We stopped in Gatlingburg, TN on our way home. It was delightful. My parents have a membership or ownership (or something, I’m still not real sure how it works) to a club vacations thing. Basically, we got to stay in a real nice room in the middle of everything for $0. And when I say real nice room…
We had a GIANT whirlpool tub (which was frequented no less than 3 times by my husband in the 36 hours we were there), a kitchen with a range, oven, microwave, fridge, dishwasher, and fully stocked plate/glass/utensils situation, a room with a door where the gigantic king bed with TV was separated from the living room with huge tv and fireplace. Sadly, they turn the fireplace off in the summer, so we just had to suffer in the ludicrous air conditioning (not really, we had our own thermostat). So yeah, nice.
We got in late Friday, Hannah was a nightmare on the drive and then bouncing off the walls when we got there so very little sleeping occurred. BUT. Shelby had his first bath and was a lot less grumpy afterwards so that improved the situation enormously. Saturday I got a little later start than I wanted. I had hoped for some alone time in the fitness center, but instead spent time wandering back and forth from the car to the room getting miscellaneous odds and ends, trying to entertain the child, and getting lost more than once in the stairwells. The garage levels are below the lobby level, but the stairs only go to the lobby. Then you have to find another set of stairs to get to the garage. Or you know, take the elevator, but those are for wusses.
We had a pancake breakfast at one of the 40 billion pancake houses at which Hannah was the most delightful baby ever. She charmed everyone with her big blue (still blue) eyes and infectious giggle. She did pretty well for her first official time in a high chair too (I think). And then we walked the strip. It was just like walking a main street in Disney, if Disney had a location on the beach. There were lots of shops selling way overpriced t-shirts, henna tattoos, and carnival food. We meandered down the street until we got to the aquarium. My MIL had roused the girls from their beds at about 6 am so they could make the drive and meet us for the day, so she let them run around on their own and she tagged along with Hannah (let’s be honest, she likes her son but Hannah takes the cake). Thankfully. I think the girls (17) and the heat (1 gagillion) would have probably killed her. But instead, she got to chill in the air conditioned aquarium. Watching her watch Hannah see stuff swish in front of her face was pretty awesome. Everyone’s joy at new experiences.
We had lunch at a pretty nice Italian place on the strip and then MIL took the girls home. We went back to the room to cool down after lunch. Shelby took the opportunity to have another bath. I got Hannah dressed in her lil swimmers diapers and we hit the pool. We stayed in the indoor pool, not only because of the big kids in the outdoor pool, but also we forgot her sunscreen and had no other protection for her since her rash guard was in the laundry. Anyway, she had a great time splashing around. She is one brave little kid. I would seat her on the side wall and then count to three and drag her off into the water. It wasn’t long before she caught on and started leaning forward to fall off the wall herself. This one is gonna be a handful.
Another quick trek outside for dinner and a few souvenirs and then we headed back to the room for Hannah’s bath. She went down fantastically, and she slept all night. Glorious!
And then we drove home. Blah.