My family finally took our trip to Dollywood. We had gone back in September for my dad's company picnic, but had been rained out, so we went Saturday to redeem our rain-check tickets. It turned out to be a very cold day, and as we crossed the mountains at the NC/TN state line, we saw the snow that had fallen the night before. It was beautiful and strange, seeing snow on trees that still had their autumn leaves.
These pictures were taken from the backseat of a moving vehicle, so I am actually pleased that they turned out at all. Ironically, they are the only pictures I took that day. We were so bundled up at the park that it was too difficult to get the camera out anyway. The temperature hovered in the low 40s, and we were all wearing puffy coats and tobogans and gloves. The baby was the warmest of all of us - we kept checking and not even his nose got chilly. Jordan and my young cousin took off to ride the rollercoasters and other adventuresome rides, while the rest of us (my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and I) wandered around, taking in the various shows and looking at the shops.
As I have mentioned before, Dollywood is just a bit tacky, but quite a lot of fun. This was the first day of their Christmas festival, so we enjoyed seeing all the lights and decorations. My favorite was a show called "Appalachian Christmas," a performance by the Smokey Mountain String Band of various blue-grass and mountain Christmas music. I am kicking myself now that I didn't buy the CD - it was fantastic.
We had a wonderful time, and, as my sister said, "It really gets you in the Christmas spirit." Not that she needs any help - I think she's been singing Christmas carols since Halloween!