Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Late Summer Vacation, Part 2


After an incredible week one of vacation in Atlanta, we hiked on up (okay, drove) to the Great Smoky Mountains for a family reunion on my side of the family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee over Labor Day weekend. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with family we had not seen in awhile (the time together just passed too quickly!). I had not seen the mountains in several years, and man, I missed them!

Evan was quite excited about his new pirate gear
from Grammie & Poppy.

The whole clan gathered for dinner! Gotta love the huge
table at the cabin!
Levi, enjoying another ride in the car

Playing in the creek

Fun with Poppy looking for golf balls since the creek was by a golf course


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Late Summer Vacation, Part 1

One of the perks of Ryan becoming an ordained minister last year is that he now receives 4 weeks of vacation a year. Other staff members highly suggested that we take 2 of those weeks together to be able to truly unwind, so we followed their advice (thanks, Laniers!) the end of August. It was wonderful!

We spent the first week near Atlanta, staying with Ryan's mom, Gail (aka Nana). While we were there, we acted a bit like tourists by visiting some local attractions. We also were able to reconnect with some of our old friends (although it still wasn't quite enough time to see everyone we would have liked to, so if you live there & I didn't see you--boo! hopefully next time!).

First, we visited the Aquarium, which I would highly recommend to anyone with kids! I had visited there a few times as a teacher, but never as a parent. The joy on their faces was priceless (although the dolphin show was a little scary for them-too many flashing lights & loud noises)!



Not sure what they're looking at,
 but at least they're both seated & smiling!

In awe of the whale-shark

Loved seeing the special exhibit on frogs


Levi preferred to walk the museum himself
(with Nana's help, of course)

We also visited Zoo Atlanta. I had not been there is years, and again, it was fun to go this time as a parent. There were some fun animals that the boys had never seen before, their favorite being the pandas!
Making animal noises while looking at the giraffes with Poppy

Levi's favorite animal

Cheering on the tortoise.

It seemed to motivate him...


My little birdies

Uncanny resemblance
Slightly frightening :)

Front row seat to watch the Panda eat his lunch.

Such a beautiful creature!
And last, but certainly not least, we were able to have a family reunion with some of Ryan's family.  We were honored that some of them drove down from South Carolina & over from Augusta to visit us while we were in town. It was a great week!

Cousins & their kids

The parents responsible for all those folks in the picture above-
my mother-in law, Gail, and Aunt Nancy & Uncle Bill