We had a fun weekend in Tennessee. We drove up on Thursday and got there around 2. Nick has a new favorite song. I Like It by Enrique Iglesias. It was on in the car and he was dancing and making happy noises. After we unloaded all the stuff we had to bring for Nicholas we went to the outlet mall. We got his Halloween costume. He is going to be Nemo. While I was getting the costume Mark took Nick to the bathroom to change his diaper. He peed all over the changing table and they didn't have paper towels so he had to clean it up with diapers then Nick got his bum dried of by a hand dryer. Mark and Nick went to the arcade while I shopped. Nick enjoyed the lights on the games and Mark won him a Scooby Do wearing a Tennessee Volunteers jersey. Scooby is his new friend.
Friday we planned to go to Smoky Mountain National Park and up to Clingman's Done which is the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains. We went to the car and had a dead battery. The hotel maintenance guy jumped us and gave us directions to the local Napa. It was a very small store and they didn't have the right battery so they called a local garage. So we were off to some garage in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. They had the battery and installed it for us. There were no banjos playing so it turned out better than we had envisioned. We made it to the park and first walked along a paved trail that the visitor's center recommended since we had a stroller. It was a short walk and we encountered a snake. We think it was a Northern Copperhead one of the two poisonous snakes they have in the park. We looked up the snakes they have there and the picture of the Copperhead looked like what we saw. Then we drove up to Clingman's Dome. It is a beautiful drive with a lot of scenic overlooks you can stop at. The leaves were just starting to change in the higher elevations too. We made it to the top and Nicholas enjoyed the cool mountain breeze. He has always liked wind and laughs and smiles if it is windy. It was about 25 degrees cooler on top of the mountain but he wouldn't wear his jacket. I think he felt too constricted in the stroller with his thick jacket on. It is a half mile hike straight up to get to the dome. A half mile isn't anything but when you are going up such a steep hill it is hard! Mark pushed Nick up the hill and we got to the top. It was sunny and clear out so we could actually see. You can supposedly see seven states from the top on a clear day. This was also our first encounter with a huge family with obnoxious kids running around.
Friday night we walked around Gatlinburg and went the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. It was kind of boring but Nick enjoyed it. He also liked all the lights on the main parkway in Gatlinburg.
Saturday we went to Ober Gatlinburg. You take a tram up the mountain and they have a bunch of attractions up there. The tram ride was fun and beautiful. We went to the Black Bear Exhibit. Bella looks just like a bear when she sleeps on her side. Nicholas rode his first Merry Go Round and Mark rode the Alpine Slide. They also had ice skating, a playground, water slide, flying swings, and a band if you rode the ski lift up. This was our second encounter with the obnoxious kids. It was like they were following us. We rode the tram back down and just walked around Gatlinburg. There is so much to see and do we didn't have enough time to do much. We got the Old Time Photo done on Saturday. The picture came out really cute but it is missing some money bags and a toy gun. Mark was holding him underneath a black coat. We had money bags and a gun propped up on Nick's legs but they fell off right before they got that picture. His smile is so cute we got it anyways. We also saw the obnoxious family for the third time while waking around. We had a good trip but wish we had a lot more time to do things. We didn't make it to the aquarium with the new penguin exhibit. Next time.