We went to this place in Blowing Rock, NC called Tweetsie Railroad, with my mom (and Jason and the kids). It was probably a 2 hour drive, up into the mountains- very pretty scenery out there. Sierra, of course, did not take kindly to being put in her car seat for 2 hours, and screamed and hit Jason a lot of the way there. Jaymes was good, and slept.
The Tweetsie Railroad is a theme park type thing, all western stuff. Cowboys, indians, horses, a petting zoo, and a country fair with rides. It's actually really cool, despite the goofy name. Lots of uphill walking though.
We had lunch first, I had the pulled BBQ chicken and it was reaaallllllyyyyyyy good -drool- and the kids had these cute little souvenier lunch boxes with PBJ sandwiches and cookies and Sunchips. My mom had pizza, and Jason had fried chicken.
They had a ski-lift style ride that took you up to the top of the mountain and back, but I, being the extreme chicken I am, couldn't do it, so I took Jaymes and rode the carousel until my mom, Jason, and Sierra got back from riding the scary death ride. Jaymes LOVED the carousel, he was whooping and laughing and bouncing around. It was very cute, he's never been so enthusiastic about that sort of thing before. We got some video (don't mind my unflattering infected eye!) and photos...
There were big life-sized plastic horses every ten feet, and I being me, felt it necessary to put the kids on every single one and photograph it, until my mom told me "You've taken their picture on a bunch of different horses, and it's not like you don't HAVE a horse to take their pictures on every day- cut it out." Good point. Hmm, why didn't I think of that? I guess I see horses and that little switch goes on in my head "must photograph. Now. On every horse. They're different colors, so it makes sense!"
It did make sense. In my head. And I swear I wasn't the only one heaving their reluctant children onto these big fake horses at every step! Really!
We went on a few rides, did some arcade... Jaymes played the basketball topssing game and seemed to like it. My mom had given him a little wallet with change in it, so he paid for his own games. Jason took him on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and I felt sorry for him... He was scrunched up against Jason with a look of pure terror on his face. He was very snuggly with me when he got off that ride!
The park's claim to fame is the real old fashioned coal burning somethingorother train... It shoots huge, smelly black clouds of smoke into the air, and flaming cinders back behind it (one of which hit Jaymes in the eye, but he's fine)... it's actually a really cool ride. They do a whole cowboys and indians skit the way there, shooting and stuff, and a cowboy riding the fattest Quarter Horse I have ever seen. It looked like a real effort to get that horse to canter!
We went over to the petting zoo after that, where they had some adorable mini donkies and deer and goats... And an emu who tried to take Jaymes' hat, my camera, and my wedding ring!
Here is Jaymes being assaulted by the emu, then my mom fighting with it: