Situation: 4 days of freedom to adventure where we please.
Mission: find snow!
Friday morning we woke up and arrived safely in Atlanta, Georgia. Connor was outstanding on the trip only occasionally asking "are we there yet?" and was perfectly happy to watch his movies and play in the back seat. We did stop at Chick-fil-a for lunch and to let him stretch his legs a little. We hit Atlanta by 4:00pm and checked into our hotel. We freshened up and headed into the city for our first excursion. A friend had recommended checking out the SkyView Atlanta and we thought it sounded like fun. I'm not sure we were quite ready for the 28 degree weather, but the cars were enclosed and heated, and the view was magnificent. The massive ferris wheel made Connor giddy, and we got to rotate around the circle 8 times. We then got the bright idea to "take a walk" and ventured across the street into Centennial Park (Olympic Park) and didn't last long in the elements. We decided to find refuge, aka warmth, inside The Varsity, and satisfied our tummies with yummy hot dogs. It was a first for all of us, and I'm grateful to Food Network for schooling me in the ways of delicious bites.
Saturday morning greeted us with 20 degree temperatures and a little boy who was excited to make snow angels. The entire reason we targeted Atlanta was because Daddy had found that Stone Mountain had been transformed into Snow Mountain for the season. We reserved our slot for the big hill sleds and then had free reign of the other snow-tivities offered. The first thing we did was venture up the people mover to the family sled and Connor was excited. He had so much fun that he didn't want to do it ever again. Ever.
We decided to "take a break" from big boy sledding and headed over the the snow play area. After taking only two steps onto the fluffy soft white stuff Connor splayed himself on his back and proceeded to make his first, of many, snow angel. Right there, in the entrance to the snow zone, he displayed his thrill and joy of seeing snow. This was where we spent most of our day.
This was the perfect place for Connor with little bunny hills for toboggan runs and tube sledding. We couldn't pull the little man away from it. We did it over and over again, and he got so good at pulling the tube behind him and up the ramp to repeat the process continuously.
No trip to Stone Mountain would be complete without making it to the summit of the big rock. Connor wasn't sure about the express lift to the top, but once we convinced him it would be a fun adventure he was in. He loved it up at the top, and kept stopping to make sure I got pictures of him everywhere. He conquered the mountain, and then was just as excited for the fun ride back to the ground.
Our little buddy crashed hard for naptime after his adventures in the snow, and when he woke up we took more advice from friends and made our way to Legoland for some indoor fun. They had a cute little shooting ride at the beginning, then took you through a lego version of Atlanta, and dropped you into square block utopia. Connor's favorite activity was the build your own race car area, and with every release at the top of the hill would say "here comes trouble!" (thanks Papa!). We closed the place down and I may have had a little too much fun in the girl section with the karaoke machine. Who can resist a pink room and a microphone stand with no one around? I think we all crashed once we got back to the hotel room, but I was too tired to remember correctly.
After doing our research we concluded that with only a two and a half hour drive we should hit some real snow. According to the weather channel Cherokee, North Carolina was scheduled to receive the white stuff and we couldn't have been more thrilled. We made a quick stop into the Smoky Mountains Visitor Center where they told us that the Park was closed because of the snow and ice. We thought for sure we would find snow in Cherokee.......we didn't. Nooo!!!! We did get the "bear" picture though so I felt like it was a great stop no matter.
After eating lunch we decided to attempt to drive up into the park. We figured that if we got to the point where they closed it we would turn around and head back to the hotel. To our great delight it had opened up to the wanderers. Little by little we started seeing icicles hanging off of the rocks on the side of the road. When we came around one corner there was a little bit of snow hanging out along the curb and that was all we needed to pull over and jump out (oh and let Connor snatch an icicle to suck on)! Luckily another car who had been coming from the opposite direction had also pulled over there and excitedly told us we needed to get back in the car and head up to Newfound Gap. They told us there was enough snow to build a snow man and have lots of fun. oh.my.gosh. I think I was more excited than Connor!
A few more curves and some more snow on the ground, I made Tim pull over at another overlook to let Connor test his snow legs....and to take a picture.
Enter Newfound Gap......finding real snow.....Mission Accomplished!!!
At one point Connor insisted on taking a picture of me playing in the snow, and I loved the image he captured!
We spent the afternoon making a snowman, throwing snowballs at each other and off of the mountain, making it snow on our heads, and enjoying every minute! My little snow angel showed his Florida roots by referring to pine cones as "palm" cones, and constantly asking to build sand castles in the snow. It was delightful. It took driving to the North Carolina-Tennessee state line, but we got our snow-venture!