Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Fun

We just returned from spending two weeks in Tennessee with my family. As always, it was a busy time, but full of fun.

We arrived Thursday afternoon, just before the annual Brewer family reunion on Saturday, June 28th. Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera out the entire day. Not once. But we had a great time catching up and showing off all the new additions. Madeline was a hit!

Two days later, we headed to East Tennessee. Our caravan consisted of myself, Braden and Madeline, my parents, my sister Rachel, my brother Seth and his girlfriend Emily, my dad's sister Aunt Marilyn, and cousins Taylor and Marileigh.

For four days we enjoyed the best of Pigeon Forge, which included a day and a half at Dollywood, then a dinosaur adventure, the Dixie Stampede, Wonderworks, and shopping!

For some reason, Dollywood has a cheesy reputation, but after one visit, you'll be hooked! My family has been visiting Dollywood since the early 80's, when it was still Silver Dollar City. There are lots of great rides, shows, foods, etc. as well as a huge children's area. Braden loves it, and this year he rode his first "grown up" roller coaster, Blazing Fury!

Braden also enjoys the Dixie Stampede. The show is interactive, and the food is delicious!

Here are some of the activities Braden enjoyed at Wonderworks:

In the picture above, the shadow of the Mona Lisa on the wall comes from the "jumble" of metal on the right. There were several examples of this type of art. I thought it was pretty interesting. Some other fun things that we got to experience at Wonderworks: what it feels like to be in an earthquake, what hurricane winds feel like, and what the water temperature felt like during the sinking of the Titanic.

When we weren't in Pigeon Forge, we simply enjoyed time with family:

Braden and Grandaddy are big buddies

Madeline spent some time with her great-grandmother, Jane (who she is named after!) Mur and Maddie Seth and Braden picked blackberries. It was braden's first time picking blackberries, and his first experience with chigger bites! Emily and BradenBraden and Seth being silly
Maddie with her Nana Uncle Jack and Aunt Michelle met Madeline for the first time
Pickle and MaddieBraden with his favorite cousins, Taylor (r.) and Marileigh (l.)When we are at my mom and dad's, we also like to just spend time outside, enjoying the views. Two pretty photos of views from their house to leave you with: