Note to self:
Do not attempt to visit Chimney Rock State Park on Labor Day Weekend in the future.
We've been going multiple times a year for the past thirteen years and we've never, ever, had to wait 30 minutes to even pay at the gate. The parking lot was completely full (not unusual) but the field where the back up parking is was also completely full. We were lucky to get a spot.
But despite the crowds, we had a great time.
First we ate our subway sandwiches under shady pavilion.
Then we went on the Woodland Adventure Trail:
Thank goodness that spider isn't real!
"I like turtles." (said in your best You Tube viral video voice)
Jaina told Jocelyn if she kissed the frog, it might turn into a prince. Too bad it didn't work :)
But she loves her big sister anyway :)
Jocelyn's hair is so light compared to the big kids. However, both Jaina and Jayce had blond hair as babies and toddlers. I think Jaina's hair had turned dark brown by the time she reached kindergarten. We'll see about Jocelyn's hair.
Here's the owl that Jocelyn says she doesn't like. I think I remember the big kids being scared of it, too.
We always check out the education building where Grady the groundhog presides. He was actually awake and moving around but was extremely hard to get a picture of.
I just recently got my Kelty metal frame backpack carrier back from a friend and decided to try it out. I lasted all of 10 minutes before I gave it to Brian. Yep, I'm a wimp.
We hiked to the bottom of Hickory Nut Falls this time.
Jayce wasn't enjoying this part of the trip. He felt like the hiking trail down to the bottom of the Falls was way too dangerous. He stayed safely by the fence the entire time.
Yay for camera timers!
After a lot of whining during the hike back, Brian relented and bought the kids all something in the gift shop.
Jocelyn picked out "Track" the puppy:
'Cause we need another stuffed animal dog. Or not.
Jaina has long since stopped wanting a stuffed animal as a souvenir.
(This was supposed to be a picture of just Jaina but Jocelyn photobombed it and then refused to even look in my direction. Sigh.)
Jayce picked out a telescope/magnifying glass/flashlight thingy.
It was a beautiful day :)
Although we were all pretty tired from the hike, it had been a while since we had taken the kids to the Gem Mine, so we headed there next.
Then it was ice cream time!!! It's a tradition!!
I'm hoping we'll be able to fine some time to go back when the leaves are gorgeous!