Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Break 2015 - Wilderness and Burgess Falls

Thursday we went to Wilderness at the Smokies. Lydia and Afton had never been, and it's been a few years since we've taken the big three. Everyone had so much fun that we kept swimming and sliding right through dinner and way past bedtime. We took a lot of gopro videos on the waterslides, but I don't have those on the computer yet, so a few screenshots will have to do.

Plus: Lydia and Flat Stanley getting soaked.
Friday was rainy, so we just relaxed at home and saved our last adventure for Saturday.

Ever since the Sextons went to Burgess Falls we've been wanting to check it out. So we brought along a few friends and made a day of the short hike. If you like waterfalls, this is the hike for you. Four big ones altogether, with tons of little side waterfalls the kids could play around, and the last one is something special. You can climb down to the base of the big falls, where all of the rocks are extra slimy from the constant spray. The water volume was high when we were there (due to all the rain over the week), so by time we had climbed down to the base we were soaked from all that spray. It was awesome.

Aaaaand there was a playground by the parking lot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Break 2015 - Circle G Ranch day

This was a good year for spring break. We didn't go on a trip or do anything extravagant, but we packed it full of deliberate fun. A week or two before on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we were lounging in hammocks with the kids and made our plans. They listed all of the fun things they could think of to do, I put different kids in charge of researching each of the ideas, and we planned out a week of mini adventures.

Monday we just met some friends at the park, including the kids' old bus driver, Laura. She misses the kids and the kids miss her, so we were really glad to have the chance to hang out, eat cookies, and play on the playground. So much fun we forgot to take any pictures, d'oh!

Tuesday was Max Patch, which you've already read about in that last post down there.

Wednesday was Circle G Ranch. It's so weird and so hilarious and kind of gross, but mostly we were just laughing so hard we were crying. You pay them your money and get some little food pellets, then you drive into a ginormous fenced area full of animals. Goats, pigs, emus, a zebra, cows, llamas, and a bull with the biggest horns ever. And they are all very well trained to swarm your car to get those precious food pellets. You roll down your windows and they all stick their heads right on in and stick out their disgustingly long tongues and drool at you until you throw some food pellets to get them away. They are all pretty non-threatening except for that big bull. He was persistent, and every time we tossed him some food pellets he bent his huge-horned head down to eat them and banged the side of the van with those monstrous things and it was some sort of miracle that we got out without getting it all scratched up. (Found out later it's pretty common to drive out of there with lots more scratches on your paint job than you came in with.) Still, laughing till we cried. Except for Afton, who was terrified of that bull. Once we were away from him she had a great time. But she kept asking where it was and worrying it was going to ram our van.

"I've been waiting for you."
"Don't be afraid."
"I'm going to eat your soul."

Once you finish the drive through part you can get out and enjoy the petting zoo area. You know, or chase some peacocks, have a staring contest with an emu. Whatever.