October 15, 2008

We just got back from another vacation. Aren't you a lucky girl, two vacations in one year. This time there were no princesses or characters. We took a relaxing vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains with Grandpa Worman. We had a beautiful cabin up in the mountains that was named Little Rocky Top. It had a gorgeous view.

The first full day there it was rainy, so we went to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, which was actually really cool. You got to pet a horseshoe crab and travel on a conveyor through a tunnel surrounded by fish and huge sharks. In the children's education section, they had sensory boxes. You were to put your hand in the box and try to guess what you felt. After 10 seconds, a light would come on and reveal what was in the box. Daddy had a shell, I had a piece of coral, and yours was a fake eel. Only you didn't realize it was fake and you ripped your hands out of the box screaming then started to cry. You were fine when we told you it was fake, and I don't blame you for being scared. Now you think that it's a funny story and asked me to write it in here for you.

That night Aunt Allison came, which was one of the highlights of the trip for you. Wednesday, we went on a hike to Laurel Falls. You hiked 2.5 miles of the 3 mile trek. I was very proud. The next day we took a chairlift ride up the side of a mountain and got to look out over Gatlinburg. You loved the chairlift. That night we went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner show. At first you were not impressed, because they had us sit in a hall and listen to a band. Then we were herded into a large arena and took our seats. The lights went down and out came a herd of horses. You looked like McAuley Culkin in Home Alone. It was a pretty cool show and you were in heaven. You especially liked the chicken chase and the Native American portion of the show. We had to eat our whole meal with our hands, because they didn't let you have silverware. I think it was one of your favorite parts of the trip.

The next day, Dada, Mama, and you took the convertible on a drive around Cade's Cove. It was a valley in the mountains with all kinds of historical buildings. We stopped at a farm that was built in 1800's. You said it was spooky and made ghost faces for the pictures. Later on we headed up to Ober Gatlinburg. We took a Gondola ride up to a small amusement park with a fun house, bumper cars, and an alpine slide. We rode another chairlift to one of the best views I'd ever seen.

Later that night, when we went to put you to bed, we discovered that Mini was missing. This is a major thing, Mini is your sidekick. We looked everywhere. I had my suspicions that Mini took a ride out the back of the convertible. I sat you down and said, "Elise, I need you to think real hard. Where was the last place you remember seeing Mini?" You thought real hard and then you got a look in your eyes, like you had remembered and ran out on the porch to the chair we had sat in earlier. I knew Mini wasn't there, because I had already looked, but I could tell you really thought she'd be there. The look on your face when you saw she wasn't there broke my heart. We told you we'd look more in the morning when it was light, but I really didn't have any hope.

On the last day, Aunt Allison, Mom, and Elise took a horseback ride on a trail in the Smoky Mountain National Park. You were very worried about not getting a "pretty" horse. The man at the stable asked you which horse you would like to ride, and you said, "I like the spotted one." and pointed to the hugest horse they had. He suggested Toby, a small brown horse, and you said he was okay too. The guide that lead your horse was great and he knew all about SpongeBob, so you guys had lots to talk about. He told you he had a pet squirrel named Sandy Cheeks. I don't know if that was true or not, I think it was true. It was fun, and you looked so funny bouncing around on your horse. My horse, for some reason, thought it was fun to rear-end your hourse.

When we got back to the cabin, Daddy and Grandpa were packing up. We were just getting things in the car when Daddy ran screaming down the stairs. He found Mini!! She was inside the sleeve on my jacket that you had put on in the restaurant. Happy Day! Now we could leave little Rocky Top feeling like all was right with the world.