Today our day started very similar to yesterday. We woke, ate breakfast, got dressed, then packed our lunch boxes for the day. We loaded in the car and made our way to Pigeon Forge, TN.
We made it to Wonderworks around 11:00am. We spent several hours inside playing. We shot hoops at the basketball game and hit balls at the baseball virtual field. We had the best time! We played on a large Google Earth's map and found our house. Mike and I went on this bicycle that you pedal and it makes you go upside down. The faster you pedal the faster you go. It was awesome. :)
We felt what is was like to go through an earthquake and tornado. Then we had a competition to see who could keep their hand in the water that was the same temperature of the water that the Titanic went down in. Wesley went first, he kept his hand in for 48 seconds. Jon next, he held out for about 10. Renee racked up a whole 3 seconds. Mike pretty much stuck his hand in and pulled it right back out. I think he might have made a second. I went next, when I stuck my hand in it was freezing, nothing like I have ever felt before. As I left it in trying to win, it started stinging like thousands of bees and didn't stop. About the 8 second mark I had to pull my hand out. Then Mike and I were wondering how Wesley could do it for so long and it not bother him. Then we thought maybe we should take him to the doctor and have them look at that, because that can't be normal. :)
In one of the rooms, they have a 4 story ropes course. You strap into a harness and walk 4 stories in a dark room lit with neon lights. You walk on metal grating so you can see through the holes. Mike wanted to go, but none of the kids did. It bummed me out because I really wanted to do it, but didn't want to go alone. Then we were able to talk the kids in to it. YAY! So we strapped up, took a picture, and started upward. The line was Wesley, Mike, Jon, Renee, and me. We got about 10 feet in the air and Renee gave up. She wanted to turn around. Jon, Mike and Wesley had made it to the first platform where you had to walk across this plank to the next platform. Jon made it across and it was Wesley's turn. He wanted none of it and turned around and came to me. At this point, I am trying to balance on a step 10 feet in the air and help 2 scared kids find their way as they cling onto me. Jon quit and came back across the plank to get down. I help him, too. Mike continued on the course without us. We finally stepped down on level ground and were relieved. I was kinda glad the kids backed out, I guess I forgot that I am scared of heights, but I am sure glad the kids reminded me. So while Mike wound his way through the course above our heads, we played games and looked at some of the space equipment.
After about 2 1/2 hours we called it quits and went to the car. We found our lunch boxes and ate lunch as we were driving the strip looking for places to shop for souvenirs. After we were full we went to a few shops. Everyone wanted a black bear because of yesterday. :) And backscratchers (okay??? not sure what we will do with these). After each child used their own money that we had already pulled out of their piggy banks and paid, we looked for the taffy shop. You cannot go to TN and not get taffy! It is one of the rules. You should look it up. :) We found this really cool outdoor mall. We parked the car and walked to the closest candy store. The kids found some metal tins that you fill with taffy and pay one set price. So that is what they decided on. They jammed as many pieces in their tin as they could fit. Again, this time, one by one they paid but it was with some money Nana had given them. (Thank you Nana). The next shop was a cooking shop. They had all kinds of spices, jams, batters and cookie mixes. The kids and myself got bored really quick. So we left Mike inside and we and sat on the steps to eat some more taffy. :)
Tonight, we went to the Dixie Stampede. I remember always doing this as a child and I wanted to share that same memory with my family. We changed our outfits and headed inside (without the camera). We bought the souvenir mugs with our tickets to save money. We had them filled and took a seat to watch the pre show. Same as I remember, a 3 person country group who performed all the favorites. I watched as the kids laughed at their jokes, clapped off beat, and sang to the songs they knew. Then it was time for the show. We gathered our things, looked at the tickets to see where to go and headed to the front, yes I said FRONT, row. Of course we bought the picture they had us take in the beginning and the flags too. We have to cheer on our team. GO SOUTH!!! :) It wasn't long after we sat down that I remembered all the times coming here as a child with my parents and siblings- watching the same show, eating the same meal. Then it hit me, and my eyes started to well up. Mike had a little laugh at my expense and we continued on with our evening. :) We watched the show and ate our meal…with our hands. On the first competition the South won. They threw a flower right at Wesley! He caught it. He was given one of only 2 flowers handed out. He was so proud.
It was an incredible day, an emotional evening, and I wouldn't change any of it.