Fall Break Part 1

We booked Wilderness at the Smokies for the first weekend of break. It was awesome. We all loved the indoor and outdoor waterparks. The kids made out like bandits from the arcade. But the most memorable part was the surf rider. The kids loved it, Jared loved it (I think) and I laughed until I cried and decided not to give it a try. We made Jared go first and I’m so glad we did! That thing is intense. He jumped on the board like a pro and was living it up, arms out, feeling the waves, until. . . his wiener popped out. I kid you not. He caught a big wave and it slung him like a rag doll up to the top where he rolled and tumbled. All I saw was his naked butt as he stood up pulling his trunks up as fast as he could. I’m videoing all of this by the way. He is laughing as he walks down to where I am sitting and leans in and says “My wiener popped out!” We laughed until we cried. That is when I decided it would be best if I did not give it a try. I prefer to keep all of my stuff from “popping out”, thanks. That was the one and only time Jared surfed. The kids did it several times and thought it was awesome. All of their stuff stayed in their pants.

After all of that excitement we drove Newfound Gap Road to enjoy the gorgeous views and hiked Clingmans Dome. It is the highest peak in Tennessee and smelled like Christmas. The pine trees that lined the trail were so fragrant and we were basically walking through the clouds. It was awesome!

On the way home we stopped in downtown Knoxville, TN, to walk around the park and go up in the Sunsphere.

Wilderness at the Smokies





Newfound Gap Road and Clingmans Dome

Knoxville, TN



We decided that it would be fun to head a little north for total eclipse 2017 to be in the line of totality. At home we were in the 97% totality. So we Jared booked a camp site. A primitive camp site. Like you walk all your stuff in campsite. Like you have no neighbors in the case of a bear attack campsite. Like the park ranger walks down your trail at eleven o’clock at night to tell you they are having a problem with bears in the area campsite. For real. You know about Goose and me and bears, right? I mean. . hello. . . Yellowstone. The friendly little park ranger tried to convince us that we would be okay just as long as we do not put anything that smells in the tent. No chap stick, baby wipes, lotions, anything. Um. . . We are camping with a 5 month old, a three year old, a six year old, and an 8 year old (who is now clinging to me as if the park ranger is a bear himself). And I’m pretty sure that after being in the woods all day they all smell a little. No one slept that night. Em, all the kids, and I put a big tent in a three sided shelter thing and tried to sleep in there all night. Nan and Pop slept in a test just below us. And Jared plopped himself, a flashlight, and a gun in a hammock. All of this and the fact that it was about a million and one degrees out we headed home early and watched the eclipse from the pool.

the wild poppy field

I am so glad we stumbled upon this wild poppy field at the base of the mountains in Alpine. Okay, so we didn’t really stumble upon it. We searched high and low for this little piece of heaven two separate nights and then played dodge the other 30 photographers there and keep them out of our shots too,  but it was oh so worth it! I mean look at this place! I have never seen anything so magical and breathtaking.









We met the cuzzies at the park and then went for some Sub Zero ice cream, courtesy of Uncle Peter. While in the area we stopped and walked around at the new Provo temple.