Our family did just return from what is becoming a family tradition, a trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee before Luke and Lily head back for their school year. It is the one trip that I do not have to mandate that Andy take because he so loves to go. He has always loved the area and especially Dolly's theme park. I think the first time we went the park was called the Silver Dollar something. When we were in college, the Sigmas and the Zetas, our fraternity and sorority, would always spend a week end in Pigeon Forge in the spring so our memories go way, way back. Of course at that time Pigeon Forge only had a few motels down along the Pigeon River and was simply a place to stop, grab a bite to eat and fill up before entering the Smoky Mountains. Today it is a busy little city with restaurants, gift shops, arcades, outlet stores, motels, condos and rental cabins as well as the iconic Dollywood Theme Park. I will give my usual plug for what we believe is the best "family" oriented theme park on the planet surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
|Dinner, Monday evening, at the Dixie Stampede|
|Driving to Cade's Cove in the Smoky Mtns.|
|Our favorite ride at Dollywood, the River Rampage!|
|Sunrise from our condo, Rivershore Condos|
|Dolly's grist Mill|
|The church at Dollywood|
|Luke and I rode the all new, Wild Eagle roller coaster|
|Lily and Evie at the Dixie Stampede|
|Getting autographs after the show|
|Dinner at Paula Deen's new restaurant in Pigeon Forge|
|The fountain in the Island Square across from Paula Deen's|
This year we chose a condo overlooking the golf course located just 2 miles from Dollywood instead of a cabin. There was an indoor pool, a lazy river with inner tubes and you could walk along the Pigeon River. Sara and Matt didn't have any time left after their trip to the Outer Banks but we picked up Evelyn on our way through Cincinnati. We were a little worried about the weather forecast but we had perfect weather and because the schools start in early August in Tennessee, we pretty much had the entire park to ourselves.
September will prove to be just as busy as we prepare for our Childhood Cancer Walk at CHOP in Philadelphia and this year, my brother Bob, also has a team walking in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Columbus on September 13. Lots of walking for 2 great causes!
|2014 CHOP Walk|
|2014 photo with the Rocky statue. This year the event is being held at a different venue, disappointed!|