After Thanksgiving, we made our way down to Tupelo, Mississippi. We didn’t do much there, but we did go check out Elvis Presley’s childhood home. The inside of the museum was closed, but we enjoyed walking the grounds.
I love that our 13-year-old boys got to stand by this statue of Elvis at 13. So fun! And it proves that Manning takes after his momma on height. 😁
After a few days in Tupelo, we headed to River View RV Park in Vidalia, Louisiana.
We absolutely loved this RV park. It is right on the Mississippi River. There is a great walking trail along the river that we enjoyed walking each day we were there. Also, we enjoyed a drive through of Christmas lights very close to our RV park.
Just across the bridge is Natchez, Mississippi. Natchez is a cute little town. We drove to the downtown area there, and we enjoyed walking along that side of the Mississippi River.
There were pretty Christmas decorations, and the whole area is just charming.
I really wasn’t expecting to love our stay in Louisiana so much, but the beautiful river views and walking along side it won me over! We all enjoyed our time there!
After our time in Pigeon Forge, we moved on to Antioch, Tennessee. Antioch is near Nashville. There we stayed at a nice, peaceful RV park called Four Corners RV Resort. It was the perfect place for our family RV Thanksgiving!
We loved what we did for Thanksgiving last year, so we continued with our miniature theme this year. All the food was miniature in size, representing our time in our miniature home. We made mini quiches, wings, pizza bites, brussel sprouts, cheese sticks, mini tacos and more. For dessert we had cream puffs, cheese cake bites and cannoli.
We all really enjoyed the fun theme and fun food!
We put craft paper covering our tables and wrote what we are thankful for.
We went for a walk around the lake after lunch, and we soaked in the nice weather and beautiful views.
We spent the rest of the day playing games, and we ended the day talking about the many things we are grateful for.
The next day, we went over to Mel and Debbie’s (our good friends) house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them as well.
We had such a good day there!
We had hamburgers for lunch.
Then, we let our four oldest kids try something they’d never done…shooting guns. Mel taught them some gun safety and they, along with Ryan and I, shot at targets. I was glad they got to learn a little about guns and do some shooting in a safe environment. I don’t take my kids being around guns lightly!
We spent the night over at Mel and Debbie’s, and we were very thankful for our time with them!
Every year that passes, every moment I get to spend with our ten kids, the more I realize that these are very precious days. Days I am so very thankful for!
After our time in Kentucky, we headed back to one of our favorite places in the United States…Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
This was our second time to visit during our season of living and traveling in an RV. There is so much to see and do in the area. We just love it!
Last time we were in Pigeon Forge, Dollywood was closed for winter. Though Dollywood is a bit pricey for us, we knew we wanted to splurge on it this time.
Dollywood is a family friendly theme park. There are rides and fun things to do for all ages. There are even traditional crafts like glass blowing, metal working and candle dipping.
We took Manning, Tapestry, Cherish, Liberty and Jubilee to Dollywood when they were young. They dipped candles back then, so we decided to carry on the tradition and do it again. Each kid chose things like hearts, music notes, owls and cactuses. (I just learned from Google that both cacti and cactuses are acceptable plural forms of the word cactus. Now you know if you didn’t already. Ha. 😉) Then, our kids dipped their candle bases into colored wax and ended with some beautiful creations.
Our older kids were great sports riding all the kiddie rides with our younger kids. Bravely had the time of her life riding all those little rides!
Our older kids got their turns, too, though! They, along with Ryan and I, really enjoyed the roller coasters!
The lines were very short. It was cold, but not too cold. It was a perfect day for hopping on and off lots of rides!
Dollywood was beautifully decorated for Christmas. There were lights, Christmas trees and even a place where fake snow fell. Treasure quickly discovered that the snow was actually soap bubbles. She felt it was a great time to clean her dirty yellow tennis shoes. She walked around collecting as many bubbles as possible on her shoes.
I will say, finding food wasn’t the easiest for our family size. We weren’t allowed to bring food into the park, which would have been our preference. All the restaurants were too full to seat our family, so we really had to take more time than we wanted hunting for food. Finally, we settled on popcorn. We paid almost $100 for 11 buckets of popcorn. There was no line, we were hungry, and at that point we just didn’t care. It was some good popcorn! Haha.
All in all, it was a great day! Every single one of us had a blast! Dollywood is one of my favorite theme parks, probably my top favorite.
We spent several extra days in Indiana while doing some renovations on our new RV. The day before leaving Indiana, we drove about 40 minutes to the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Like the Ark, kids ages 10 and under get in free for all of 2020. The Creation Museum is really neat, and we all enjoyed walking through it.
The next day, we left Florence, Indiana and headed to Park City, Kentucky. We stayed just two nights at our first Thousand Trails RV park. We bought a Thousand Trails pass a few months ago. We’ve heard all things good and bad. Our first experience was a plus – nice spot at an overall nice park. There was nothing fancy, but it met all that we wanted and needed.
It was just a 10-minute drive from our RV park to the Mammoth Cave National Park visitor’s center. In advance, we booked the self-guided extended historic tour. I noticed that there are many, many tours, but that there are very few open because of Covid. We were happy just to get to go!
Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system. We explored just a small fraction of it.
This is the first cave we’ve walked through that we saw no stalagmites or stalactites. A ranger told us that the part of the cave we were in basically had a really good roof with no leaks. No dripping water means those don’t form.
We spent a little over an hour exploring all that we could, and we even saw a sleeping bat at the end!
We finished our cave tour earlier than expected, so we decided to drive over to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.
We all enjoyed it a lot more than I thought we would. Seeing the different cars was neat, but we were all most fascinated by the sinkhole that happened at the museum in 2014. Eight cars fell into the 40-foot wide and 30-foot deep sinkhole. Those cars were retrieved and are displayed broken and dirty in the museum today.
Having such a short stay in Kentucky, we were happy with how we used our time. I recommend visiting both Mammoth Cave and the National Corvette Museum!