And lucky for us, we did go early. As of New Year's Day, the park will be closed for road repairs for 2-3 months and re-open this Spring.
Since it was Winter and that meant no bees, Jayce decided to come with us. He was very worried, though, that Jocelyn would fall off the mountain. I am happy to report that she was never in any danger of doing so.
This is the first time that Jocelyn has been to Chimney Rock as an official walker. She was brave and walked the entire Woodland Trail. She needed help up the stairs and climbing over branches, but I was much impressed with how well she did for her abilities.
As per tradition, we stopped and bought Subway on the way up to NC. We always eat our lunch at the Owl statue on the Woodland Trail.
There was a ranger working at the Grady Groundhog observing room and Jayce took this opportunity to ask him many Minecraft questions.
Then we all had to take our pictures as "Opossums" :)
I know its slightly mean to laugh, but I happened to catch a picture of Jocelyn falling. She still falls down a lot. I still laugh anyway because she is so cute when she does it.
After lunch on the trail, we typically head up the elevator to the Chimney. Only, this time, the elevator was under repair. So we hiked up the stairs. With Jocelyn in the mei tai. I thought I'd die before reaching the top.
Jaina wanted to climb to a higher spot (since it rained last time and its been years since we've gone up to the highest spot) but she was complaining about being thirsty and the gift shop/food lounge was closed, so we just climbed back down all those stairs instead.
Don't you worry... the giftshop at the bottom of the mountain was still open. We seriously come to this place every 3 months or so. We do NOT need to buy our kids something each time. Yet, Brian does anyway. This time it was a book for their squished pennies.
Jocelyn was not happy that the big kids wouldn't let her "help" with the penny squishing, but she did like all the rocking chairs. I have a picture of Jayce, age 3, in the same chair :)
Then it was time for ICE CREAM!!!
So long to our Chimney Rock Adventures... at least until Spring :)