At some point at the beginning of summer, my mom and I planned a 2 night trip to Gatlinburg so that my Texas end of the family could meet Myles for the first time. I had also not met their youngest addition; having not seen them since their oldest was 1 year old; the last time we went to the Smokies. He is now 5. We made sure to take them to all of our favorite spots from the dozen+ times we went there growing up, and a few new ones!
First we fed some ducks while we waited to be seated at a Mexican restaurant.
Then we threw some pennies in the fountain at The Village. And did some shopping...
We picnicked at The Chimneys and let the kids climb down to the freezing mountain stream to throw lots and lots of rocks.
Myles started getting a little too brave while we were there so we had to keep a tight hold on him at all times! Because this mom-of-the-year forgot his swim trunks so we couldn't get as all-in as originally planned.
We went to the Ripley's Aquarium as well! Super fun with tired little kiddos. It did have its great moments though.
Myles was super excited to get the opportunity to splash in some water. I'm not sure if he really ever did touch the stingrays or horseshoe crabs.
We took them to Fannie Farkles to win some tickets. Myles still loves his mardi gras beads that he bought with them.
That happened... I now wish I had also gotten a picture of Myles by himself, but by the time they posed for this, he was just done. I was rather amazed they sat still and serious for so long!
We enjoyed our little balcony overlooking the stream and mountain view. Although the road noise was a bit much when motorcycles went through around middle-of-the-night o'clock, the Baymont Inn on the Parkway was really really great. The rooms have been renovated, the view is awesome for being downtown, and we were greeted with a goody bag for each adult (snacks, water bottles, coupons) and for each kid (coloring books, crayons, snacks).
And I enjoyed the scenic drive back home. Getting there was not scenic at all. I'm pretty sure I was scared for my life on some of the backroads my GPS took me through.
So so grateful mom went with us. Not sure if I could have handled a hotel stay alone with Myles! He really did great but 2 nights was enough time away from his normal sleep habits! This trip also solidified his major obsession with having ice to crunch at all times.
While I may not be thrilled with much of downtown Gatlinburg anymore, this place is still one of my favorite places to visit time and time again. I am really glad we got to let Myles experience it, whether he remembers the trip or not. That's what the camera is for.
Mom followed us back to SC, and after spending the weekend with Kyle, drove us back to KY for a weeklong trip where we got to SURPRISE my grandmother who had just had hip replacement surgery. So that was our little adventure this summer! Now we are looking ahead to our quickly approaching no-toddler-allowed cruise! I intend to be a little faster with sharing that trip!