Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happpy Independence Day!! Let Freedom Ring!

Happy 4th Of July!! I love our Independence day. I love the fact that I live in a free country and that I have the human rights I so cherish, and I love the service men and women who fight for those rights everyday. I love honoring the service men and women, any time of year but especially today. I love listening to "war stories" from the old timers and I guess that is why I feel so strongly about today. We took the opportunity to check out Pigeon Forge and their Freedom Festival and I cannot wait to come back and do it again next year. It ROCKED!!
First off, any place that doesn't charge the kids to play is TOP in my book. They had all kinds of things to keep the kids entertained, if you didn't mind waiting in line, which we didn't.Taryn and Tyson especially loved the bouncy house. Taryn loved being bounced around. I honestly didn't think she would last 10 seconds in there, but she didn't want to get out!Besides the tons of activities for the kids, they also had music playing from a huge stage, (seen in above picture). Vaughn was so thoughtful to set us up a little "camp" with our camping chairs, blanket, and cooler. We had good seats to see the stage for the day's entertainment.
Freedom Babies! They were so good to wait in line and not complain, much. They spent the "waiting" time dancing around and playing. It was a blessing, because I heard so many other mothers explain to their children why they had to wait at least 100 times.At one point in the day it became really, extremely HOT, with no clouds in sight. Taryn just wanted to be held. She loves her daddy.
Of course my son wanted to try every ride they had. We waited in line for about 45 minutes to try these bouncy jumper things. (Love how I make up names to them)
He jumped and jumped, trying to do a flip and would get so close, but he isn't heavy enough to get the momentum to swing that body around. Oh well, he still had a ball trying.Great action shot! It was such a nice area that we would go and do a few rides and then walk 150 yards to our little camp spot, get a drink and a treat and then go back to the rides. We did this all day. Poor Taryn didn't stop to take a nap and I just waited for the melt down, luckily it never came!! WHEW!Next year, I will be smarter and pack more to drink. Even though I did pack lots of water for us, we pounded it down in no time flat. The heat out here in East Tennessee will do that to you. Thank goodness for the vendors with the cold drinks.About mid afternoon the musical acts started to get good. Not that they weren't before, it was just a lot of gospel choirs and such, but then they started bringing out the BIG ACTS, names like Teluride, East of Eden and others came out and played for an hour or so. The kids loved dancing around and with all the room they could be silly and not bother others around us.As the sun went down, Tyson broke out the glow sticks and made him a necklace to swing around on his arm, not to wear. Vaughn and I enjoyed just "people watching." I thought I had seen it all when it came to Red Necks, because I lived in such a small town, but Tennessee never ceases to amaze me. We saw more people missing half their teeth, and they were young people, not old, more babies with bottles of Mountain Dew or Pepsi, more overalls...etc.....the list goes on and on. I loved it. I never felt one bit out of place. And even though they are very Red Neck, they are some of the nicest people down here. When the night was over and we were walking out of the place I had a little bit of trouble getting the stroller over the curb. Three people stopped to help me. WOW!!! I was impressed.
The nights entertainment ended with Diamond Rio. This is a country band I have loved for years and I have seen them in concert several times before this. As you can see, we had great seats. They played all of the old stuff and some new stuff they were recording. People were up dancing singing and we were among them.
Once Diamond Rio finished their last song it was time for the fireworks. This was funny!
Ok, so the announcer guy comes out on to the stage and tells us, "turn your chairs around and look back towards the Smokies and count down with me for the fireworks." Ok sounds easy enough. So we start to count. 10...9...8...and so on. We get to 1 and the music starts playing in the back ground but no fireworks. So we wait and we wait, for about 5 minutes. By this time people all around us are making all kinds of wise cracks about it that had Vaughn and I giggling.
The announcer guys comes back and tells us to re count again. Ok. 10....9....8.... the whole time we are counting Vaughn and I are laughing. We get to starts, not a single firework!!! HA HA HA Then 20 seconds later, BOOM! They flew into the sky and the show was awesome.
We watched the fireworks for about 25 minutes. It was so cool. Tyson loved it and Taryn, well............lets just say she cried after the first BOOM and then fell asleep and didn't wake up till morning. Funny stuff! We returned home to Knoxville about 1 am, and I would do it all over again. Totally worth it! Happy Independence Day America!