took both kids down to the water, which they loved! The water was cold and clear! Straight from the mountain!


A butterfly landed on Ella's bow, which she was extremely excited about!


Taking a break on the "long" walk back down...



For dinner that night, we went to Brio in the Harrah's Casino. If you ever go to Cherokee, be prepared for A LOT of buffet restaurants. I'm pretty sure that's all they had in town! We did not want to eat at a buffet, so that's why we went to the casino...it has the only real restaurants around!

I had to document Ella's first time in a casino :) 


Friday was my birthday!! We headed into Gatlinburg, and because it was supposed to rain, we decided to spend the morning at the aquarium


This aquarium was amazing!! Very overpriced, but we all thought it a lot of fun!! 


The best part was the had this huge tunnel set up, where the fish could swim all around you. You stood on a conveyor belt, so we didn't have to worry about pushing our way through crowds to see anything. It just moved everyone along (very slowly) through the tunnel of fish. It was so cool! 


Both of my children were terrified of this saw fish thing!!! It kept swimming over us in the tunnel and it was a little freaky!!


We also saw the biggest sea turtle I've ever seen!


Both kids loved seeing the penguins, too!



After lunch, we walked around Gatlinburg a little bit. 




So many thoughts on Gatlinburg. So many. I'll just leave it at this: my kids stopped in their tracks at this store window, begging me for an airbrushed Paw Patrol t-shirt. I said no because I'm mean. ;) 


It was about an hour drive back to Cherokee (we thought it was closer, whoops!), but we stopped at a few overlooks to take pictures!



After quick naps, it was time for my birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris! I know, I am crazy for taking the kids to this restaurant, but it was one of our few dining options that was not a buffet! Ella loved the "fancy glasses." 


And Lucas surprised us all by going to town on the creamed spinach! He didn't want his chicken fingers and fries, no no no. Homeboy wanted this spinach!!! He devoured it! 


Travis also surprised me by sneaking over to the restaurant while we were napping to tell them it was my birthday! As someone who hates his own birthday, I thought that was so sweet of him! 


On Saturday, we had a low-key morning and just walked around by the river. 


The kids took early naps, and then Ella set out on her adventure with Trav...white water rafting!


She had been dying to go white water rafting for the last week or so!! Trav and I both thought she would chicken out or change her mind, but she didn't! So brave!!

While those 2 were paddling down the river, Lucas and I went to Bryson City to see the trains!



This boy was in absolute heaven. He was screaming in delight at all of the choo-choos!


This engine was pulling into the station, and we got to watch as people moved the track around in a circle to "park" the train (I don't know the correct train terminology here, but hopefully you know what I'm talking about!).


At this point, it started raining pretty hard, but Lucas was not interested in going inside. He wanted to go see "Percy" (the green train from Thomas)!!


He was trying to climb all over it, yelling "Puhh-cy! Puhh-cy!"

I finally managed to get him to leave "Percy" and we went in the train museum. Lucas just could not believe his eyes! Choo-choos everywhere!!


{It says "Please do not lean on the rail," but it doesn't say anything about climbing! Haha...he just wanted to see!}

They also had TWO train tables, which we had to play with...not like he has a train table at home or anything...


Oh and we found Mickey Mouse on a choo-choo!!! Two of his favorite things in one!


He wouldn't leave the train museum/store because he couldn't stop watching the toy train go around and around at the top of the store!


We ended our trip with another dinner at Brio! Fun fact: did you know they will bring out pizza dough for kids to play with while they are waiting for their food? My kids loved it! 


And that's a wrap on what is probably our last family trip as a family of 4!!! 
{We also went to the mountains when I was very pregnant with Lucas; you can see that here.}

So very grateful for this time with 3 of my favorite people...no one else I'd rather spend my birthday weekend with!! :) 
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