This year we decided to do something extra fun for New Years! Once you have kids, gone are the days of partying it up on NYE!! ;) But spending it with kiddos is just as fun.. I promise!
We talked to our friends Chris and April, and decided to head up to Nashville for the weekend. They moved there just before Thanksgiving and we had only seen them once since then. (We met them at Melting Pot for dinner over Thanksgiving weekend). So, not only were our kiddos missing each other. The grownups were in need of some time together too! The kiddos always enjoy Christmas related activities and we had exhausted all options in Memphis.. every year we go to Starry Nights, Enchanted Forest, Zoo Lights, and fun activities at the Children’s Museum. (thank goodness for memberships!!) So, we decided that they would really joy the ICE! exhibit at Opryland. LK had gone when she was 3, but none of the other kiddos had been.
Chris’ parents offered to keep Gray while were gone, so they came and picked him up super early Saturday morning and we finally got out of town around 8am. Addyson had stayed in Memphis that week, so we picked her up and she rode back to Nashville with us. The car ride when extremely well! I learned a things about traveling with 3 kids though: 1) electronics are a must!!! I don’t know what we would have done w/o the iPad, iPod touch, and DVD player! 2) just when you think no one has to stop to use the bathroom… someone always does! and 3) always being extra clothes and pillows!
We got into Nashville just before noon and made our way across the city to The Caldwell’s house. They live east of the city in a small town. After unloading the car and making a quick Kroger run, we headed over to Opryland. Luckily, it was only about 15min from their house. We immediately went into the ICE! exhibit. We had all bought tickets ahead of time, so we didn’t have to wait in line.
The first part that you go to is a big room to watch a video about how they make all the ice sculptures. It was actually pretty cool to watch! After the video, it SNOWED!!
Then we made our way to the room with all the parkas! Everyone had to get a blue parkas b/c the temp inside the exhibit is only 14 degrees!!
Even Abigail got one!
The ice sculptures were amazing!!!
Ethan was hilarious in his huge parka! He kept doing this little dance that was just too funny!
The husbands, of course, enjoyed it! ;)
Toward the end we found the SLIDES! The kiddos loved them!
Of course, Ethan had to do a little flip halfway down!
Dad got to slide down too since he took all the kiddos up!
Our fun group!
It was SO much fun!! We ended up getting t-shirts for all the kiddos b/c everything in the gift shop was 75% off! $4 shirts.. yes, please!
After the ICE! exhibit, we walked the path to the Opryland Hotel for even more fun! We got to say hello to some Shrek characters and even make a gingerbread house! And, of course, we got to walk around the hotel and see all the incredible Christmas decorations! The last time Chris and I were there was over Thanksgiving weekend in 2007. That’s when LK when to ICE!. It was Charlie Brown back then, now it’s Madagascar. Before then, we had been several times to stay at the hotel during Thanksgiving weekend. It has changed a lot since then b/c of the terrible flooding from a few years ago, but fortunately they were able to restore a lot of the hotel! It’s absolutely beautiful, and even more so decorated for Christmas!
Enjoying the Delta Atrium. They were begging to take a boat ride!
After taking in some of the decorations, we made our way over to decorate a gingerbread house. Another plus.. it was a lot less than the original price b/c it was after Christmas!
I think Ethan ATE more candy than decorated with it!
Their house turned out adorable!
After we finished decorating, we headed back toward the parking lot to head back to The Caldwells. We stopped on the way and ordered some pizza to-go. It was DELISH! After dinner and playing, the kiddos were down by 10 or so. The grownups stayed up till midnight … but barely! ha! We rang in the New Year and then called it a night!
We enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast in the morning and then loaded up the car to head home. It was a short trip, but SO fun and SO needed! We absolutely love our Caldwell family and it was great to spend time with them!! Hopefully we’ll get to see them again soon!