Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day Four - Opryland Hotel

Our last stop for the trip was the Opryland Hotel. We were all in awe of the decor and the plants and waterfalls as well as the size of the hotel itself - amazing. We chose to take a boat ride inside that gave us a bit of history on the hotel as well as some interesting facts.
And following the boat tour, we were off to explore all on our own. The statues proved to be a lot of entertainment for my kiddos.
In between posing with statues, I was able to capture a somewhat serious photo too.....
and then it was back to being silly.....

and even more silliness!

Nashville - Pancake Pantry

Day four began with a treat - PANCAKES.
Pryce chose Swiss Chocolate Chip pancakes.....the chocolate was melted just to add that special touch.
Colin chose Blueberry pancakes while MK devoured her display of silver dollar pancakes accompanied with eggs and bacon!
We were all just giddy for our pancakes! The best part was that I was able to snag a bite from all of the above.
Afterwards, we played outside for a bit.
Maddox, who was not excited about posing for pics, was all about running like the wind.
My kiddos just fell in love with little Lily.
They helped her find helicopters in the sky.....
they loved making her laugh.....

and they loved playing running games with her! We were all sad to say goodbye. The minute we got into the car, Pryce said, "I am going to miss Lily. When will we see her again?" And then they all chimed in, "Yeah, when will we see all of them again? We miss them already!" Thank you, Rankins, for making our time in Nashville that much sweeter!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nashville - Day Three

Day three we chose to visit the Adventure Science Center. This proved to be loads of fun for all of my kiddos. Maddox enjoyed driving the ambulance, MK was taken with the laser shooting game, and the boys would most likely have a hard time deciding exactly what their favorite exhibit much to choose from. They maneuvered their way on a flight simulator; they went on a moon walk - twice; they constructed a bloodstream using barriers in a water exhibit; they loved the laser game; they went on a star gaze; all was fun, all proved educational.
Following our day at the science center, we were pleased to go and visit some friends we made in China while adopting Maddox.
While we were in Guangzhou, the boys spoke to Amy and Michael during breakfast one morning - commenting on Lily's cuteness, no doubt :) Again, I love the people that have been carefully placed in our paths by Him during our adoption journeys.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nashville - Day Two

The Parthenon
The children were speechless when they saw the replica for the Parthenon in Nashville....
then, it was time for a photo op.....
what started out as one child getting a photo taken.....
turned into all three posing for a pic.....

and this little one was not going to be left out either!
The rest of our day was spent touring the local Cheekwood Gardens. The children, one of whom anticipated NOT enjoying the train exhibit, ALL loved the exhibit as well as the well manicured gardens on the property. Only once did I have to pull a particular little bit from the newly planted flowers :) The children were more than excited that I opted to leave the camera in the car! Our daily routine is setting in.....we get up, do school, explore a bit, rest a bit, have a candy snack - a real treat :) - and then it is out to dinner followed by watching football until lights out! The real treat has been having Ryan with us for breakfast - he is always well into his day of work when the rest of us awaken. And, he isn't wearing his traditional work attire, a company shirt and jeans. Instead, he is able to wear a button up shirt and khakis.....the children have all asked why he isn't wearing his "work clothes." Creatures of habit, that is for sure!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nashville - Day One

The children and I are studying American History. We were so excited to visit the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson.
Though it is hard to tell from the pic, MK was all dazzled up with her headset for the tour. She impressed me by walking up to each station and typing in her number to hear the next bit of info.
We took a little wagon ride which shared a good bit of info in reference to life on the plantation.
And have I mentioned here how beautiful Nashville is???? The colors are breathtaking and I have done more than my share of photographing :)
The children were allowed to pick cotton to take home as a keepsake. Maddox was taken with the softness.
She picked enough for all of us to take home!
And then I tried my best to get a GREAT photo of the kiddos.....
and this is how it turned out! Maybe next time.

As we were meandering our way through the trails preparing to leave, I suddenly caught a glimpse of this guy in front of us! YIKES! We were literally two steps away from stepping on him! Needless to say, we took the scenic route and detoured around so as to avoid any conflict with this creature!

Ruby Falls

It is road trip time for our family! First stop, Ruby Falls.
The falls were beautiful - we loved taking the walk in front of and behind the water.
The natural formations were quite impressive.
Watch your head! The tour guide warned us going in to watch our head. He stated that there was a rock in the cave for all ages to hit their head on and he was right!

I must say that the older I get, the more questionable things become when it comes to an adventure of sorts. Meaning, this year our family has done two sightseeing tours that I was relieved when they were over. One was in China - the cable car we took over the South China Sea. My children kept saying, "Wow, what happens if this thing falls?!" Ugh, not the thing to ask me when I am wondering the same thing yet I know the answer :) Two was Ruby Falls. There is one way into the cave and one way out - an elevator. It was just creepy and I couldn't help thinking about miners and how they do this everyday for a living! It was dark and the room to walk was narrow - so glad to have the experience and so glad it is behind us :)