Great Smokey Mountains National Park

 

Did you know that Great Smokey Mountains National Park has more visitors per year than any other national park in the US? It’s big! We are focusing on the North Carolina portion this stay with the intention of seeing the Tennessee side during a different stay. The areas we saw today were really beautiful.

2021-04-03T12:06:53-05:00March 15th, 2021|Jude, RV Life, Taryn, Zachary|

Visiting Kennedy Space Center during Covid

This weekend was so busy I’m still catching my breath! As our Christmas gift, Jason’s parents gave us an adventure and we chose Kennedy Space Center. We are so thankful, we had a blast!!

My kids were so excited to explore the grounds and the rocket garden before we ever even entered a single exhibit. Kennedy Space Center is is very well done.  Getting to see the space shuttle Atlantis was a highlight! We’ve seen the Discovery at Udvar Hazy in Washington DC too. The cool thing about Atlantic is that it’s suspended between several floors. We were able to walk right up next to it and under it. The other cool thing is that the side of it is open so you can see in close range. Also, the exhibit leading up to its reveal is really great! There’s a video showing the Atlantis flying, the screen it’s playing on rises and there she is! Very dramatic and we loved it!  I think we could have spent a full week at the Atlantis exhibit! It ignited their imagination and curiosity in such a big way! Roadschool win!  My kids loved sitting in a mock cockpit and pushing alllllllll the buttons!

Then, what started out as a fun looking tube crawl through a tunnel that reminded us of R2D2, ended very differently! The last stretch takes you through a clear tube suspended over 3 flights of open exhibits and people bellow. Zachary took one look, stopped, turned to Jude and said “NOPE”. 😆 I’m so thankful Jude was there to encourage him so Jason didn’t have to go on a rescue mission! With Judes help he did it! I was impressed!

One of my favorite exhibits was honoring Challenger.  When the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986 I was watching it live on TV from a middle school classroom at Boyet Junior High in Slidell, Louisiana. I remember how excited all the teachers were to see on of their own, Christa McAuliffe, go up with the teacher in space program. I’ll never forget the stunned silence in that room or the moments after. And I’ve never forgotten Christa McAuliffe.

The new Play Planet exhibit is AMAZING! After seeing a photo of it a few weeks ago it’s all Zachary could talk about and he was looking forward to it the most! It lived up to all his expectations and more! It’s so well done! The slide was his favorite. After you start going a rocket appears under your butt and you ride the rocket down! I can’t wait to put our YouTube video together for our time here, it was amazing!

What was supposed to be a short video ended up being our last photo of the day after a throw down at the NASA ball 😣🤪 Good thing it was time to leave anyway!

A few tips for visiting Kennedy Space Center during Covid:

  • Definitely get tickets in advance and be there at 9:30 when gates open. You’ll need every min to see it all since they close at 4 pm.
  • I’d head to play planet first because the lines got long and we barely made it in before closing. Some people were turned away because they are limiting capacity but not how long you can play.
  • After that I’d head out to Atlantis. We spent a ton of time there.
  • The shuttle launch ride was worth it. Z wasn’t tall enough but there’s a staging area to do a parent swap for anyone under 44 in so our kids got to go twice only standing in line once.
  • It’s so tempting to do the rocket garden first because it’s right there but I’d recommend doing it last.

If you visit, have a blast! So much to see and learn!

 

2021-04-03T16:04:35-05:00February 22nd, 2021|My Family, Jonah, Jude, RV Life, Taryn, Zachary|

Ice cream for dinner

The birthday buddies. On Judes birthday we were at Hollywood studios. I have no idea why we thought it was smart to save cake and gifts until after we got home. It was such a long, hot, day that we were all dead on our feet when we got home. We watched him open a few gifts, shoved cake in our faces, I took one blurry pic and we all went to bed and slept 10+ hours! I’m so proud of this kid. And I can’t believe he’s 13 already!

Two days later Z turned 4. His big gift was our day at Hollywood Studios but he still had a few small gifts to open, including a $1 hot wheel car from Jonah that he was completely thrilled over. 🥰

A few weeks ago I asked Zachary what he wanted for dinner on his birthday. He immediately blurted out: ICE CREAM! GEE GEE TOLD ME I COULD ASK FOR THAT!!!! Almost as though it was all one word 🤣😂 Thanks mom! So, that’s what we did and he loved it! Plus, word got out in the campground with all of Jonah’s friends and now Jase and I have total street cred as being the coolest parents ever according to @the_partyof6 🤣 On that note, we are totally starting Whole 30 again on Monday only I told the kids it’ll be a whole 300!

2021-04-03T20:56:03-05:00February 13th, 2021|My Family, Jude, Zachary|

Hollywood Studios!

Jude and Zachary’s big birthday surprise: HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS!!! One full day at Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land!! Both were still being built the last time we were there is 2018. Plus this time Z is tall enough to go on all the fun rides. So exciting!! Big thanks to my mom for making us these fun shirts!

We’ve carried these Mickey ears for 3 years and many miles through 30+ states. I’m sentimental about very few things but this was one because he wore them for his first birthday at the magic kingdom. And when Z insisted on wearing them in to this park today, it was worth every mile carried and space sacrifice in our tiny home. He was so ready for a day of magic!

Our very first stop was the Lightning McQueen Driving Academy. This was pretty cool, the screens were huge and while it wasn’t a ride, it was still fun, Z clapped along with wide eyes. We were very impressed with Lightning McQueen, it kinda freaked me out it was so realistic. Z said he wished he could drive though. Our original plan for this year was Disneyland and I hear there’s more Cars there than Florida. We still hope to visit Disneyland someday! Has anyone been to both? I’d love to hear what you think!

Galaxy’s Edge is incredibly well done! So much detail. We loved it!! Jonah got to talk to the storm trooper and we loved the massive millennium falcon. The ride was one of our faves! We also hit Star Tours again and I’m glad we did because it was different than the last time we rode it 3 years ago.

 

2021-05-02T16:05:17-05:00February 11th, 2021|My Family, Jason, Jonah, Jude, Lyndsay, Taryn, Zachary|
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