We took a big family trip to Gatlinburg June 23-27. By big, I mean my dad, two sisters and their families and us. We make it a big trip by ourselves, haha. :) This is the first time all of us have been together in many years. I wish it could have been a whole family trip…I am sad that will never happen again.

Anywho, we arrived in Pigeon Forge around 6:30 Thursday evening and thought we’d be at the house we were renting by 7. We were wrong! The house was a part of Chalet Village and it was literally at the top of the mountain. First of all we turned off at the wrong place because we recognized a street name from our directions. Turns out my directions were wrong because I had the wrong address for the house. So, we drove all over the side of the mountain and finally got to the house at 8. This was after a bear had run at our van. Poor van, it was tired by the time we finished that crazy night. When we finally arrived, we walked in to see my dad and sisters cooking dinner and the smoke alarm going off. It was one crazy scene! We had the luxury of cooking since it was a house and it was so nice to be able to do that instead of go out for every meal. With 7 children between the ages of 2 months and 9 years that gets difficult and expensive! After dinner we did a little belated birthday and father’s day celebrating and then everyone was exhausted. We had the shortest trip of everyone. My sisters had been traveling since Monday to get there.

Friday my dad and sisters and Nick were going white water rafting and taking Tiffany’s kids. Kristopher had told me at home that he might want to go and I had said no and listed all my reasons. Well, I changed my mind and thought I’d let him go if he wanted, but he didn’t want to anymore. Taylor did though, so she loaded up with all of them and it turned out to be her favorite thing on the trip. I can’t believe it! After they got home my family, my dad and Tiffany’s kids went into Gatlinburg to visit the Ripley’s Aquarium and then to find some goodies to take back home. We stopped to get pretzels and fudge and candy. It was hectic and crowded, but still just as pretty as I remember. I just love the little creeks that run through town and how the buildings are mostly old mountain town looking ones.

Saturday, all but Erica, Nick and Alexandria (their baby) went to Wonder Works. I didn’t really enjoy it. I think it would be a fun place if it wasn’t as crowded and if my kids were older. I held Kyler the whole time and Kody dealt with Kameron and Taylor. The three of them were really too young and too small to do anything there. Kristopher had a good time and I think Kody and I might have enjoyed some of it if we hadn’t been holding little people. All in all, I think it was a waste of money and time to go there. Kristopher did go up on this spacewalk thing that was pretty cool. He was a little scared though and everyone else from our party who went up was pretty scared too. About half way through the museum Erica came and picked Tiffany and I up and we went to the outlet mall, leaving my dad and Kody with 5 kids in that wild place. They met back up with Nick and Alexandria and took the kids swimming too. It was fun to go to the outlet mall for awhile even if we couldn’t buy much. I wish we had one closer. It’s always nice to get good deals!

Sunday we just kind of hung out at the house since we were exhausted and it was stormy part of the day. When it cleared up we went swimming for awhile and grilled our dinner. It was a nice relaxed day. Things were getting a little tense near night. Nothing like family to bring up your past (that you seriously don’t remember) and make you wonder at the person you were.

Monday we got up and everyone packed up their cars and then we took family pictures and headed out. We had to stop in a Chick-fil-A on the way home though! It was a fun vacation and I’m glad we got to do it. I had anticipated it being a lot more difficult than it ended up being (with a new baby) and for that I was so happy.

Now we’re back to life as usual and getting ready for VBS and then school!

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