New Year's Eve at Dollywood

We were still bringing bags in from the car after traveling to Indiana over Christmas when a friend texted to see if we wanted free tickets to Dollywood--but they had to be used that weekend. I've never been to Dollywood and Deric went once back in college so we figured that free tickets made it worth braving the end-of-season crowds and the cold weather. So even though we were pretty worn out from traveling, we loaded the kids (plus a million snacks and warm layers) into the van and spent New Year's Eve (afternoon) at Dollywood.

Bundled up and ready!

And let's just say, I'm so glad we didn't pay for tickets. ;) Jake and I rode a (kids) rollercoaster first thing and as soon as it started up, he started crying. So that bombed and we then couldn't convince him to try much else. He did enjoy riding some preschool-sized rides which bolstered his confidence back up a bit.

And the carousel was a hit after riding the carousel at Disney--plus he got to ride on the dragon! We tried watching a Christmas show and enjoyed half of it before Jake got a little antsy so we walked around the rest of the park to see the lights (the lights are amazing! I've always wished I could put lights on our house like this!) and then we headed home. It was a fun day but like I said, sooo glad we only paid for parking! We don't exactly get our money's worth at amusement parks in this phase of life.

After spending the day at the park, Deric and I were so happy to come home and put the boys to bed, order Chinese food and relax with a movie to "celebrate" New Year's Eve. 2016 was a great year thanks to Reid joining our family, visiting Disney World, Chattanooga and Nashville for the first time, plus all the moments in between watching our boys grow up. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be just as good! (Hey, two weeks in and its 65 degrees in January so yes, 2017 is shaping up nicely!)

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